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The Mission Makes Nerds Brawny for Old Spice

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Old Spice’s “I Will Live Forever”
Venice, Calif.-based visual effects studio The Mission recently converted an undernourished, beardless geek into the paragon of manliness in a comical new 30-second spot “I Will Live Forever” for Old Spice out of agency Wieden+Kennedy, Worldwide. The spot demonstrates how deodorant, doubling as “motivational tape” not only encourages confidence, but also grows muscles, beards and generally elevates nerds to demigods.

The Mission teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy and Biscuit Filmworks director Tim Godsall to produce the spot, after working on the comedic spot, “I Can Do Anything.”

One of the heaviest visual effects challenges of the spot was the extensive face replacement on the progressively aging Olympic athlete. Since motion control camera work wasn’t a viable option, creative director Rob Trent tackled the match-move task with meticulous timing and blocking techniques. Once the performance was replicated as closely as possible, The Mission carefully tracked, and rotoscoped the face actor’s head onto the scrawny body of the actor filmed on set.

Trent and on-set VFX supervisor Michael Gibson worked closely with the production team to ensure they captured the footage necessary for the desired effects.

Additionally, The Mission handled graphic replacements for the medals featured, secondary color correction, rig removal and beauty work.

For the horse race featured in “I Can Do Anything,” The Mission integrated footage shot in multiple passes on two cameras, adding layers that enabled them to build the pack of racing horses. To create the image of the man running with the jockey on his back, the jockey was shot on greenscreen on the back of a stunt actor and then later merged with the layer of the hero actor running on the track. For the hero shot, the original of the actor running on a treadmill in front of a greenscreen was swapped for test footage of the actor actually running on a track to better match speeds.

“It is always fun when, in the moment, you get to be a bit more inventive about accomplishing a particular effect. It makes the project more exciting,” said Tent.

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