November 17, 2005

RIOT Does the Heavy Lifting for Boost Mobile

Studio’s VFX Team Shows Why They are Head and Shoulders Above the Rest!

NEW YORK—RIOT used its visual effects wizardry to concoct an alternate view of rock ‘n’ roll history for a new spot for Boost Mobile. Visual effects supervisor Toby Brockhurst collaborated with creatives from Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York and HSI director Randy Krallman on the hilarious ad, which shows what might have become of former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker had he not been a Boost subscriber.

The spot is the latest in Boost’s “Pivotal Moments” campaign, which suggests how certain celebrities might have had very different careers had they not received a life-altering phone call. In Barker’s case, had he not received a call as a boy inviting him to a punk rock concert, he might never have taken up drumming and instead become a body builder. The spot reveals a muscle-bound Barker competing in a Mr. Universe-style contest, with disappointing implications for music fans and painful results for him.

The key to the spot was making Barker look like a body builder, an illusion that was accomplished by grafting his head onto the torso of a real muscle man. It is a funny effect and all the more so because it is done so skillfully that it looks perfectly natural. Indeed, viewers may not catch onto the fact that their leg is being pulled until well along in the spot. “I began talking with Randy about the spot, a month before the shoot,” recalled RIOT’s Brockhurst. “It’s always best when we get in on the discussions up front. When we can be involved in the whole job and help to guide it, we can better guarantee the results.”

Barker and the body builder were shot in alternate takes using a motion control rig. At Brockhurst’s suggestion, the spot was shot on HD to avoid any grain mismatches that might have occurred had it been shot on film. Placing Barker’s thin head atop the mountain of flesh was no simple compositing task. “Some of these body builders have been at it for 20 years or more and it has completely transformed their physiology, including their faces,” Brockhurst said. “If Travis had been a body builder, his face would have been different too. As a result, we needed to warp his features to fit properly on the body builder.”

The spot contains several other clever effects. A scene where Barker is standing center stage at a competition dubbed “Red, White and Huge” was constructed by Brockhurst almost entirely from still photographs. He also filtered the competition sequence to make it appear like old film footage. “It’s a bit like building a brick wall, you start with the foundations and build it up from that point.”

RIOT is located at 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017. For more information, call (212) 907-1200.

For additional information, contact: Linda Rosner Artisans Public Relations (310) 837-6008


Client: Boost Mobile
Title: Pivotal Moments: Travis Barker

Agency: Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York.
Ewen Cameron, executive creative director;
Jason Peterson, creative director;
Mark Maziarz and Randy Krallman, copywriters;
Cleon, art director;
Leigh Fuchs, producer;
Dane Johnson, executive producer.

Production: HSI, bicoastal.
Randy Krallman, director;
Bryan Newman, director of photography.

VFX: RIOT, New York.
Toby Brockhurst, visual effects supervisor/artist.

Graphics: RIOT, New York.

Music: Pulse Music, New York.

Telecine: The Mill, New York. Tom Pool, colorist.

Audio Post: Sound Lounge, New York. Rob Sayers and Glen Landrum, mixers.

Boost Mobile "Travis Barker" :30