Heckler on Lending its Unreal Expertise to Create Movember Campaign Desert World

Using real-time software Unreal Engine, the Heckler VFX crew combined a live-action shoot with a 3D environment to create a world that seamlessly connects.

We recently wrote about a new ad film for a great cause – “The Mo is Calling” created for the 20th anniversary of Movember.

For the creative work, Heckler was tasked with combining VFX, post-production, and sound design to create a colorful desert world that set the stage for the new Movember campaign.

Collaborating with Revolver director Matt Devine for client DDB Melbourne, Heckler was briefed to create a photorealistic environment that could house a bunch of eclectic characters as they race full speed along a desert highway. Heckler Sound also helped bring the sound design to life working alongside UK comedian and voice-over artist Matt Berry.


 

Using real-time software Unreal Engine, the Heckler VFX crew got to work on combining a live-action shoot with a 3D environment to achieve a world that seamlessly connects.

“This game-changing platform has revolutionized my craft by enabling the rapid creation of hyper-realistic environments seamlessly integrated with live-action footage. A task that used to be complex and time-consuming is now executed much quicker,” said Heckler Unreal Engine artist Maud Chapuis.


 

“During the storyboarding phase of Movember, I sat with the director and analysed the 3D environment in 360 degrees, moving the camera around as we went and altering the lighting and landscape instantly. Unreal Engine is also great because it allows us to replicate a reference shot super accurately. It can recreate places or scenes that would typically be hard to shoot, such as a desert or underwater, while still fitting in really well with the pipeline of a live action shoot.

“The engine’s capabilities are nothing short of extraordinary, and they continue to evolve with each update. While originally designed for gaming, recent iterations have found a substantial place in the realm of visual effects and post-production. It’s akin to painting with pixels, and the end result is a captivating visual masterpiece that enthrals audiences and leaves them in awe when we tell it’s been computer generated.”

Shot on a windy cold winter’s day on an airstrip down in Wollongong NSW, Heckler VFX supervisor Julian Ford concurred that using Unreal Engine was instrumental in recreating the campaign’s desert environment, and that the VFX house got the chance to refine its approach to Unreal Engine to further embed it into the studio’s pipeline.

“Looking at what the film crew shot and where we ended up, this project is a classic example of the before and after pictures that everyone so enjoys comparing,” said Ford.

“Revolver director Matt was very open to the best ways of executing the job; from the way we shot some of the plates through to working on ungraded plates and then grading everything at the end. It was a very collaborative process.”

“It’s great working with a director that we have a strong relationship with, and we jumped at the chance to work with Matt on a job that we could all bring our skills together. It’s also nice to work on a campaign with purpose and for a good cause.”


Credits

Client: Movember
Global Director of Brand & Content: Hugh Miller
Head of Creative: Hannah O’Mahony
Creative Production Manager: Thomas Pike
Head of Campaigns, Global Income: Stephanie Luxmoore
Head of Brand: Sophia Bell
Senior Copywriter: Kevin Lai

Agency: DDB Chief Creative Officer: Stephen de Wolf
Group Executive Creative Director: Psembi Kinstan
Group Creative Partner: Giles Watson
Senior Art Director: Charlie Brookes
Senior Art Director: Josh Brown
Senior Copywriter: Anneliese Sullivan
Senior Copywriter: Sebastian Covino
Head of Craft: Adam Hengstberger
Head of Content Production: Sonia McLaverty
Lead Senior Producer: Tony Le
Senior Producer: Maria Borowski
Managing Partner: Toby Beaumont
Business Director: Jenny Thompson, Jiaan Koch
Managing Director, Strategy and Innovation: Leif Stromnes
Planning Director: Chris Regan

Production Company: Revolver
Director: Matt Devine Managing
Director/Co-Owner: Michael Ritchie
Executive Producer/ Partner: Pip Smart
Executive Producer/Comms: Anna Mannix
Senior Producer: Serena Paull
Director of Photography: Jordan Maddocks
Production Designer: Damien Drew
Wardrobe: Olivia Simpson
1st AD: Angus Bolles
Production Manager: Elaine Roy
Gaffer: Michael Adcock
Grip: James Hopwood
Russian Arm Op: Beau Sevastos
Drone Pilot: Ken Butti
Drone Op: Hayden Broderick
VTR: Josh Miller
Sound Recordist: Predrag Malasev
Hair & Make Up: Anastasia Pappas
Unit Manager: David Treloar
Storyboards: Dean Mortensen

Casting: Citizen Jane

Editorial: ARC
Editor: Dan Lee
Post Producer: Jess Ryan

VFX: Heckler
ECD: Jamie Watson
Head of Production: Amy Jarman
Producers: Coralie Tapper, Jess Walley
Unreal Engine: Maud Chapuis
VFX Supervisor & Flame Online: Julian Ford
3D Artists: Rachael Tedesco, Philip Wang, Edward Hassan, Dusan Marjanovic
Compositor: Nitin Amin
Colourist: Ben Eagleton
IO: Daniel Page

Sound Studio: Heckler
Sound Executive Producer: Bonnie Law
Head of Sound: Dave Robertson
Sound Editor: Nat Joyce

Music Supervision & Licensing: Level Two Music
Track: Wolf Totem
Artist: The HU

Stills: Photoplay
Photographer: Chris Budgeon
Senior Producer: Ross Colebatch
Retouching: Ross Goddard

Stills Casting: Peta Dermatis – Studio

With special thanks to:
Heckler
Heckler Sound
Arc Edit
Citizen Jane Casting
Level Two Music
Panavision
Scenes by Dean
Sevaxis Scorpio Ops
Available Light Film
JJ Hopwood
Ecomlocations
Shellharbour Airport
Kiama Council
Sydney Water
Sydney Bus Museum
The Machine Show
Pedle Bikes and Scooters
Sunny Life
Scott Sign
Retriever Towing
Moore Park Towing
PH Auto
Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride
Propco
DT Unit
Unit Base Film Rentals
Matt Berry

 

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