Brewster Parsons Takes On "Brave Frontier" For Gumi & Ignited


Last Updated: January 6, 2015 9:54 pm GMT
(Venice, California--January 6, 2015) Brewster Parsons, the award-winning visual effects, CG & design studio, launched a new 30-second commercial for gumi Inc.’s hit mobile role-playing game (RPG) “Brave Frontier.” Collaborating closely with both ad agency Ignited in Los Angeles and client gumi Inc. in Tokyo, Japan, the team at Brewster Parsons stretched creatively to design a unique “Western Anime” look for the new project.

To view the new spot from Brewster Parsons, go here:

Brewster Parsons’ Executive Producer Jason Cohon explains, “We love character design and animation. To date, a lot of our work has been firmly rooted in real-world based products, so this new spot gave us a chance to recalibrate our approach to the design and pay homage to some of the artists and genres we grew up with. When we kicked off the project, the whole team began referencing their favorite anime films from the past 20 years. The creativity and ideas were contagious, which was fun to see.”

“Our Creative Director/CG Supervisor TJ Burke’s background as an Animation Supervisor on a wide range of features really came into play. His guidance kept the whole process on track. Creative Director Andrew Eksner’s eye for camera moves and storytelling laid the groundwork as well.”

Burke details the creative process on the spot; “We were tasked with adapting the characters from Brave Frontier's existing design into a more elongated, sinewy, grittier version for western audiences. The in-game designs are beautiful. We knew we had to adapt this artwork to a western anime feel without losing the specifics that make each character really unique. We teamed up with some fantastic concept artists early on who painted many, many iterations and takes on the characters that evolved through multiple conversations with the agency and clients.”

Burke points out that the spot’s story was very straightforward; however, the challenge was telling the story in an economical way: “We needed to get all of our ideas across in the allotted twenty seconds especially with almost no dialogue.”

The Brewster Parsons team leveraged references of 1980s and ‘90's anime, as Burke recalls, “Our approach was to reverse engineer that look and rebuild it with our CG tools. It's trickier than you might think because all of these tools are pretty much geared towards making mathematically perfect, photo-realistic images. We had to intentionally break the software (and reality in a sense) to give everything more of a hand-assembled look.”

Burke says the project was an interesting exercise in “restraint and excess.” “For example,” Burke explains, “we ended up throwing out our physically correct fire simulations in favor of a fractal/texture based fire, a much simpler effect, just because the simulation looked too real. On the other hand, we used some very heavy-handed glows and god-ray effects that would have never flown in a photo-real production, but looked right at home in our animation style.”

As Creative Director, CG Supervisor and Lead Artist on this commercial, TJ Burke developed the look for the spot and oversaw the different departments assigned to the project. He concludes, “It was really a pleasure working with Ignited and gumi Inc. They had a distinct vision, understood the realities of the timeline, and worked with us to develop the best material and pipeline to create a unique piece.”

Client: gumi Inc.
Spot Title: “Brave Frontier One on One + 500” :30

Ad Agency: Ignited
Creative Director/Art Director: Stephanie Arculli
Sr. Copy Writer: Dan Elmslie
Account Director, Client Service: Christel Roldan
Producer: Brian Donnelly

VFX, CG, Design & Post Company: Brewster Parsons
Executive Producer/Founder: Darcy Parsons
Executive Producer: Jason Cohon
Creative Director: Andrew Eksner
Creative Director/CG Supervisor: TJ Burke
Producer: Persis Reynolds
Concept Artist: Anthony Jones
Concept Artist/ Matte Painting & Textures: Kino Scialabba
Storyboard Artist: Max Forward
Animation Supervisor: Mike Warner
Animator: Markham Carroll
Rigging Supervisor: Peter Christensen
Rigging: David Gibb, Landon Graham
Modelers: Kris Kelly, Diego Melgar, Josh Elmore
Lighting & Compositing: Ryan Kaplan

Music Production Company: HUM
Composer: Kristin Dyrud
Executive Producer: Debbi Landon

Sound Design Company: HUM
Designer: Dan Hart
Exec Producer: Debbi Landon

Audio Post Company: LIME
Mixer: Dave Wagg
Assistant Mixer: Adam Primack
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Brewster Parsons:
Brewster Parsons is an award-winning postproduction company that specializes in photo-real visual effects and design for advertising and entertainment. Their team of exceptionally talented artists is committed to delivering innovative work that is groundbreaking, beautiful, and relevant. The company culture of collaboration and respect for the creative process naturally allows artists to focus on fulfilling the highest potential of the clients’ vision with enthusiasm and efficiency. Brewster Parsons is located in a state-of-the-art facility on the fashionable Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California.


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