A Common Thread director Clay Staub turned a couple of amusement park visitors into Vin Diesel‘s co-stars in a new spot introducing Universal Studios Hollywood‘s new Fast and Furious – Supercharged ride.
Conceived by David&Goliath, Supercharged is a clever mash-up of scenes from the Fast and Furious films and simulated ride footage. The result makes it appear as though a pair of park patrons are riding along as Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson and other stars of the films square off in a street race. Engines roar, cars spin out, fire balls explode as the two park patrons hold on for dear life.
Staub pulled off the seamless mix by choreographing the ride simulation sequences to match the high octane bumps, twists and turns depicted in the film scenes. “We wanted to show that the ride delivers an experience that is more than watching a scene unfold around you. You are integrated into that scene and part of the action,” he said.
A ride vehicle was mounted to a gimbal programmed to mirror the action of each film clip. Elaborate lighting, wind machines and pyrotechnics were similarly used to replicate the movie environments. “It was a very integrated set,” Staub explained. “Everything was programmed. The lights moved on a track and went on and off to enhance the sense of moving through the movie. The lights were colored to match the color temperature of the corresponding scenes. It came off without a hitch.”
Staub noted that the spot hinges on a misdirect. When the two park patrons are first revealed, it appears they are racing each other. Only later does it become clear that they are seated in the same tram car. “The Fast and Furious films are all about the attitude of the characters and that attitude carries over to the ride,” he explained. “The ride makes you feel like you are one of them and this is your chance to beat the people you admire from the movies.”