CrowdStrike, one of the fastest-growing and most influential cybersecurity companies in the world, makes its Super Bowl debut with the metaphor of a Trojan Horse, waiting eagerly to storm the city of Troy. That is until a modern CrowdStrike expert (aka Charlotte) is called in to survey the risk, and detecting the ploy, quickly sends the horse rolling off a cliff, highlighting how the company pioneered adversary-focused cybersecurity to protect against the most sophisticated attacks and stop breaches.
Working directly with CrowdStrike’s in-house creative team and award-winning director Tarsem Singh, Framestore’s New York-based VFX studio charged ahead to bring the epic spot to life.
Shooting on location in a desert, the VFX team was tasked with digitally creating a shoreline and ocean that resembled the original city of Troy. Framestore Creative Director and VFX Supervisor Martin Lazaro and a drone team captured imagery of a desert shore which could be used as reference material for digital matte painting (DMP) in post. The team then built an entire fleet of battleships to scatter across the ocean in CG.
“It was an extraordinary experience to shoot on location,” said Lazaro, who shepherded CrowdStrike’s vision from pre-production, to on-set photography, through to post production. “The immensity of the set and surroundings were the perfect place to begin building a giant battleground. The production design team did a fantastic job laying the foundation, and combined with VFX magic we were able to create this epic look.”
To achieve the final picture, the VFX team took in-camera shots and began with DMPs of the inner city, castle entrance, battle debris and altered landscape, followed by sky replacements using Flame for a bright blue hue with light clouds to reflect a sizzling hot day.
Additional effects were applied to complete the illusion of Troy’s protective fortress, ravaged by years of war. Fire, smoke and ground destruction were added to every shot. Extensive DMP work was leveraged to achieve this result in combination with CG effects and compositing in Nuke.
Final color grade was completed by colorist Jill Bogdanowicz of Company 3.