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Ring Of Fire & Lost Planet Cross Into The Blue

Create dynamic campaign for US Air Force (October 19, 2004)

Ad agency GSD&M recently turned to the visual effects talent at Ring of Fire and Lost Planet Editor Paul Martinez for a dynamic campaign for the US Air Force. The four spots target smart and driven youth with their compelling visuals of heroism, compassion and wonderment -- all qualities befitting a career in the Air Force.

One spot, ?Tornado, opens on a cloudy and windy farm that is about to encounter a vicious tornado. A young girl, Anna, watches the menacing funnel in awe as her father yells and runs towards her. The awe is evident in her eyes as her father carries her to safety. The Air Force has been waiting for someone like Anna, whose passion for the skies is realized in a career as a Mission Specialist.

Ring of Fire Creative Director Jerry Spivack met with Director Baker Smith in the initial stages of the process to discuss how to best execute the effects. The production, which took place on a farm in Sacramento, California, involved shooting in the early morning and at the end of the day to minimize the glare of the sun in the footage. Huge wind machines and a helicopter were utilized to move the wheat fields, trees and debris.

Prior to the project, Spivack and his team researched the behavior and movements of tornadoes, which were re-created entirely in CG. The Ring of Fire artists also replaced skies and added gray clouds to signify the impending storm. ?We generated and comped layers upon layers of debris and particles in circular motion to create the tornado, explains Spivack. ?We then shot lock-off plates of the tornado and added the shake in post.

For the second part of the spot, which transitions to the girl Anna as a young woman in a spaceship, Ring of Fire performed rig removal and composited the moon and the environment outside the spaceship window. The energetic spot was created in an English and Spanish version and is slated for a broadcast and theatrical release.

Another spot, ?Food, showcases how one boys passion translates into a fulfilling career in the US Air Force. This uplifting commercial follows a tough-looking boy through a high school cafeteria as he collects unwanted food items, like an apple, chips, and a sandwich. While his odd behavior makes others wonder, the boy takes the food outside to a homeless man sitting on the street. His enthusiasm to help the needy translates into a career as a loadmaster for the Air Force.

In the same vein as ?Tornado and ?Food, the spots ?Lost and ?Cops are captivating portrayals of the fulfilling career opportunities offered by the US Air Forces to talented and passionate individuals.

?The challenge with this project was to figure out how to best shoot the spots and to make sure we had enough reference elements, concludes Jerry Spivack. ?Baker [Smith] and his production crew were fantastic as was Paul Martinez who did the editorial. Everyone had a great experience and it was very collaborative.

Lost Planet Editor Paul Martinez credits the open creative process, as well as the month-long timeframe, for the successful result of the campaign.

?This was one of the most collaborative projects Ive worked on, concludes Paul Martinez. ?The agency let the people and artists do what they do best. They created a very open environment for dialogue and listened to our ideas. I spent a considerable amount of time discussing the details with [Director] Baker Smith and the Ring of Fire team before the shoot. This proved to helpful since we all needed to be on the same page with the story and feeling we were trying to convey in the spots. Everyone involved brought so much to the table in terms of input and talent. The client was very pleased with the final campaign.


Client: Air Force

Spot Titles/Airdates:
?Food :30/September 2004
?Cops :30/September 2004
?Tornado :30/October 2004 in theaters & February 2005
?Lost  :30/February 2005

Ad Agency: GSD&M/Austin, TX
Sr. VP/Creative Director/Copywriter: Daniel Russ
Creative Director/Art Director: Brian Born
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Delores Stark (?Tornado)
Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Bryan Edwards (?Food & ?Cops)
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Victor Comozzi (?Food & ?Cops)
Sr. Art Director: Demian Fore (?Lost)
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Ray Longoria (?Lost)
Producer: Brian Donnelly

Production Company: Harvest Films/Santa Monica, CA
Director: Baker Smith
DP: John Stanier
Executive Producers: Bonnie Goldfarb & Scott Howard
Producer: Brad Stevenson
Where Shot: Various locations around Sacramento, Los Angeles, Edwards Air Force Base and Mammoth, CA

Editorial Company: Lost Planet/Santa Monica, CA
Editor: Paul Martinez
Assistant Editor: Jennifer Dean
Executive Producer: Betsy Beale
Post Producer: Christie Price

Visual Effects Company: Ring of Fire/West Hollywood, CA
Executive Producer: John Myers
Creative Director/Set Supervisor: Jerry Spivack
Producers: Casey Conroy & Zenta Kronitis
Inferno Artists: Alicia Aguilera, Mark Robben, Clyde Beamer, Joaquin Pelchuer & Kirk Balden
Henry Artists: Brian Shneider & Tina Eastlake
boujou Trackers: Dann Tarmy & Fabio Zapata
Rotoscope: Gary Mortensen
CG Supervisor: Greg Anderson
CG Lead: Dann Tarmy
CG Artists: Todd Erickson, David Summers & Marcel Hemingway
Mac Graphics Artist: Jeff Smith

Postproduction Company: The Syndicate/Santa Monica, CA
Colorist: Beau Leon
Online Editors: Brian Shneider, Tina Eastlake, Alicia Aguilera & Kirk Balden @ Ring of Fire

Music Company: Hum/Santa Monica, CA
Composers: Tim Wynn (?Tornado & ?Food)
Jeff Koz (?Cops)
Jason Steele (?Lost)
Executive Producer: Debbi Landon

Sound Design Company: Hum/Santa Monica, CA
Sound Designer: Marc Levisohn

Audio Company: RavensWork/Venice, CA
Mixer: Robert Feist
Producer: Katherine Morgan

For more info on Ring of Fire, please visit
To contact Lost Planet, please visit


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Related Keywords:Ring Of Fire, Lost Planet, US Air Force, GSD&M, Paul Martinez, visual effects, Jerry Spivack, Baker Smith, CG, rig removal, composited, Jennifer Dean, John Myers,


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