Racing into NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary film

Work February 21, 2023

How do you celebrate a milestone anniversary? With an epic film, of course.

In collaboration with agency 77 Ventures Creative and director Mark Jenkinson of Imperial Woodpecker, our artists, led by Creative Director Chris Bernier, crafted NASCAR’s 75th anniversary film by recreating some of the sport’s most memorable moments.

Shot over several days in Barstow, California, the spot combines original footage, historical highlights and reenactments, and VFX. Our artists brought these historical events to life using 3D models, Houdini with custom simulations, and more. Topping off the film is a grade by Mill Colourist Philip Hambi.

Creative Director Chris Bernier goes further in-depth into the exhilarating spot below.

“There was a wide range of post production work needed to bring this history to life from new dynamic angles. We were responsible for recreating tracks and environments like the ocean along Daytona beach from early races, Bristol motor speedway, and Daytona international speedway. As a base to build on top, recreations of the iconic cars were filmed at the Auto Club speedway in Fontana and a dry lakebed outside of Los Angeles. We created the track and period accurate details of the walls, stands, crowds and signage in 3D and composited into the plates shot in these locations to give an accurate context each historic moment.

Another important element to the spot was the 75 car. In the script, the 75 car that represented the 75 year history of NASCAR and served as a transitional element that transported us into each iconic moment. The 75 car was to peel its exterior away revealing the famous car from the moment underneath. A custom detailed 3D 75 car was modeled in 3 versions, Chevy, Ford, and Toyota. This 3D model was tracked onto filmed footage of a car and a peeling reveal was created in Houdini, with custom dust, smoke, and debris simulations to bring these transitions to life. Individual pieces were modeled and animated to pull away and reveal our classic moment car underneath. We worked closely with the director and agency to find just the right sense of speed, energy, and strength to emphasize the reveal of these historic moments.

The themes of history and excitement were what guided us through the process of making this film. We were focused on accurately representing the tracks in their moment while also bringing a life and excitement to them that elevated it beyond the historical footage that already exists.”
-Chris Bernier, Creative Director

Discover the full credits list here.

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