United “Athletes Aboard”

Feb 25th, 2014 // In: Featured, Portfolio, VFX Supervisor // By: Comments Off on United “Athletes Aboard”

I served as Visual Effects Supervisor with director Michael Haussman and mcgarrybowen on this clever :60 promoting United Airlines as the official carrier of Team USA’s Winter Olympic hopefuls.

Our Digital Domain crew removed rollerblades from speed skater Shani Davis’ feet and replaced them with CG blades (the real blades didn’t work so well on carpet), comped a spinning curling stone into the airplane cabin, and created the CG ending flyaway shot. The best visual effect in the spot was completely practical. The art department found a sheet of plastic that, when wet, could be skated on by Gracie Gold inside the actual airplane cabin (picture a moist cutting board). The skating and twirl was 100% real… no rollerblades, stunt double, or wires required.

Shooting on a Movi rig allowed unprecedented freedom of camera movement in the tight confines of the cabin, which was only minimally altered (a few ceiling panels and seats were removed) to allow for camera and lighting access. Very cool!

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