View Full Version : Director Tarsem Teams Up with Zoic Studios for Mountain Dew's "Level Up or Die" Spot

06 June 2009, 05:37 PM
Los Angeles – (June 29, 2009) -- The Mountain Dew / World of Warcraft cross-promotional spot brought together some all-star players to handle these iconic brands. The production would be executed by Radical Media lead by esteemed director Tarsem Singh. With the vision of the spot being solidified, the team now had to worry about execution. Based on Blizzard's recommendation, BBDO reached out to Zoic Studios to handle the visual effects and animation. Having recently completed projects for Saboteur and Killzone 2, Zoic Studios was hip to the challenge of plunging World of Warcraft game characters into a live action setting.

What begins as a mild-mannered moment in a grocery store checkout becomes a havoc-filled battleground. Tension builds as two women approach the checkout counter with different flavors of Mountain Dew's new drink 'Game Fuel'. As they notice that they are buying different flavors, one character prepares for an attack. The first swing of the sword triggers the transition from humans to Orc and Night Elf. As the spot progresses, the characters wildly battle through the grocery store, knocking over shelves and displays.

Zoic began by modifying the Blizzard designed assets to account for visual needs and technical requirements of the project. Then, using stunt performers at motion capture studio House of Moves, Zoic shot the action sequence needed for the 'Level Up or Die' faceoff. Zoic’s 3D team created animation for the character’s facial expressions and applied dynamic simulation for the costumes and hair, transforming the stylized beings into “living” creatures. These multilayered characters were then given to Zoic’s 2D team for final compositing and interactive effects integration.

All of this work was done with the collaboration from legendary director Tarsem, who helmed the project with “incredible knowledge about all aspects of the process and a clear and compelling vision for the spot,” comments Zoic Creative Director/VFX Supervisor Les Ekker. “The fact that the process flowed so smoothly is a tribute to his vision and expertise. It was cool to be able to work with him on such an entertaining project.”

“Level Up or Die” can be viewed here:

Client: Pepsi Cola Company
Air Date: June 2009
Title: "Level Up or Die"
Length: :30

Production Company: / Santa Monica / CA
Director: Tarsem Singh
EP: Frank Scherma
EP: Tommy Turtle

Production Supervisor: Susan Loncto Sullivan
Head of Production: Cathy Dunn
Assistant Director: Rick Lange

Advertising Agency: BBDO NY / New York / NY
EVP, Executive Creative Director: Mike Smith
Copywriter, Associate Creative Director: Adam Reeves
AD: Marcel Yunes
VP/EP: Amy Werthheimer
SVP, Account Director: Tara DeVeaux
Associate: Yoonie Park

Visual Effects Production: Zoic Studios
EP: Steve Schofield
CD: Chris Jones
CD/VFX Sup: Leslie Ekker
Producer: Maya Sanchez
Coordinator: Adam Reeb
CG Supervisor: Andy Wilkoff
Animator: Chris Strauss
Animator: Laura Barbera
Rigging: John Riggs
Rigging: Scott Rosekrans
Hair Dynamics: Sal Massimini
Hair Dynamics: Kevin Quattro
Model Clean Up: Kris Kelly
Tracking: Steve McLafferty
Flame: Steve Meyer
Compositor: Chris Irving
Compositor: Jason Zimmerman
Compositor: Zach Zaubi
Rotoscoping: Tyler Nathan
Engineering Support: Dmitri Gueer
Engineering Support: An Dang
Engineering Support: Aaron Llorens
Engineering Support: Saker Klippsten

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors / Santa Monica / CA
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Producer: Mike Goble
Assistant Editor: Anton Capaldo-Smith

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