1. a52 gets Olympic Sized Life Lessons with W+K and Lance Acord

    Agency:  Wieden + Kennedy

    Director:  Lance Acord

    With the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics quickly approaching, we’re reminded that sometimes you have to fall in order to get back up and succeed. The latest installment of the P+G Moms campaign from Wieden + Kennedy and Lance Acord, follows four athletes in their pursuit of the Olympic Gold.  

    And of course a52 was there to help them along.

  2. 25 Years of “Just Do It”

    Play

    Agency:  Wieden + Kennedy

    Director: Nicolai Fugslig

    a52 commemorated 25 Years of “Just Do It” by collaborating with Wieden+Kennedy and MJZ’s Nicolai Fugslig on an epic :90 spot that celebrates the Nike spirit….and what it feels like to beat the pros. Working with a seamless cut by Angus Wall that follows six stories of young athletes reaching the pinnacle of their abilities, a52 created a myriad of VFX - ranging from the CG fireflies that accompany a runner on her morning jog to an explosive hollywood action sequence and of course adding the massive crowds cheering on Pique, Serena and Lebron. “Working on a project that everyone had such a passion for was so exciting,” commented VFX Supervisor and lead flame artist Andy McKenna. “Everything about this spot was about topping what people have seen before - and defying expectations.”

  3. a52 fills all seats for the Launch of FOX Sports 1

    FOX Sports 1 “Happy Days”

    Director:  Joseph Kahn

    In a true feat of accomplishments in VFX, a52 worked with FOX Sports and director Joseph Kahn on the launch spot for the new network FOX Sports 1. The :90 TVC took our On Set Supervision team to 5 cities in 10 days while our CG team back home built a custom pipeline that assisted them in filling ALL the hundreds of thousands of seats in the multitude of stadiums and arenas across the country. Working closely with RPS editor Adam Pertofsky, the team at a52 was able to complete a record number of shots in an almost unbelievably short turn around. To complete the process and keep it under one roof, a52 colorist Paul Yacono graded the piece that consisted of over 70 shots.

    Upon delivering the spot, Robert Gottlieb, FOX Sports SVP/Head of Marketing praised the work saying “the team at a52 was unreal. Just a fantastic job and more importantly, it was a real pleasure to work with them all.”

    Here’s a behind the scenes video courtesy of FOX Sports. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4cw-xGGSbsQ

  4. Lexus Goes High Concept for the Launch of the New IS

    Lexus “Color Shift”

    Lexus “Crowd”

    Lexus and Team One went to Jonas Akerlund to paint the perfect picture to launch the new IS.  What resulted is a perfectly art directed campaign featuring talent that could have stepped off of a couture runway matched with the highly fashionable Lexus IS.

    a52 was brought in to make sure that every frame of the two spot campaign was flawless.  The contrasting black and white imagery was fine tuned by our 2D compositing team led by Andy McKenna and Jesse Monsour.

  5. Hi, Hey, Hello for Samsung and Leo Burnett

    Samsung “Hi, Hey, Hello”

    Director:  Joseph Kahn

    Agency:  Leo Burnett

    Nothing like an upbeat, little known track to kickstart the summer months.  

    We were thrilled to work with Leo Burnett and Joseph on this film disguised as a music video for Samsung.  We never once got tired of hearing the song as it played throughout our studio…  Now that says alot!

  6. Patrick Daughters, W+K, and a52 Pay Tribute to the “Away Fans” for Sony

    Sony “Away Fans”

    Agency:  Wieden + Kennedy

    Director: Patrick Daughters

    In our first collaboration with director Patrick Daughters, we teamed up with long time clients W+K Portland to bring you the launch of the Sony 4K television.

    Bold colors help tell the story of the lonesome away fans caught amongst the swelling tide of the home fans. Patrick’s beautifully art directed sequences were augmented by a52’s crowd simulations and renderings in CG. Bringing the photography and CG together was the seamless 2D integration provided by our flame compositors.

  7. T-Mobile and Publicis connect with a52 via Murro, Bevilacqua and Morrison

    a52 recently teamed up with Publicis in a series of campaigns for T-Mobile. Making all sorts of major announcements including the release of the iPhone on their network and their No Contract policy, Publicis tapped up Noam Murro, Christian Bevilacqua, and Phil Morrison for the various campaigns. a52 was the consistent thread across all of the campaigns. The last of Morrison’s spots broke earlier this month.

