Studio provides elaborate VFX, including full CG derailment, previs, matte paintings and digital background replacements, for 90-second Western-themed “Train” commercial.
Method Studios was called on to deliver visual effects for the live-action portion of a new 90-second AT&T spot, “Train,” that tells the tale of a Wild West train heist. The commercial has two distinct parts: 50 seconds of gritty, dynamite-fueled live-action, with lots of bearded desperados, followed by 40 seconds of whimsical stop-motion. Director Dougal Wilson of Furlined tapped Method to produce visual effects for the live-action component, which included building a fully CG photoreal train derailment.
Method’s 20-person team was led by senior VFX supervisor Benjamin Walsh, who worked closely with Wilson to help conceptualize the spot’s Western environment and using previs, map out the flow of the train crash. Method artists tackled severe weather challenges in post, as each of the three shoot days in Nevada was plagued by problematic weather, ranging from sun to clouds to snow. To establish continuity and remove the snow, Method replaced the entire background throughout with matte paintings based on early concepts. Additionally, they created the fully CG train crash sequence.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with a director like Dougal, who collaborates from the early stages and trusts the expertise of his key crew,” Walsh shared. “Despite the weather’s best efforts to thwart us, the entire team at Method brought their A-game to achieve photoreal environments and destruction, which allowed the client to avoid reshoots and delays. This was a very exciting concept – who doesn’t love Westerns? – and we were thrilled to bring it to the screen.”
Creative Agency: BBDO
Chief Creative Officer BBDO Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer BBDO New York: Greg Hahn
Group Executive Creative Director: Matt Macdonald
Executive Creative Directors: David Povill, David Cuccinello
Creative Directors: Kevin Mulroy, Dan Kenneally
Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
Executive Producer: Jessica Coccaro
Business Manager: Meg Foley
Managing Director: Rachel Nairn
Senior Director: David McKenzie
Account Director: Allie Knill
Director of Project Management: Colin Vidika
Communications Planning Director: Mac Russell
Media Agency: Hearts & Science