Filmworkers’ new creative unit Churchill Studio recently created a new spot for amusement park company Cedar Fair and Chicago agency Cramer-Krasselt. “Everything You Fear” is an all-CG spot introducing Banshee, a new roller coaster debuting at Cedar Fair’s Kings Island park this summer.
In the spot, the giant ride appears to build itself and then takes park patrons on an adrenalin-pumping trip of vertical loops, dives and zero-g rolls. The ride’s ghostly namesake appears out of nowhere and pursues the riders, while emitting a bone-chilling scream. The narration notes that Banshee has “Everything you fear: your fear of heights, of falling, of flying…of demons.”
Led by visual effects director Rob Churchill and art director Daniel Pernikoff, the team from Churchill modeled the animation after prototype drawings and animatics of the new ride, recreating its architecture in precise, photo-real detail. The sense of menace is accentuated by setting the scene at dusk. “The sunset hour allowed us to play with a lot of cool highlights and shadows,” said Pernikoff. “It’s realistic, but surrealistic at the same time. Our 3D guys did an amazing job in adding the details that sell the effect.”
The surreal tone is further enhanced by the appearance of the Banshee. The ghoulish figure forms out of a vapor trail and swoops over the screaming riders before resolving into the ride’s logo. “We broke the logo into its components parts—its arms and hands and tattered clothing, and animated each part individually,” said Churchill.
Filmworkers provided editorial finishing for an additional 50 spots for Cedar Fair. The entire package will serve as the summer campaign for all of the parks in the group.