NEW YORK CITY — Tom Routson of Framestore Pictures (www.framestore.com) recently directed a second spot that partners GEICO and the Avengers. In the crossover commercial, the familiar Gecko walks down a busy street and past a cinema, where he sees a poster for the new film, Avengers: Endgame. Awed by the ad, he gets pulled into a fantasy where he is consumed by his own superpower to save everybody money on their insurance. Sporting a Gecko-sized version of Thanos’s Gauntlet, he is able to snap his fingers and send insurance savings to people all across America.
Routson played with lighting and textures to give the world of the Infinity Gecko a blockbuster feel, using changes in color and temperature to dial up the drama and match the larger than life nature of the Marvel Universe. The change in tone amplifies the impact of the gecko’s all encompassing power, and magnifies the humor of both his and the happy customers' reactions, as well as the confused looks of passersby when he snaps back to reality.
Multiple locations and a range of talent were used to show how expansive GEICO’s impact is. Bringing the Gecko outside into the city did pose some challenges for the VFX team, which had to consider the unique restrictions of Gecko’s stature. Due to his tiny height, the team had to rebuild the shot where he transitions into the fantasy world, as there was no practical camera that could shoot as low to the ground as was necessary.
“It gives us an excuse to have some fun with the camera and performance, really push things up a notch for the comedy,” notes Andy Rowan-Robinson, creative director at Framestore. “We got to put him in some more moody lighting and bring out parts of his personality we don’t often get to see.
The Martin Agency conceived the spot and Larry Fong shot is for Framestore Pictures. Framstore credits include 3D lead Will Frazier, 2D lead Jose Arauz, technical director Xiaolai Zheng, animators Jon Burke & Nico Cappuccio, lighters Joseph Szokoli & Jimmy San, compositors Liz Yang & Jose Arauz, and senior producer Sue McNamara.