(Santa Monica, California--September 30, 2014) Ad agency Team Detroit recently called on production company King and Country (K&C) to produce an ambitious commercial for the 2015 Ford Transit. With a polished mixture of 3D animation, design and live-action, the 30-second piece, entitled “9 to 5’ers,” packs as much punch as the new iconic Ford utility van itself.
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K&C came up with a pod concept to clearly illustrate how a diverse range of professionals can effortlessly utilize the Transit models – from contractor to express deliveryman to IT specialist. Taking the viewer through a series of stylized environments, the action reveals a variety of visually driven, self-contained scenes of people interacting with their customized Transits in fun yet functional ways.
“Combining live-action and CG allowed for the best coverage of the Transit, inside and out,” explains Efrain Montanez, K&C Partner/Director. “The key to transitioning from scene to scene was keeping the tempo of the pod movements dynamic, which we achieved with a range of zooms and perspective shifts, and evenly proportioned so you seamlessly experience the singular flexibility of the model.”
“Working with King and Country on the Ford Transit ‘9 to 5’ers’ spot was a pleasure,” say Paul Kirner and Dan Weber, Creative Directors at Team Detroit. “But we fully expected that to be the case, having worked with Efrain, Jerry, [Senior Producer] Josef [LeBeau] and their band of visual wizards on a previous job. For us, the key was collaboration. Our commercial was intricate, fast-paced and CG-intense. We needed a partner with the design chops to create something beautiful and real, and the communication skills to make sure every detail was nailed. King and Country worked in perfect sync with us, from early concept boards all the way through final post. Agency tinkering, client requests, crazy tight schedules? King and Country never flinched once. Great team. Great results. Let’s do it again.”
K&C took pains to detail every advantage of the Transit, from photo-real 3D renderings of custom interiors to the witty copy and graphics that echo the tough yet playful tone of the Ford F-150 advertisements they previously created in collaboration with Team Detroit.
“It was important to convey the durable quality associated with the overarching brand of Ford's utility fleet,” says Jerry Torgerson, K&C Partner/Executive Producer. “This idea visually permeated throughout, from artfully distressing the newness of the vans we shot, to the rugged motion graphics and type that accompany the voiceover.”
“By varying the van colors and transforming the interiors in CG, as well as the graphic aesthetics, we were able to express the immense versatility of the Transit for the various occupations featured in the spot,” says Montanez.
The 2D graphics unfold on an orange, black and white palette. Franklin Gothic, a San Serif font, was used for its bold legibility in staying with the brand. Together, these two elements were layered with the flexibility to stand alone or seamlessly integrate with the 3D world. The team also designed fictional business logos for the different vans.
K&C shot the spot over the course of two days at a soundstage in LA, utilizing both green screen and practical sets, including one where a cross-section of a man cave was flooded with 3,000 gallons of water. Interior and exterior van details, props, and talent were captured in-camera with the flexibility to augment them in CG. Lighting was also crucial to affirming the realistic look of the vehicles within the varied environments. Rather than studio lighting, K&C used warm natural light, which vibrantly pops from the graphic background.
“This is one of the most ambitious projects we've executed all year,” concludes Torgerson. “From the concept to the multimedia execution, it was a welcome opportunity to reunite with Team Detroit to create a beautiful and equally informative spot for the Transit completely in-house.”
Spot Title: Ford Transit “9 to 5’ers”
Airdate: September 2014
Client: Ford Commercial Truck
Ad Agency: Team Detroit, Inc.
Chief Creative Officer: Toby Barlow
Executive Creative Director: Matt Soldan
Creative Directors: Paul Kirner & Dan Weber
Producer: Bob Rashid
Account Director: Kate French
Management Supervisor: Maria McAvoy
Production & Post Company: King and Country
Director: Efrain Montanez
Executive Producer: Jerry Torgerson
DP: Karsten “Crash” Gopinath
Line Producer: Cisco Newman
Production Designer: Gabe Wilson
Senior Producer: Josef LeBeau
Art Director: Chris Kelley
Visual Effects Supervisor: Andrew Cook
Editor: Mike Hackett
Designers: Brad Mitchell & Tosh Kodama
Designers/Animators: Henry Castleton & Luis Martinez
3D Artists: Yu Okuizumi, Kyung Park, Michael Johnson, Tim Salikov & Youn Kwack
Post Coordinator: Rebecca Park
Color Correct: Bob Festa / Company 3
Music & Sound Design: Sonixphere/Greg Allan, composer
Record/Mix: Sound Lounge, New York
Recording Engineer/Mixer: Rob Sayers
About King and Country:
Driven by design, production company King and Country has earned international recognition for breakthrough projects spanning commercials, original promos and launch campaigns for major networks, and much more. The innovative production foundry, established in 2006 by directors Rick Gledhill and Efrain Montanez and executive producer Jerry Torgerson, unites A-list talents representing every facet of production and post, and delivers impactful films that blend original live-action content, 2D and 3D animation and seamless visual effects into new art forms.