Kia, Fully Charged

  • Agency David&Goliath;
  • Production Company @radical.media;
  • Director Colin Jeffery;

MPC LA and David&Goliath turn a science lab into a hotbed of innovation for Kia Hamsters

MPC LA join forces once again with David&Goliath to continue the next installment of Kia’s ad campaign, launching at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on August 24.  To debut Kia’s first-ever electric car - the Soul EV - MPC LA provided all VFX, working closely with director Colin Jeffrey to bring back the famous hamsters, this time with a cast of new characters.

In 2013, the overweight hamsters got a sleek fitness makeover, much like the totally transformed Kia Soul. This year, we find “geek chic” hamsters hitting the books instead of the gym, unleashing their inner mad scientists to create the most innovative and eco-friendly Soul yet, along with new furry friends and infectious dance moves.

Colin had a more ambitious vision for the hamsters than in years past,” said Andy Boyd, MPC LA Head of 3D who brings a four-year rapport working with D&G. “He included the MPC team at each step of the way to ensure quality wouldn't be compromised as the story came together and grew into something bigger.”

Set to the Maroon 5 track of “Animals,” the 90-second extended cut of “Fully Charged” is available at Kia.com/KiaSoul before the 60-second spot airs during the MTV VMAs. Fans of the #HamstarDance can visit www.kia.com/kiasoul for an instructional video to learn the moves from the spot. Other campaign elements include digital, out-of-home, point-of-sale, promotion, experiential and social.

Supervisors Andy Boyd and Jake Montgomery led the MPC team, focusing their extensive character creation expertise with a combination of complex VFX, dynamic fur simulation and cinematic animation to progress the look and feel of the music-loving hamsters and high-tech lab environment.  

The main priority was on pushing the Houdini fur system to a new level. Then it became a matter of quantity. Overall, MPC rendered over 150 hamster heads and built unique dynamics systems to simulate exact movements, match the in-camera fur costumes with photo-real CG fur for the heads and faces, and perfect the female hamsters' long mane. 

Additional technical challenges included synchronizing the CG head replacements with the choreographed live action dance performance and adding expressions to the hamsters. Future-inspired VFX range from set extensions of the high-tech science lab to CG lasers and smoke for the Soul’s transformation from a gas-powered to an electric vehicle. MPC US creative director of color Mark Gethin and colorist Ricky Gausis created a vibrant grade to set the high-energy mood and enhance the overall cinematic quality of the spot.

Check out our VFX breakdown (second thumbnail above) for a glimpse into how MPC progressed the look and feel of the spot.

Credits

  • Agency David&Goliath
  • Production Company @radical.media
  • Director Colin Jeffery
  • Founder & Chairman David Angelo
  • Chief Creative Officer Colin Jeffery
  • Creative Director/Copywriter Matthew Curry
  • Associate Creative Director/Art Director Kristen Grove Moller
  • Copywriter Courtney Pulver
  • Agency Executive Producer/Managing Director Carol Lombard
  • Agency Executive Producer Paul Albanese
  • Production Company Executive Producer Frank Scherma
  • Production Company Producer Kathy Rhodes
  • Director of Photography Toby Irwin
  • 2nd Unit DP Greg Baldi
  • Special EFX Legacy Effects
  • Editor Jim Haygood @ Union Editorial
  • Assistant Editor Erik Jessen
  • VFX MPC LA
  • Executive Producer Asher Edwards
  • Producer/Deputy Head of Production Mike Wigart
  • VFX Supervisor/ 3D Lead Andy Boyd
  • VFX Supervisor/2D Lead Jake Montgomery
  • VFX Team Ian Wilson, Stew Burris, Corinne DeOrsay, Kristen Eggleston, Dameon O'Boyle, JT Lawrence, Huisoo Lee, Aaron Hamman, Charles Trippe, Zach Dimaria, Michael Lori, Roxanne Zuckerman, Danny Garcia, Lee Par, Gizmo Rivera, Jackie Cooper, Jadan Duffin, Brady Doyle, Nate Lapinski
  • Production Coordinator Ashley Greyson
  • Grade MPC LA
  • Colorists Mark Gethin, Ricky Gausis

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