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DIGITAL DOMAIN CREATES VFX FOR GM'S 'ELEVATION'

September 25, 2006
DIGITAL DOMAIN CREATES VFX FOR GM'S 'ELEVATION'

Phil Joanou of MJZ, Los Angeles shot the :60 commercial's scenery. The spot takes a tour through three bumper-to-bumper traffic jams in Miami, New York and San Francisco. As drivers become increasingly impatient, one Cadillac Escalade owner presses his finger against the dashboard's touch-screen, playing the song "Get What You Need" by the pop band Jet.

His SUV and other GM owners find their vehicles lifting off the ground, leaving the traffic jam and their frustrations behind.

A Corvette rises above New York's Fifth Avenue. Chevy trucks, Saabs and Hummers hover over the Golden Gate Bridge. And more GM cars float above the waterways near Miami.

Digital Domain had only weeks to pull off the effects, gathering digital models of the cars while Joanou cast, scouted, assembled crews and shot scenes. The photoreal models were later animated into the scenes. Global illumination software was used to light the cars in order to match the live action. Autodesk Flame and D2's Nuke were used for compositing.

Cosmo Street edited the project and Skywalker Sound handled sound design. The final mix took place at Ravenswork.