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Nexus Productions directing duo Smith The challenge with the script was to tell quite a strange and complicated story in a very short time without losing the atmosphere and fun. You don't see too many car commercials featuring people losing their heads in car crashes so we went for a 'weird spooky' feel that allowed us to have fun revealing the strange heads without venturing too far into horror film territory.
“We wanted the world to look fairly realistic but have that touch of weird fakeness that would allow animated characters to believably live there. At first we considered a 3D car route which would have made all our lives a lot easier, but we decided in the end to shoot the car in live action, which we did on a vast Spanish test track.
“This gave us a fantastic and beautifully shot car to play off but posed the problem of how to believably composite it into a fully animated world. We had to meticulously plan every shot in the animatic so we knew exactly what to capture on the shoot - action, cameras, distances and speed. Nothing could be changed once we got back home. When we brought the footage into the animated comp we couldn't believe how close it was to the animatic car. There was then the long process of creating a fully textured world for the car to travel through and then a reflection of that world to sit on the car, to replace the tarmac test track. Some tricks were used to believably marry car and road, for example using particle animation to throw up dust and rocks, and using the car's headlights to dramatically light up the roadside.
"Shooting the car in live action gave us a lovely natural handheld camera feel once the footage was translated into the 3D set.”