72andSunny and Caviar's Reynald Gresset unleashed the "Power of Revenge" in their post-apocalyptic promotion for the long-awaited release of Prototype 2 from Activision. Set against the raw bass-baritone of Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt," this 90-second spot focuses on the deeply emotional journey that's taken the game's main character - Sgt. James Heller - to the pivotal 'jumping off' point depicted in the creative.
"It was really intriguing to me that in this vision of a world gone mad, we focus on one man's story," said Gresset. Despite the seamless feel of the visual storytelling, the production was a complex one for the seasoned director, who was tasked with keeping true to the aesthetic of a beloved game while illustrating a new and captivating narrative. "Going in we knew what we were up against. Nevertheless, one of the toughest scenes to film was the actual dropping off the roof. It's always interesting that even when you anticipate such a complicated shoot there are still little moments that become bumps in the road."
The Mill London worked closely with Gresset to create the stunning visual effects that leave the viewer feeling as though they are a part of the video game. Using the live-action footage, The Mill created CG elements and real games assets that helped shape Heller's story of revenge in a world that mirrored the aesthetic of the game itself.
For the opening scene, the VFX team designed a destroyed and 'infected' New York cityscape for Heller to look out over by creating a digital matte painting to enhance the real-life buildings and allow the building that Heller stands on, which is completely fabricated in CG, to maintain a realistic feel that could still be placed within the game.
Activision provided The Mill with elements from the video game to integrate with the spot; in that moment when Heller falls from the building, there are several wide shots in which a digital double from the actual RPG was used as Heller. In order to illustrate exactly what is going on inside of Heller when he is infected by Mercer, The Mill created a fully 3D virus sequence that shows how Heller's cell structure changes upon his 'infection.'