Discreet's InfernoŽ and
FireŽ Used for Texas Lottery Mega Millions Spot
When DDB Dallas, the general-market advertising agency of
record for The Texas Lottery Commission, conceptualized a
spot for the Mega Millions game, they pictured money, masses
of money bills flying around a remote Texas border. This was
a clean and simple idea, but how to make the money look real
was not so simple. So Hal Dantzler, Director of Broadcast
Production for DDB, turned to the expertise of charlieuniformtango
(CUT) and Good Girl Film Productions for the special effects
Mega Millions is one of the largest jackpot
games in the country. With millions of people playing, jackpots
can roll to multi-million dollar levels. The spot was designed
to illustrate this fact and the phenomenon of large amounts
of money coming into the state.
The spot entitled "Blowing In" opens on
a serene, remote Texas road with a "Welcome to Texas" sign
visible in the foreground. Dollar bills begin hitting the
sign one at a time then quickly multiply in number. The angles
of the scene vary as the pace of bills flying increase to
the point of a large whirlpool of money.
Hal Dantzler states "It's quite an ambitious
idea, to make millions of migrating dollars invade the Texas
state line. The agency felt strongly, however, that if we
kept our approach simple and let the scope and fantasy come
from the concept and not the execution, we could deliver a
compelling and visually striking introduction to the Mega
Millions game. In broad terms, we wanted the film to be classic
and beautiful, and the effects to be undetectable. So, we
assembled a production team that shared our storytelling sensibilities
and from there every aspect of the project was a collaboration."
Dave Laird, infernoŽ and fireŽ."
artist for CUT, stated, "The creative team at DDB wanted to
show the money flying through the air with an attitude that
didn't exude anything scary or storm-like. The idea is that
money is coming across the state line. First there was one
dollar bill, then the next, then a quick build of money impacting
the sign like fervent butterflies."
"We shot multiple plates both on location
and on the blue screen and composited these layers inside
Discreet's infernoŽ to simulate the money flying in
from all directions. I also built quite a few particle generators
to create the look of the money swarming into a vortex, but
the money in the foreground remained the real thing. Also,
using the Knoll lens flare spark from GenArts, created a great
Texas-sun glare on the sign. To top it all off, we finished
on-line on Discreet's ."
Chris Smith, Director for Good Girl Production,
added, "After numerous meeting with Hal and David, we decided
against animation to achieve a look that didn't feel too digital.
The bills shot on the blue cyc were actually scaled in half,
as was the "Welcome To Texas" sign. Using half scale "bought"
us the perception of 80ft. of bill travel on a 40 ft. high
cyc. This, along with under-cranking the frame rate by four
times, created the effect of the money falling to ground for
a longer distance and more quickly. We did an HD film transfer
at Video Post and Transfer for we wanted to maximize our resolution
options for mixing and matching the layers in 3D space. The
rest of the footage was transferred at Filmworkers Club. All
this, and the fantastic creative team at DDB, took us the
distance to make this spot truly unique."
Bill Schwarz, Director of Photography, stated,
" It was particularly great working with Hal Dantzler because
he's one of the rare creative individuals who had the capacity
to see the big picture while remaining detail oriented. He
always makes decisions in the context of the entire project
and what's best for it."
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