There’s a booking for every New Year’s resolution, and in these six sweet and surprising films, director John Hillcoat shows just how.
Building off the put-a-smile-on-your-face style of our last work with Booking.com and Anomaly on Be a Booker, the campaign showcases personal stories tied to some of the most popular resolutions. For Lena, an engagement is taken into her own hands. For Tyler, it means going on that father-daughter trip he always wanted to take.
From sun to snow
For us on VFX, this wintery campaign was mostly about mastering the seasons months before the holidays hit.
“Snow is a major catalyst in our hero film Ricky, and his Grandma travels a very long way to Central Park in New York to see it. As did our whole film crew, except we traveled there in the fall. So, no snow. And trees full of leaves,” explained our VFX supervisor Bas Moonen.
“To make our misfortunes complete, it was the perfect New York fall day with blue skies and beautiful sun. So we put up a big screen to block out the light, dressed some shaved ice on the talents' shoulders, and the rest was up to CG.”
We didn’t want anything to change in these park shots except the season, so a lot of research was put into getting the trees, skyline, and placement just right. By shooting the location from all angles and touring with the Central Park groundskeeper to detect different types of foliage, we could recreate the scene as best as possible using SpeedTree.
Meanwhile, our Canada shoot was hit with an unseasonable blast of snow. “That was a blessing really since it meant I could run around shooting all kinds of textures and details of the fresh snow that I later used in the comps for Ricky’s Resolution,” adds Bas.
Google Maps data information of Central Park was then used as the base for placing the individual digital trees. With this as our floor plan, lead CG artist Jeroen Cloosterman and his team could recreate the entire location with the right scale.
“Digital humans, cars and some city buildings were also included to capture the scale,” says Jeroen. “With the newly bare trees in place, they still needed a final pass covering them in a layer of snow to sell the winter landscape. The final icing of the cake was the snow falling which we created in Houdini, with individual snowflakes actually landing on their faces, hair, and clothing created in Flame.”
Collaborating across continents
With our VFX Supervisor in New York and the CG team in Amsterdam, work could get underway across the clock. New York would start the day with some renders, followed by a few calls with different artists for feedback. Then in the afternoon, Booking.com could see all the updates made since Amsterdam started working so early. Come evening, there would be no distractions on updating since Amsterdam would all be asleep, recharging for the next day.
“As a bonus, I was also able to return to Central Park when the weather was ‘perfectly cloudy’ with high visibility to shoot high res stills of all the buildings, which we used to recreate the skyline without sunlight,” says Bas.
Resolutions was created by Anomaly with a fully integrated campaign running across TV, cinema, radio, and online channels.