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A52's Effects and CGI Chase Runners in Finish Line Spots

Award-winning Los Angeles visual effects and design company A52 today detailed their animation and visual effects work for the new Finish Line broadcast campaign from Wieden+Kennedy in Portland and MJZ director Tom Kuntz. The campaigns three :15 spots ?Ostrich, ?Eyeballs and ?UFOs? recently debuted and will continue airing nationwide over the weeks ahead.

Edited by Rock Paper Scissors Kirk Baxter, the spots feature a person in a home gym running on a treadmill before a rear- projection effect kicks in and shows each imaginative fitness enthusiast running for his/her life from, respectively, an ostrich, a pair of deranged eyeballs, and a fleet of alien spaceships attacking a city.  The first two spots combine live-action footage Kuntz and his crew, including director of photography Glynn Speakaert, gathered on location in LA with stock footage secured through Nickerson Research.  ?UFOs combines original live-action footage with CGI elements created by A52s in-house team.

A52's new CG supervisor Andrew Hall served as on-set VFX supervisor for this project, fulfilling managing director and executive producer Mark Tobins vision in hiring him.  Along with Halls extensive feature and spot CGI experience, he has also directed and handled VFX on projects.  Tobins view on the rising importance of CG prompted him to land the world- class animator whose additional skills and talents as an on- set VFX supervisor contributed to this project.

?The interesting thing with these spots was creating a very distinct kitsch feel that Tom Kuntz was going for, Hall explained.  ?His goal was an off-center feel, reminiscent of the early rear projection footage that Alfred Hitchcock used in his films.

All of the flying saucers in ?UFOs as well as their laser beams, hits, debris and smoke -- were modeled and animated in Maya and rendered with Mental Ray.  Hall shared project VFX supervisor duties with A52s Kirk Balden.

?In ?UFOs, with all the live-action and CG elements, Kirk helped seamlessly combine a whole raft of explosions and devastation to render a tranquil street plate into a full alien invasion that completely matches the style Tom was shooting for.  He did a great job, Hall said.

Wieden+Kennedys project credits include creative directors Hal Curtis and Mike Byrne, copywriter Alberto Ponte, art director Mira Kaddoura and producer Jennifer Fiske. Production was overseen by MJZs executive producer David Zander and line producer Scott Kaplan.  Along with Kirk Baxter, the editorial team from LAs Rock Paper Scissors included executive producer Dave Sellars, producer Scott Friske and assistant editor Matt Murphy.  A52s team also included executive producer Mark Tobin, producer Jenny Bright, VFX artists Kirk Balden, Tim Bird, Justin Blaustein and Scott Johnson and 3D animators Andrew Hall, Daniel Gutierrez and Max Ulichney.

The campaigns music and sound design were both handled by Santa Monicas Stimmung, where the team included executive producer Ceinwyn Clark, composer Jason Johnson and sound designer Gus Koven.  Final audio was mixed by Jeff Payne and his producer Francine Boucher at Santa Monicas Eleven Sound.

Along with having their work honored in the AICP Show for the sixth consecutive year, other recent A52 awards include the Silver Clio Award for Visual Effects for the teams work on Cadillac ?Turbulence, three Cannes Ad Festival Bronze Lions and top LA Advertising Club 2005 Belding Awards honors for Pat Murphys work on Ground Zeros History Channel ?Know Where You Stand broadcast campaign, and a 2005 Gold BDA Award for the teams on-air designs for HBO and Cinemax.

About A52 Established in 1997 as a home for the very latest high-end photo-real visual effects technologies and the industrys most innovative and talented graphic design artists, West Hollywood visual effects and design company A52 creates award-winning imagery for the worlds most visually ambitious commercial and television projects.  The companys 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, visit

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