Makers at Heart | Creative Director David Lawson on bringing games to life through CG & live action in EA’s ‘Rocket Arena’

Community April 13, 2021

We are Makers At Heart. We create the extraordinary.

As the creative engine room of the world’s biggest brands we are driven by one purpose: to solve our client’s toughest briefs beautifully. Our Makers believe in the power of cooperation and partnership to deliver ambitious ideas to that break new ground and deliver awe-inspiring creative work.

Everything we do as a team makes great ideas come to life. We are thinkers, designers, artists, directors, producers, developers, colourists, coders, technicians, editors, animators, writers, doers and makers.

In our Makers At Heart series, we introduce the people behind the projects to hear more about their inspirations, motivations and creative insights. We spoke to Creative Director David Lawson about creating a unique look for EA’s ‘Rocket Arena: Official Launch Trailer’.


Rocket Arena: Launch Trailer showcases a blend of live-action and animation, what led the team to explore this technique?

During the early stages of development, we knew that we wanted to blend two worlds together, which is how we landed on a unique approach of placing our CG character into a practical environmentWe started off on set, filming the spot in its entirety with an actress for referencebefore shooting the same scenes with a clean plate. Having a clear reference alongside the beautiful practical lighting from set was essential to seamlessly blend the keyframe animation with the live-action set. This method of crafting the commercial was an innovative alternative to motion capture with the best of both live-action and animated worlds.

What did you enjoy the most about working on this project?

It was an incredible team effort, especially within a seven-week turnaround! The process had our artists across the globe working in tandem which was an epic collaboration with Lead Animator, Paul Tempelman, running the team in London. The trust and constant communication between Electronic Arts and our Mill team was vital to the success of this project. This was an amazing project from start to finish with everything from the storyboard stage through to editorial and colour all done in-house!

Check out more Makers At Heart features here and get in touch with our VFX team regarding any upcoming projects here. You can also see more of David’s work via his Creative Talent Profile.