The Mill, Wieden+Kennedy (Portland) and Director Steve Rogers of Biscuit Filmworks have teamed up once again to create the campaign for Old Spice Dirt Destroyer. Staying true to Old Spice’s originality and humor, ‘Be Harder’ follows Denver Broncos’ linebacker Von Miller’s on-field grit as he goes above and beyond the demands of football.
The visual effects in ‘Be Harder’ add a playful (and completely absurd) spin to the creative. The sequence was originally shot in the middle of an empty Rose Bowl, and everything aside from the field and players was replaced by a 3D stadium. The Mill’s 3D and 2D artists worked closely to find areas where the 2D team could augment the 3D stadium using high-resolution stills of The Broncos’ Mile High to better combine the 3D elements with the plates.
The Mill’s VFX Supervisor, Creative Director and 2D Lead Artist Tim Davies explains, “With only two weeks to turn around post for both commercials, I worked with Dan [Warom, 3D Lead Artist] to figure out exactly what could be best achieved by both departments. Looking at the edit, it was decided that a full CG stadium replacement would best serve the creative, providing 2D with more bandwidth for both spots – so that’s how we moved forward. Once the stadium was built and CG crowds were added, seeing these ridiculous antics take place – but now in front of a wildly cheering crowd – made the absurdity that much more powerful. From an artist perspective, the creative really came together at that point.”
In addition to the cheering crowds, the bees buzzing busily around Miller were meticulously crafted in CG – down to the tiniest anatomic details. The Mill’s 3D Lead Artist Tom Graham comments, “We built a flexible flocking system for the bees in Houdini that could be rolled out quickly across multiple shots and iterated upon easily. It had to be flexible enough to allow the bees to walk over the surface of the hive, as well as feature swarming behaviors. The main challenge fell to Miller’s speed as he carried the hive and the complex motions that resulted from it, but thanks to the flexibility of the flocking solver we were able to dial it in."
Dan says, “The VFX side of the campaign was indicative of great teamwork between our 2D, 3D and production teams. It wouldn’t have been possible to achieve the final product in such a short time without constant dialogue and collaboration.”