February 6, 2008


Through much encouragement from Bud’s familiar Dalmation, and a Rocky-themed soundtrack, the horse hits the weights and gets in shape, finally making the team.

One scene, featuring shots of the horse galloping through a row of birch trees, was designed almost entirely in one of Filmworkers’ VFX bays by artist Rob Churchill. He replaced the real backgrounds surrounding the horse - shot in sunny Southern California - with a digital matte painting and falling snow. Churchill painted falling snow and animated some of it by hand. In total, the studio replaced the foregrounds and backgrounds in nine scenes.
The shot of the horse pulling the boxcar was a composite of separate elements. Filmworkers Club’s 3D department fabricated the harness that connects the horse to the train.

The whole project was a team effort that occupied Filmworkers Club for several weeks. Churchill was assisted by senior Inferno compositors Chris Ryan, Rick Thompson and Heidi Anderson, and assistants Matt Green and Jen Gajdos. Charlie Peterson did the 3D work and Ted Rae was the on-set VFX supervisor. Mary O’Gara acted as executive producer and Todd Freese served as producer.

Grant Gustafson at The Whitehouse edited the spot, which was produced by Joe Pytka of Pytka in West Hollywood. John Binder of Chicago’s Another Country mixed the commercial.

Filmworkers Club also provided post for Ability to Fly; Breathe Fire; Endorsement, in which Will Ferrell makes an attempt to act as a celebrity spokesperson; Wheel, where a caveman invents a very heavy device to get beer to a party; and Deli. The spots were finished by Filmworker’s Jeff Charatz.