Mothership Director David Rosenbaum Creates Winter Fantasies for Infiniti

December 20, 2010 11:27 pm

Tags: CG, Digital Domain, Mothership, VFX

Mothership Director David Rosenbaum Creates Winter Fantasies for Infiniti

Mothership director David Rosenbaum has teamed up with ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles on a cinematic two-spot effort for Infiniti. To promote Infiniti's Winter Sales Event, the festive commercials highlight the Infiniti G Sedan's ability to handle the most challenging driving conditions — and an average Joe's winter revenge fantasy. The 30-second spots "Inspired" and "Competitive" also tap the visual effects expertise of Mothership sister company Digital Domain.

The agency turned to Rosenbaum to add a charming human quality to the spots, while leveraging his experience directing automobile ads and working with visual effects.


In "Competitive," when an average Joe leaves for work, his neighbor's bratty kids pelt him with snowballs. "See you at work!" says his annoying neighbor. The man uses his impressive snowball-making skills to exert sweet revenge. As the glacier-sized mass rolls through the sleepy mountain town, the man zips down precipitous roads in his Infiniti G-Sedan. When he pulls up to parallel park, the snow boulder rolls over his neighbor's BMW, taking it away and leaving a convenient empty parking space.


In "Inspired," the man rolls a seemingly innocuous snowball down a mountain. As he hops into his Infiniti, the ball picks up speed and girth. The man drives down an icy winding road, deftly dodging the ball -- which, at this point, has grown to twice the size of the vehicle. As the man arrives at his destination, the boulder-sized ball hits a grouping of trees and explodes, creating a beautifully magical impromptu snowstorm. Both spots leveraged the economies of repurposing some live-action and VFX shots to tell two entirely different stories.

Rosenbaum and his production team spent three days on location at the Whistler Blackcomb resort in Vancouver shooting the live-action and overseeing the visual and special effects. Back at Digital Domain in LA, Rosenbaum and VFX Supervisor James Atkinson worked with a team of around 17 artists to create the massive CG snowball and its tracks in the snow, digital snow banks and environments, snow flurries, and the snow 'explosion' in the "Inspired" spot.


"When you're working with VFX, it becomes all the more important to be a good communicator so the agency team can visualize the set-up you're trying to achieve," said Rosenbaum. "The agency has to take a leap of faith with you -- and I was very fortunate that TBWA/Chiat/Day entrusted me and allowed me and my team at Digital Domain to creatively interpret their story."

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About Mothership

Mothership creates transmedia advertising, branded content, and entertainment. The creative studio represents top global creative talent—directors, designers, fine artists, animators, individuals and boutiques, who blend live action and computer graphics to create new visual realities. Founded as a sister company to Digital Domain, Mothership has access to the resources and expertise of a large, established studio. Mothership talent taps into these resources to develop the content, strategies and campaigns that take ideas from concept through completion, to roll out brand experiences across multiple media platforms.

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Credits for INFINITI Winter

Titles: :30 “Inspired” / :30 “Competitive”
Airdates: 11/15/10 “Inspired”
11/18/10 “Competitive”

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day / Los Angeles, CA
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Schwartz
Global Creative Director: Kerry Feuerman
Creative Directors: Patrick Condo, Bob Rayburn
Copywriter: Chris DeNinno
Art Director: Chase Madird
Senior Producer: David Hoogenakker
Executive Producer: Richard O'Neill
Managing Director: Walt Smith
Account Director: : Dan Pardo

Production Company: Mothership / Venice, CA
President: Ed Ulbrich
Executive Producer: Tanya Cohen
Director: David Rosenbaum
Producer: Julien Lemaitre
Director of Photography: Mattias Montero

Visual Effects: Digital Domain / Venice, CA
President of Commercial Division: Ed Ulbrich
Executive Producer: Jim Riche
VFX Supervisor: James Atkinson
CG Supervisor: Lee Carlton
VFX Producer: Nicola Wiseman
VFX Coordinator: Stephanie Escobar
Matte painter: Dark Hoffman
Houdini fx artist: Youngsam Suh
Maya fx artists: Wayne Hollingsworth, Ken Jones
Lighting: Kenny Jackson
Roto artist: Hilery Copeland
Flame Compositors: Jeff Heusser, Lisa Tomei
Nuke Compositors: Robin Graham, Beejin Tan
Tracking: Michael Lori
On-set integration: Jesse James Chisolm

Editorial: Cut + Run / Los Angeles, CA
Editor: Dan Swietlik
Producer: Kendra Scott

Music: Elias Arts / Santa Monica, CA
Sound Design: Play Studios / Santa Monica, CA

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