Direction / Copywriting / Real-Time / Animation / VFX / AR / VR
How could The Mill, Epic Games and Chevrolet join forces to celebrate innovation, push Epic’s Unreal Game Engine to new levels and re-define the future of what is possible within filmmaking, whilst advertising the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro?
Together these three companies combined creative and technical heads to develop The Human Race; an interactive film that blurs the lines between production and post.
The Human Race garnered over 85 press features worldwide including articles in Adweek, Mashable, Variety and The Huffington Post, as well as a broadcast feature on The Discovery Channel. The film went viral, over 2 million hits online and tens of thousands of social media impressions.
“Find New Roads is more than just a tagline at Chevrolet. We embrace that mission in the advanced engineering of our cars, and also in the way we service and communicate with our customers. The Human Race’ brings a lot of those ideals together. The technology involved in producing this film provides a glimpse into the future of customer engagement and could play a unique role in how we showcase car model options with interactive technologies like AR and VR.”
Combining an advanced implementation of Epic’s Unreal Engine, Mill Cyclops™, and The Mill BLACKBIRD®, The Human Race merges real-time visual effects and live-action storytelling. These technologies pushed the limits of existing real-time rendering capabilities to produce a futuristic film that features the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a heated race with an autonomous Chevrolet FNR concept car.
Traditionally, CG cars are integrated into live-action footage through a post-production process, requiring days of rendering and compositing time to produce seamless imagery. For this film, live video feeds and data were fed into the Unreal Engine, on set. The Camaro was integrated directly into the live-action shoot in real-time, allowing the directors to instantly see the look and composition of each shot. The same real-time technology was used to create, alter and produce the short film.
The use of realtime technology gives the viewers the ability to customize the Camaro in the film as they watch it, which was used to develop a custom car configurator for select Chevrolet dealerships. This hybridization of film and gaming ushers in a new era of possibilities in creative storytelling – films you can play.
The final film was unveiled during a live demonstration at the 2017 Game Developer’s Conference, before being distributed online to a worldwide audience.