Mirada Complete Wrigley's Spot
March 9, 2012

Mirada Complete Wrigley's Spot

LOS ANGELES — Mirada used computer graphics to create a futuristic Parkour playground as the backdrop for “Choose Your Energy,” the latest spot directed by Jon Favreau via Motion Theory for Wrigley’s 5 Gum through Chicago-based BBDO Energy. The spot features an amazing performance by world-class free runner Daniel Ilabaca, and an ever-changing Parkour environment that seemingly conforms to meet the performer’s next leap. 

Mirada was deeply involved throughout conceptual development of the spot. “BBDO and Wrigley really wanted to evolve the storytelling and energy level of 5 Gum’s visual journey. This technically challenging concept required intricate design, extensive R&D and heavy lifting on the rendering front,” said John Fragomeni, head of VFX and Animation and senior VFX supervisor at Mirada. “Having a diverse in-house team of designers and visual effects artists made Mirada suited to the creative and technical problem solving needed to marry a high-flying live-action performance with the complex CG environment.”

Mirada approached the project by building a detailed previsualization of the Parkour choreography, designing the ultimate course comprising a complex matrix of high-tech metal pillars. The pillars appear to be telepathically directed by Ilabaca as he swiftly plots his next move. The agency worked closely with Mirada to retain alignment of the 5 Gum brand message with the overall design, color choice, lighting, and visuals chosen for the course. The orange-hued pillars track Ilabaca’s exhilarating ascent of the challenging Parkour course. Arriving at the pinnacle of the journey, Ilabaca touches a wristwatch-like device and is able to transform the solid metal pillar structures into a sea of blue soft form, pillow-like supports for a relaxing ride down.   

The previs fed into the production design of props, some up to 30 feet high, built on a greenscreen stage at Universal Studios. Mirada’s Fragomeni and Zach Tucker supervised the live-action shoot, where Ilabaca performed incredible athletic feats leaping from set piece to set piece (essentially tall wooden greenscreen boxes) that would later be replaced by a full digital environment. After the edit was locked, the greenscreen plates were graded, and Ilabaca was tracked, matchmoved and rotoscoped to create a clean performance element. Extensive animation testing ensured that the impact of the performance would seamlessly appear to drive the transforming pillars and undulating floors that appear to rise up to meet his daring leaps. 

The dark industrial space housing the Parkour course was built and lit digitally in Autodesk’s Maya, procedurally animated in Side Effects’ Houdini, and rendered in Visual Dynamics’ V-Ray. Compositing was completed in The Foundry’s Nuke, and finishing and color integration were done using Autodesk’s Flame. The resulting look captured both the desired impact of what has become a signature campaign for the brand, along and with the seamless integration of real-world performance in an entirely imagined environment. 

Director: Jon Favreau
Production Company:  Motion Theory
Executive Producer:  Javier Jimenez
Executive Producer:  Annie Johnson
Producer: Julia Roberson
Head of Production:  Bryan Mitchell

Post Production Company: Mirada
Head of VFX and Animation: John Fragomeni
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
VFX Supervisor: Zach Tucker
Creative Director: Kaan Atilla
Sr. VFX Producer: Matt Thunell
Compositing Supervisor: Andrew Ashton
Art Director: Kevin Lau
Production Manager/HR Director: Tina Van Delden
Production Coordinators: Derek Johnson, Nikki Maniolas

Houdini FX Lead: Kevin Gillen
Lighting Lead: Isaac Irvin
Sr. Flame Compositor: Chris Noellert
Lead Compositor: Brett Reyenger

Concept Artists: Joseph Cross, John Dickenson, Vance Kovacs, Giancarlo Lari, Justin Yun
Designers: Mark Brinn, Jing Zheng, Cosimo Galluzzi, Teodros Hailye, James Levy, Jacklin Yoo

Designer/Animator: Frank Lin
Previz/Animation: Alex Cannon, Mike Warner
Modeler: Bryan Repka
Texture Artists: Chris Duncan, Ben Neall
Matte Painter: Tim Clark
Houdini FX Animators: Charles Storniolio, Jens Zalzala
Lighters: Brandon Lester, Ovi Bogdan, Carlos Fueyo, Kenny Jackson, Ryan Taylor
Nuke Compositors: Montana Casey, Bob Chapin, Josh McGuire, Mark Robben
Tracking: Graham Herbster, Dylan Jutt, Michael Maker, Jared Sanders, Sam Winkler
Roto: Elissa Bello, Megan Gaffney
Smoke/Conform: Jeff Aquino

Editorial: Lost Planet
Editor: Hank Corwin