Commercial break

The Chimney Pot put together a 60-second commercial for the Grand Prix that was staged in Bahrain last month. We take a look at how the team post produced the TVC.
Viktor Bjork says The Chimney Pot brings international experience to Dubai.
Viktor Bjork says The Chimney Pot brings international experience to Dubai.
Analysis, Content production
Analysis, Content production
Analysis, Content production


The Chimney Pot put together a 60-second commercial for the Grand Prix that was staged in Bahrain last month. We take a look at how the team post produced the TVC.

Sweden-headquartered post-production house, The Chimney Pot, which recently opened a facility in Dubai, put together a 60-second commercial for the Grand Prix in Bahrain.

The commercial, which was developed in part from footage shot in Bahrain by production house, Filmworks and in part from 3D models of racing cars built in Chimney Pot's Dubai facility, begins with a range of stunning visuals of trees, hair and the vast desert landscape coming alive as a silver lining zips past, and slowly the excitement is built up through both sound and image until the viewer sees the Formula One cars competing on the race track.

The advertisement evokes all of the excitement of a Formula One race while also creating a strong Middle Eastern flavour.

Director & editor, Mauro Salesi edited the footage that was shot in Bahrain. With a locked-off edit, the online crew then had the task of grading, rotoscoping, compositing and matte painting numerous complex shots.

Alongside this, the 3D team at The Chimney Pot modeled three Formula One cars in Maya from scratch. After finalising artworks and textures, the team tracked the shots with a Boujou and PFTrack.

They then animated the cars with procedural techniques, lit up the scene and rendered the shots in different passes. This was then incorporated into the treated live footage, and the commercial was brought to life.

"The Formula One cars change every season so there was no way we were going to have access to the real ones, which were being used in other races," says Viktor Björk, managing director, The Chimney Pot, Dubai.

"However, the Formula One web site is full of good images of the cars. Based on these, we developed the cars in 3D on Maya. This was the important part of the job. We also modeled the cars with techniques so that the suspension and weight of the car would change according to how the surfaces under them moved."

The original footage included a scene of the track with billboards, cranes and ordinary cars driving on it.

"In 3D space, we created a big road on top of the road in the footage so that we could place the cars on them and track how they would move on them. The billboards and the crane were cleaned out. Several layers were put in to achieve the final result," explains Björk.

This project took 20 days to do and is one of the bigger projects The Chimney Pot has taken on since it began full-fledged operations early this year, says Björk.

Since its launch, the facility, which is equipped with Autodesk Smoke and Flint solutions as well as an Avid offline editing system, Maya and a dry hire edit suite, has more than 15 projects undertaken at the moment, claims the managing director.

"We have begun doing several projects for clients in Saudi Arabia although Dubai continues to be our biggest market. We have also begun to see an increased number of enquiries from Beirut in the last month although we have not actively explored our options in that market," states Björk.

The Chimney Pot's biggest strength is its international background.

"Most of the post production houses in the region are of local origin while we are perhaps one of the few that has offices across the world starting from Sweden and Kiev to Moscow, Warsaw and Dubai among others. This means we can draw upon the skills of our colleagues based on the demands of each job. It also means that if we do not have the resources to do something locally, we can get help from our international colleagues. I have about 12 colleagues here and about 135 colleagues worldwide."

The Group, as a whole, has already post produced more than 150 features films in the last nine years, claims Björk. In fact, The Chimney Pot Warsaw did the grading for Katyn, which was nominated as Best Foreign Language film at this year's Oscars.

The Chimney Pot in Oslo also did the sound design and mix for the winner of this year's Animated Short Film, Peter & the Wolf.

What makes post production both interesting as well as challenging, according to Björk, is that it is the last stop in the workflow.

"There is always a lot changed in the end and this is the reality of post production. The client may want something and it may not have been addressed at different stages of the workflow in terms of production or shooting the right image and so on. However, this can still be addressed in post production, which is all about problem solving. We get a lot of material that may be well shot or badly shot. Our job at the end is to create a well-finished product at the end of the day. If there is no relevant footage to enable it, then we will create our own."

Björk cites the example of the Formula One commercial.

"We had a big problem - we didn't have any Formula One cars. The race was in early April and the commercial was scheduled to come out in March and in January and February, those cars were being used for other races. To actually film those cars in our settings would have cost the production a huge amount. The solution was to build the cars in 3D."

In the commercial, however, where the team did need to show a car racing, it took an old Formula One car that was available in Bahrain, got a man to sit in it with a helmet and shook the camera.

The car remained stationery. However, with smart editing and a sensational sound track, the viewer is treated to a heart-pounding racing experience.

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