Microsoft is rolling out the launch of the fourth edition of PGR (Project Gotham Racing) with a spot titled Frame, released in theaters over summer and on televisions this month. The video opens with curious spectators gathering around a fenced-off street, perched on fire escapes and peering out their office windows. The silence is suddenly shattered by the roar of engines as sports cars and a motorcycle careen down the barricaded streets. Serious rubber is burned as a variation of vehicles including a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Ferrari, and even a Tesla electric car take the corners with marked style and skill, dancing around each other. As the camera pulls back for an overhead view, we see the skidmarks have created a visual abstract art. “The pavement is your canvas,” says the voiceover, as the Xbox game footage exactly mirrors the heart-pounding action of the live scene.
Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube
The PGR 4 Frame campaign was developed at McCann-San Francisco/TAG, by executive creative directors John McNeil and Rob Bagot, creative directors Scott Duchon and Geoff Edwards, copywriter Quinton Schulinder, art director Ray Andrade, producer Annie Uzdavinis.
Game footage was provided by Microsoft and game developer Bizarre Creations, which provided matching in-game camera positions and shots, to complement the live-action footage.
Filming in Los Angeles was directed by Steve Rogers via Biscuit Filmworks with director of photography Toby Irwin, executive producers Shawn Lacy Tessaro and Eric Stern, producer Scott Craig.
Filming was edited by J.D. Smyth at Final Cut, Santa Monica, with producer Suzy Ramirez and executive producer Saima Awan.
“This spot was appealing because there was an integrated approach with the game footage,” explains Smyth. “It wasn’t just tacked onto the end of spot as you might see in traditional game advertising. It was a continuation of the story. Visually, Steve Rogers and the creatives at TAG concentrated on the elements of the game – the amount of style you have when taking these corners – and reflected that in the live footage. For me, it was about building anticipation and catching the excitement in the faces of the spectators. The car action was shot for real so the people are actually reacting to it. It was nice to work with that kind of palpable energy in the crowd.”
VFX and online editing were developed at Method Studios, Santa Monica, by CG creative director Laurent, lead 2D artist Brandon Sanders, lead 3D artist James LeBloch, junior 2D Artist Zach Lo, executive producer Neysa Horsburgh, head of production Sue Troyan, producers Sabrina Elizondo and Luisa Murray.
Telecine was done at Company 3, Santa Monica, by colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld and executive producer Missy Papageorge.
Sound design was handled by Stephen Dewey, Kip Smedley and Dustin Camilleri of Machinehead, Santa Monica, who went on-set to record the actual race sound, with executive producer Vicki Ordeshook and Beth Prandini.
The original track – a hauntingly beautiful piano opener, which then segues into a triumphant military celebration – was composed by Dan the Automator.
Audio Post was mixed at Lime Studios by Rohan Young, with assistant engineer Joel Waters and executive producer Jessica Locke.