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A52 Creates All-Season Effects for Partizan Director Twist Gondry's Toyota Tundra Spot

Award-winning Los Angeles visual effects and design company A52 today detailed their visual effects work for a new broadcast spot from Partizan director Olivier "Twist" Gondry, ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles and Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.  The:30 spot entitled "Throw It in the Tundra" debuted over the past weeks in the heartland of the U.S., and will air in other regions over the weeks ahead.

The spot presents a single shot of a Toyota Tundra parked outdoors, as two men load its bed with bails of hay, tools and other supplies.  The men begin their work in short sleeves on a sunny day, but the day quickly becomes rainy, and their attire instantly changes to rain gear.  While the men continue working, their clothes change rapidly through the full range of seasons.  The shot's POV moves around the truck, and the voiceover relates, "The loads you haul can be mean, dirty, gritty. sometimes, cold-cutting steel.  So you'd better have a truck that's strong enough to take it.  That truck is the Toyota Tundra.  Load after load, mile after mile, year after year, Tundra endures.  Toyota, moving forward."

"This spot is deceptive," began Kevin Murphy, Saatchi & Saatchi's project creative director and art director.  "It looks simple, but was actually quite complex and the magic is always making complexity look effortless.  A52 and Twist worked, both on location and in post, to create the various intense weather conditions that show the Tundra's durability season after season.  And they did a great job.  Attention to detail is what sets a spot like this apart and A52 and Twist nailed it."

Twist Gondry has established himself since 1995 as a widely respected CG and VFX artist, after many years of working with his brother, acclaimed director Michel Gondry, on numerous internationally celebrated music video projects.  Among Twist's own directorial feats from recent years are music videos for The Stills ("Lola Stars and Stripes"), The Vines ("Ride" and 'Winning Days") and Hot Hot Heat ("Goodnight, Goodnight"), as well as commercials for Infiniti, Hyundai, Sprint, and many others.

"Working with Twist is a unique experience, because of his in-depth understanding of visual effects," explained Pat Murphy, who served as A52's on-set VFX supervisor.  "Because the spot is essentially one motion-control move repeated multiple times, the choreography of the actors' moves was the first challenge to creating the desired effect."  

According to A52's Murphy, Gondry actually handled the "morph" transitions for the actors himself, using Elastic Reality.  Those morph sequences were then provided to A52's VFX supervisor Tim Bird, who worked with Flame artists Alicia Aguilera, Justin Blaustein, Mike Bliss, Eric Bruno, Ben Looram and Ryan Yoshimoto to seamlessly blend those elements into the master camera move.  

Among the other contributions of A52's VFX team were handling sky replacements, adding 2D rain - and 2D and 3D snow - to appropriate segments.  The team also incorporated a digital matte painting created in Photoshop by artist Helen Maier into all master scene's winter segments.

Along with Kevin Murphy, Saatchi & Saatchi's project credits include ACD/copywriter Deb Smith and producer Vicki Tripp.  Partizan's project team was led by executive producer Sheila Stepanek, director of photography John Zilles and line producer Valerie Romer.  A52's executive producer is Mark Tobin, and Scott Boyajan and Dan Brimer co-produced the project for A52.  Editiorial was handled by executive producer Cindy Carey, editor Mike Hackett, producer Lisa Ashe and assistant editor Yvonne Campos of Santa Monica-based Crush Edit.   End-graphics were provided by Santa Monica's Solid, where Thom Blackburn is creative director.  Original music, sound design and final mix credits all go to Paul Hurtubise of Stompbox. 

About A52
Established in 1997 as a home for the very latest high-end photo-real visual effects technologies and the industry's most innovative and talented graphic design artists, West Hollywood visual effects and design company A52 creates award-winning imagery for the world's most visually ambitious commercial and television projects.  The company's work has been earned AICP Show recognition for six consecutive years along with recent "Outstanding Commercial" Emmy, Andy, BDA, Belding, Clio, British Design and Art Direction, International Monitor, International Automotive Advertising, London International Advertising, One Show and PROMAX awards.  For more information, please call Mark Tobin at 310.385.0851 or visit

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Related Keywords:Partizan , Twist Gondry, Michel Gondry


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