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Smoke & Mirrors, Bangkok

CATEGORY :Commercials - VFX

On behalf of Red Bull, Advertising Agency VMLY&R, production company The Sweet Shop and director Noah Conopask, Smoke & Mirrors Bangkok was tasked with creating photorealistic, epic mountainscapes in VFX for their latest campaign for Vietnam.

 The two minute film follows the story of influencer Hoang Le Giang, an office worker and an adventurous dreamer, as he faces physical and mental challenges. Born with asthma and more recently the discovery of a congenital heart disease, Hoang defies the odds by pushing his body’s limits to traverse the world’s toughest terrains. His next big dream – to conquer one of the world’s highest summits. Hoang shows us it takes more than just the dream to make it happen. Red Bull gives him the edge to charge ahead.

 This job required detailed planning and an early involvement of our post team. All the shots were sketched out first to plan camera angles, movement, and composition. Many visual references were then searched for and shared by the director to give us a “bible” of the look and feel he was after. Our team then got to work designing the 3D environments. We also travelled to supervise the shoot in Ho Chi Minh City to ensure that the green screen and tracking marks were set up for optimum results and, crucially, to capture the camera information for each set-up: lens type, ISO settings, focal length, shutter angle, sensor size, environmental references and many other measurements. This was to ensure that our CG environments would match the live action elements perfectly and we ended up with something that looked totally believable.

 Our mountain environments were then created by a combination of 3D modelling, digital matte painting and 3D projections, compositing, and realistic CGI simulations for the fine snow blowing off the mountain ridges and billowing through frame.

 Other CGI work included creating the hole and destruction when our protagonist punched the wall, and building a realistic snow globe that appears throughout the film. The end result was a film we are very proud of, our clients were delighted with, and we’re already dreaming of how we top this for the next campaign


Mohammad Ali Shakeri - VFX Supervisor and Lead Artist
Mojtaba Naderloo - Matte Painting
Masoud Taghi Momeni - Compositing
Nawan - Compositing
Peter Kim - Flame Artist
Nopparat Angsopa: FX / Compositing
Kanwara Hongskul: FX
Sak Jittariyapong: 3D Environment Modeling
Supakit Thonglairuam: Compositing
Nicolas Borel: FX / Compositing Napatsaporn Sindhurattavej - VFX Producer
Matthew Szabo - Post Production Supervisor
Pete Williams - Colourist
Chief Creative Officer: Beer Poonnotok.
Creative Group Head: Nick Nakpil
Copywriter: An Tran
Senior Art Director: Neena Felizzi Hernandez (Nichi)
Agency Producer: Charm Wall
General Manager: Rachel Laffey
Senior Account Director: Andre Chen
Account Manager: Ngoc Le Nhu
Line Production: CreaTV HCMC
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: Noah Conopask
Sweetshop Executive Producer: Laura Geagea
Sweetshop Producer: Catherine Law
CreaTV Producer: Daniel Gordon Jones
CreaTV Head of Production: Irene Trinh
DOP: Marty Williams
Music and Sound Design – Song Zu Singapore
Online Producer:  Air Rungruangtham

Maya, 3dsMax, Houdini, Fusion, Photoshop, Flame