In TBWA/Chiat/Day’s new Nissan Leaf commercial, gas-powered cars seem poised to go the route of gangly wire-strewn computers and football-sized mobile phones. ‘Gas Powered Everything’ illuminates the antiquated and sooty nature of gas-powered cars vs. the contemporary and green nature of electric. Directed by Dante Ariola and with VFX from The Mill L.A., the spot is a day in the life of our protagonist not quite enjoying life’s modern conveniences … except when it comes to his Nissan Leaf electric car.
"Everything we use in our lives is battery powered, so why not
have that apply to our cars?" says Trent Shumway, our Lead Flame
Artist/VFX Supervisor on 'Gas Powered Everything'. "That was the
idea the agency wanted to convey. We added a layer of grime to the
gadgets and were going for a feeling of drudgery like something
George Orwell might write."
The Mill team worked with Ariola and kept as much as possible in
camera; for instance the smoke was shot on black then used
primarily in the office scene. For the wide shot in the office,
more props of the computer were created in CG. There were beauty
enhancements and augmentation of other things throughout the spot.
And to convey the notion that the spot's backdrop could be any city
in the U.S., Shumway and his team removed palm trees from the gas
station exterior shot.
"It was a great collaboration with the agency team and a
pleasure to work with Dante," Shumway says. "It was particularly
fun to watch him shoot the scene in the dentist office where the
oversized drill was used on our character in the dentist's chair.
There was a fair amount of squirming that went on for that one," he
laughs, "but in the end it all turned out just fine."