    "Cowboys"

    Director:  Noam Murro

    "Pipes"

    Director:  Christian Bevilacqua

    "Frozen Man"

    Director:  Phil Morrison

  8. a52 Colorist Paul Yacono grades David Fincher’s original series for Netflix, “House of Cards”

    When faced with the task of grading and finishing 13 episodes of David Fincher’s original Netflix series “House of Cards”, a52’s Colorist and Lead Smoke Artist Paul Yacono worked with producers, engineers and artists to develop a pipeline that served both the technical challenges and the creative aspirations that the show presented us with.  Paul started with the first episode, working within the parameters that Fincher and his DP, Eigil Bryld, established which set the look for the series.  “David and his crew set out with rules in place to keep the production value on all 13 episodes extremely high”, Yacono noted.  “He is an idiosyncratic director with an incredible eye.  He knows what he likes and doesn’t like.  There’s rarely a grey area.”  Once the initial look was established,  Paul and a52’s second colorist, Tommy Hooper, tag-teamed the remaining 12 episodes over a 5 month period.  Not only did Paul and Tommy set the color for the show, but Paul and the rest of the HOC team at a52, including lead online editor Matt Sousa, conformed every episode and completed a large amount of VFX for the show.  

    Having never tackled a show of this size, we needed to make significant infrastructure changes to accommodate the amount of data we processed on a weekly basis for each one hour episode.  a52’s Chief Engineer, Kevin Bass, led the pipeline development for the crew creating a hugely flexible, yet structured workflow that allowed for rolling editorial changes on all episodes.  “Unlike traditional series deliveries, Netflix releases an entire season in one go.  So as the show took shape, the editorial department needed flexibility to change episodes at will.  We had to create a pipeline that allowed for that flexibility but also didn’t slow down the finishing for the rest of the series,” explained Bass.  Netflix, being an all digital delivery network, allowed us to push the technical boundaries of our tapeless pipeline as well.  Thorough encoding development had to be tested and retested to meet the needs of both viewing for WIP comments as well as delivery formats for streaming.

    "a52 has always been known as a boutique VFX company," notes Executive Producer Megan Meloth.  "This starts a new chapter in our history.  We’re committed to doing more DI whether it be for commercials or long form.  Paul is an incredibly talented colorist and with a sophisticated engineering department behind him, we’re ready to take on our next challenge."

  9. Acclaimed filmmaker Derek Cianfrance teams up with a52 to create a seamless single take for Dick’s Sporting Goods and Anomaly

    In visual effects, the single take camera move is both a thing of beauty as well as much pain and suffering for artists.  When at the end of the day you can look at a spot and say, “How did they do that?” we know we’ve done our job really well.

    The creative team at Anomaly thought up this VFX mind bender and with the inclusion of Derek Cianfrance, it got taken to a whole other level.  More times than not, the single camera move is a roller coaster that we’re taken on.  This spot however keeps that move subtle and simple which allows for more scrutiny from the viewer.  Derek, being a purist, was intent on capturing the camera move in one take so that we wouldn’t have to hide any cuts with VFX trickery.  Brilliant cinematography and choreography gave us the canvas to which we applied our VFX artistry.

    VFX Supervisor, Andy McKenna took on the challenge of designing an approach for filling the stadium and removing the very large motion control rig that ran from the pitcher’s mound to the catcher allowing that move to happen.  After a few long nights on location, the team assembled at a52 to bring Derek’s simple and elegant vision to life.  “The phrase patience is a virtue comes into play on jobs like these,” McKenna notes.  “There’s a lot of trust that has to be gathered from the Agency and Director because it usually doesn’t come together until the very end.  Thankfully both the Agency and Derek found that trust in us.”

  10. Latest Timberlake video finds its home at a52 for VFX

    Its not everyday that we take on a music video. So when we do, we are fortunate enough to work with amazing artists both in front of and behind the camera.

    How could we go wrong with David Fincher at the helm and an amazing track by Justin Timberlake and JayZ.