The Martin Agency

Richmond, United States
TitleFRIEND OR FOE
Agency
Campaign Friend or Foe
Advertiser Warner Bros Interactive
Brand Gaming Title
Date of First Broadcast/Publication
Business Sector Toys & Games
Tagline Nothing will be forgotten
Story Neil Huxley Releases Interactive Cinematic Film for Middle-earth: Shadow of War A powerful glimpse into the majesty and marvel of Warner Bros. latest open world, action role-playing game that is released October 10th … Director Neil Huxley has released a powerful new advertising campaign for Middle Earth: Shadow of War, the latest video game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Studios, directed by Huxley under the Ruffian production banner. Gamers will recognize the hotly-anticipated sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, a new outing in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy universe as popularized on the big screen by Peter Jackson. Shadow of War continues the Middle-earth narrative with events taking place in time between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. "Friend or Foe" opens on a large-scale battle in Mordor before a towering enemy fortress. The Ranger Tailon - the game's protagonist - surges forward with his army of Orc's to break through the enemy stronghold and confront its War Chief, Noruk. The online spot drives viewers to shadowofwar.com where they can experience an interactive version of the film entitled 'Choices' where they get to choose from alternate endings, each leading to a different outcome. As the final tagline hints: "Nothing will be forgotten.” The cinematic campaign offers a climpse into playing with the award-winning Nemesis System, changing characters relationships based on a player's actions and decisions. By adapting to a gamer's tactical moves, the Nemesis System changes storylines and creates a personal world unique to every gameplay experience. “The Nemesis System is fascinating because it remembers all of your choices,” Huxley explains, noting its success in Shadow of Mordor. “Now it has become a far more extensive and deeper part of the experience for players, so the goal was to highlight this in an interactive way. If you kill a character, or a character kills you it has consequences, so every time you play you’ll get a different experience. This gives an instant replay factor, more so than most other games. People won't see me for weeks when this game comes out!” Shot on location in Ukraine over seven days, Huxley prepped for five weeks in frigid winter temperatures – even the Black Sea was frozen over. With a crew of hundreds, including the Ukrainian army brought in to clear snow and ice, close to 300 extras were finally cast to create the spot's epic battle sequences shot in front of a 13th Century castle. Game of Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner brought new anamorphic master prime lenses from ARRI to the shoot, capturing breathtaking images on ALEXA equipment. "These lenses gave us a very crisp, cinematic look,” Huxley explains. “Combine lenses of this quality with a world-class talent like Fabian and you get footage that looks insane before we even touched it in post.” Seeking cloudy, diffused light backfired during production, however, as the sun came out from overcast skies. This handed Huxley and Wagner harsh light and extensive problems to deal with on-set. “The sun really screwed us,” Huxley continues. “We were chasing shadows the whole time. Luckily the fortress location we chose had high walls on the beach side, and a lot of coverage was planned in its shadows. Patching over sunlit ground planes in post are hard enough but if you get highlights on actors it really becomes problematic in post, so we avoided that as much as we could.” Deciding whether or not to go with CG or in-camera prosthetics for the Orcs, Huxley pitched the latter to agency-of-record The Martin Agency. All agreed prosthetics were the best way forward as it gave an authenticity to each character on screen, as well as an emotional subtlety that is extremely difficult to capture in CG, unless you have an extensive schedule and budget to match. “Using prosthetics was never a question in my mind. The whole point of the campaign was to connect on a visceral level with these characters so that the moment of choice has an emotional gravitas, otherwise the film would fall flat,” Huxley adds. “I think in-camera prosthetics on humanoid characters, when its done right, always looks more believable. It was important to make them this way to carry the narrative. You sense their intelligence on screen, and so you relate to them. Plus this approach allowed the amazing VFX team at MPC to use their firepower for set extensions, sky replacements and everything else they had to deal with.” Huxley had a shortlist of the most talented artists in the world who were capable of creating such prosthetics. He finally scored big time after hiring Rogier Samuels from UNREAL, widely recognized for his spectacular work on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings franchise. "I wanted to try and get as much in-camera as possible, and augment and extend the world in CGI," Huxley explains. This became his mantra that followed through to the real world fortress location, the armor and weapons fabricated for the shoot, as well as the hiring of stunt coordinator Nick McKinleass and his UK team to provide the real fighting Orc horde. "Nick was always my first choice – his action choreography is brutal and violent, which I love," Huxley says. "It was Nick who then introduced me to Ashley Beck, who plays Tailon. Ash is a phenomenal stunt performer who came to the audition with his own Katana and a full fight sequence he'd rehearsed in his hotel room that morning. It was like watching Tailon incarnate. It was unreal. He moved like him and looked like him. This allowed me to shoot the fight sequence seamlessly, without the need to cut to a stunt double.” “We needed the commercial to look as good as any big budget feature,” he continues. “A bar had already been set by the LOTR franchise, and this quite simply had to look just as good as that. Thanks to the whole team bringing their A-game, the finished work definitely holds up against any cinematic experience. This is what we set out to do, and this is what we accomplished.” Although the campaign is Huxley’s first job of this scale as a director, his extensive background in post production and love of gaming helped immensely in creating the best work possible for Warner Bros. “My post knowledge and gaming background allowed us to prep and create something truly unique," Huxley asserts. "It just created efficiency on many levels that enabled us to fully realize the potential of a live-action trailer, one that sells the promise of a great game. I always knew I could direct a huge project of this scope and scale, I just needed a shot, and now here is the proof.” Huxley wraps, looking back on an extensive shoot in eastern Europe. "It was a brutal but very exciting shoot for me," he says. “When you're standing out there freezing your bollocks off you have to keep the whole crew motivated. Most of the time I couldn't stop smiling to be honest. Not many people can say they directed something this massive, work that plays in the Lord of the Rings sandbox. I made sure everybody knew it was a real joy seeing everything come together, and the team told me they fed off of that energy.” Huxley’s experience in post and VFX led him to art direct Zach Snyder's Watchmen title sequence before working alongside James Cameron for 18 months on the blockbuster Avatar. He then directed FX-driven projects that include the launch trailer for Transformers Fall of Cybertron, Mad Max, the live-action/CG launch for Assassin’s Creed Unity as well as several live action fight promo films for Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Philosophy The cinematic campaign offers a climpse into playing with the award-winning Nemesis System, changing characters relationships based on a player's actions and decisions. By adapting to a gamer's tactical moves, the Nemesis System changes storylines and creates a personal world unique to every gameplay experience.
