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Baraka Creates Special Effects for RAC CommercialsBaraka Post Production was singled out again by UK Director from Outsider (February 28, 2006)
Baraka Post Production was singled out again by UK Director from Outsider, James Rouse to provide pre-production expertise, on-site location advice in Cape Town; post production and 3D animation effects for a series of impressive high profile commercials for RAC direct insurance. The RAC commercials feature an accommodating character known as the ?Motor Quoter Man who is a dedicated roaming insurance advisor who travels and streams around traffic providing quotations and RAC direct insurance advice using his powerful jet propelled boots to manoeuvre him. Baraka has just completed the first two of a series of RAC commercials and currently working on the remaining two. The Motor Quoter Mans rocket boots feature swivelling rocket jets that give him the ability to fly in any direction including hanging upside down. The rocket pods themselves were created by Barakas Aleksandar Stiglic in 3D using Maya and animated into position by Sarah Vincent and George Humphris. The realistic blue flames from the jets were also created in Maya at Barakas 3D department.
The first RAC direct insurance commercial called ?Motorway depicts a businessman driving down a busy motorway. The Motor Quoter Man appears at his passenger window, shouting: M-Reg 2 Litre? the driver replies with a ?Yes? and the Motor Quoter Man asks: ?Serviced annually? The driver confirms. ?Good, that will help your insurance quote, shouts back Motor Quoter Man as he continues to fly next to the car and says hell make a note of that and he then zooms off and holds on to a huge moving lorry in the adjacent lane.
The second commercial titled ?Swimming features the Hi Tech Motor Quoter Man magnetically pinned down in his boots to the side of a parked vehicle. A mother is filmed coming back to her car after fetching her children from afternoon swimming. The children get into the car and start to fiddle and press buttons on the Quoter Mans boots. In the meantime, Motor Quoter Man and the mother exchange conversation about insurance and as his boots setting has been changed, we see him forcefully jetted out of the frame all of a sudden. He then appears a few seconds later gliding in the air on his back parallel to the car to ask her some more questions while he works out her quote on his specially made wrist device, the mother brakes as a child kicks a ball into the middle of the road. Motor Quoter Man intercedes immediately and we see him hover over the ball, his boots have a function that sucks the ball up and he then propels it back to the child at the side of the road, delivering an impressive mid-air summersault in between whilst dodging an oncoming car. This gives him a super Motor Quoter Man image where nothing is too much trouble for him. ?This effect was done by shooting multiple plates and compositing them at Baraka in Mistika. The separate plates included a shot of the car doing an emergency stop, a shot of the Motor Quoter Man suspended from a crane, the kids and a rolling ball. At the point the ball is sucked up by the Motor Quoter Man, the ball changes from a real ball to a digital one so that it can be moved around with the Motor Quoter Man. Mistika was used to remove the crane, composite the ball, add the rocket pods and flames from Maya and add other atmospheric effects such as heat haze from the rockets. Explains David Cox at Baraka.
James Rouse, Director at production company, Outsider, with offices in both London and Los Angeles felt that the key to the success of these commercials for RAC was that in order to get the best performances from the actors, was to have the Motor Quoter Man actors in position as much as possible. This meant suspending them from moving cars rather than using green screen compositing, even when the cars were travelling at 70MPH. Baraka then used its multiple Mistika suites to remove all traces of the rigs and wires that held the actor in place, as well as their associated shadows and reflections. James Rouse states: ?"The idea was to make the RAC mans life as difficult as possible on the shoot, to make it impossible for his very straight lines to be delivered in a very straight way. So one of the things we did was to throw him down a motorway at 70 miles an hour, for real, only feet away from other fast moving traffic, not least of which was a huge 16 wheel juggernaught. The secret to its success came down to a combination of very clever rig work on location in South Africa, then very clever rig removal work and 3d effects from David Cox and the team at Baraka in London. Also, thankfully our actor who wasn't a stunt man, clearly had balls of steel. The results were very impressive."
Barakas highly experienced David Cox was involved in the project right from the start. David Cox advised and attended both the pre-production meetings and the shoot in Cape Town in South Africa, as it was imperative that what was shot would be seamlessly polished in post. David Cox expands: ?We try to get involved as early as possible in our clients projects as we see ourselves as partners in the whole process of film-making, rather than just a supplier at the end of a campaign. We did this recently as well for the ?Slim Jim campaign in LA. The problem is that if you just concentrate on what is easy for post, you can end up with a very sterile production. Being on set and in pre-production let me make calls that allowed the most freedom possible for the director and director of photography, whilst knowing that my company had the capability to deliver perfect shots on time without too many shooting restrictions.
The RAC adverts are currently showing on all terrestrial and main TV channels and will be running up until April 2006.
Post production company: Baraka Post Production
Online Editors at Baraka: David Cox, Eliot Milbourn, Chris Gilbert
3D Special Effects: Aleksandar Stiglic, Alex Joy, George Humphris and
Production Company: Outsider
Director: James Rouse
Producer: Benji Howell
Advertising Agency: Abbot Mead Vickars
Client: RAC Direct Insurance
Baraka Post Production Ltd is one of Soho's leading visual post-production boutique-style facilities specialising in visual effects for high end and prestigious Commercials, Broadcast, Idents, Feature Film, Programmes, Promotions and Music Video projects. Baraka is made up of an accomplished and dedicated creative team of 3D animators, offline editors, producers, designers and online creatives accredited with a host of high profile projects to their name, across a broad range of production disciplines. Two enthusiastic and passionate senior editors, Chris Gilbert from MPC and David Cox from The Mill, founded Baraka 10 years ago, with over 30 years of postproduction experience between them. They have been the formidable force behind the companys ongoing success within its competitive arena moulding it to what it is today. Baraka prides itself as a post facility offering an exceptional service that is professional, cutting edge and high quality within a warm, comfortable and friendly environment with the clients needs in mind. Baraka boasts an array of impressive projects which can be viewed on the website at www.baraka.co.uk
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