Visual effects/animation studio Clockwork VFX recently delivered CG-animated intros and transitions for a new four-spot campaign for Mattel’s Hot Wheels racetracks. The spots – “Monster Jam,” “Splash Lab,” “Spiral Stack” and “Super Speed Blastway” – were directed by James Wahlberg of production company The Calvary, Los Angeles.
“While this is our first project for Mattel, our experience working with numerous toy brands, coupled with our car work, made us a great fit for Hot Wheels,” said Jason Tomlins, Clockwork VFX’s creative director. “We understood the kind of energy they wanted to inject into the CG intro. The creative team at Mattel had clear ideas on the look and feel of the Hot Wheels world, but to their credit allowed us to contribute creatively and come up with our own vision for this.”
The spots called for a CG intro and four animated transitions. Although each spot features a different Hot Wheels playset, they all begin with a shot of a 3D animated Hot Wheels logo hovering over a richly-detailed Hot Wheels world – an elaborate cityscape filled with never-ending tracks – followed by an intense race in which pieces of track fall from the sky connecting only seconds before the cars arrive.
Tomlins explained that the track connection creativity is a huge part of why kids love Hot Wheels, and Mattel wanted to feature it in the spots.
“There were some challenges in creating the look,” Tomlins said. “There are few straight lines and we had to do some experimenting to create an organic track model that could be used for the over-the-top looping action. Secondly, we were challenged with the timeframe. We had to squeeze a lot of action into just a few seconds, in a way that it is meaningful to viewers and communicates the brand message.”