Problem Shooting in freezing temperatures in the Ukraine, Black Sea was frozen over, SFX work in post to hide sunlight, extensive 7 day shoot on tight budget, extensive in-camera prosthetics on actors created by UNREAL, same crew used by Peter Jackson etc..
Result An expansive, cinematic look into the game Shadow of War, the commercial's interactive element allowing the audience to make choices that will never be forgotten in the game, changing characters and situations based upon who you decide is a friend or a foe ... the work is also as compelling as any Lord of the Rings film, the cinematographer was Fabian Wagner who is DP on Game of Thrones...
Media Type Television & Cinema
Length
Soundtrack ECHOLAB
More Information http://WWW.SHADOWOFWAR.COM
Info KRAKEN : FRIEND OR FOE – FULL CREDITS Title: “Friend or Foe” TRT: Longform/Digital/:60/:30/:20/:15 Product: Middle Earth : Shadow of War Category: Console Video Games Client: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment CLIENT: WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT David Haddad – President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Matt Geyer-Vice President, Consumer and Digital Marketing at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Adam King - Director, Brand Marketing at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Peter Orrestad – Associate Manager, Brand Marketing Irene Chan - Associate Manager, Brand Marketing at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Sharis Gharibi - Senior Manager, Brand Marketing at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment GAME DEVELOPER: MONOLITH PRODUCTIONS Kevin Stephens – Studio Head, Monolith Productions Michael de Plater – VP, Creative Director, Monolith Productions Philip Straub – Director of Art, Monolith Productions Mark Jessup – Marketing Games Manager, Monolith Productions AGENCY: THE MARTIN AGENCY Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander Executive Creative Director: James Robinson Creative Director: Marie Richer Creative Director: Jamie Umpherson Executive Producer: Steve Humble Producer: Ben Latimer Digital Producer: Ethan Piper Junior Producer: Nicolette Steele Business Affairs Manager: Juanita McInteer Financial Affairs Manager: Karen Taylor Group Account Director: Cara Watson Account Management Operations: Sandra Snead UX Strategy Planning Director: Meg Riley UX Strategy Senior Planner : Taylor Wiegert Group Project Management Supervisor: Susan Karns PRODUCTION COMPANY: RUFFIAN Director: Neil Huxley Executive Producer: Robert Herman Head of Production: Sheila Eisenstein Producer: Malachy McAnenny Director of Photography: Fabian Wagner 1st AD: Craig Pinckes Production Designer: Ricky Eyres Project Manager: Kristin Rathje PC: Viggo Blegvad Action Director: Nick Mckinless Stunt Rigger: Lou Horvath Senior Model Maker: Martin Pec Senior Costume: Josef Cechota Voice Coach: Peter Warnock PRODUCTION SERVICE: RADIOAKTIVE FILMS Executive Producer: Darko Skulsky Producer UA: Sasha Bevko Producer M-R: Nick Semko Production Assistant: Emil Shkulkiy Production Assistant: Julia Sotnikova Production Assistant: Anna Lee Production Assistant: Vania Suvorin 1st AD: Dennis Sonin 2nd AD: Val Semko 3rd AD: Vasiliy Belousov PROSTHETICS Prosthetics Supervisor: Rogier Samuels Prosthetics Supervisor: Carola Brockhoff Modelmaker: Jan Bílek Modelmaker: Šimon Cibulka Painter: Jan Jírovec Prosthetics pc: Joy Possel Senior Prosthetics: Floris Schuller Senior Prosthetics: Kevin Van Den Bergh Senior Prosthetics: Lionel Lé Senior Senior Prosthetics: Luigi D’andrea Senior Prosthetics: Xander Forterie Prosthetics: Inga Ross Prosthetics: Rolf Te Booij Prosthetics: Selina Horowitz Prosthetics Assistant: Yascha Puts Prosthetics Assistant: Coraline Perin ART DEPARTMENT Production Designer : Vova Radlinksy Props Master: Zoya Kosulina Props Master: Sergey Kramarenko Art Department: Oleg Pylnik Art Department: Andrey Krupenko Art Department: Sergey Senchuk Art Department: Konstantin Bezvenyuk Art Department: Gleb Lobanov Art Department: Mihail Nikitenko Model Maker: Anton Logosha Art Department: Yuriy Vislouh Model Maker: Aleksandr Ludyanik Art Department Driver: Vova Lipets Art Department Driver: Sarudinov Aleksander STUNT RIGGERS Ilya Yurchishin Sergey Osadchuk Alexandr Galushko Andrey Golovnya CAMERA DEPARTMENT Steadicam: Andrey Kotenev 2nd Cam Operator: Sasha Roshchyn Focus Puller Cam 1: Petya Chetveryakov Focus Puller Cam 2: Sergey Panteleyev 1st Camera Technician: Sergey Kolesnik Playback / DIT: Valik Gryb DIT: Rupos PYROTECHNICS Sasha Suvorov Oleg Suvorov Vladimir Suvorov Sergey Mogilenets Vitaliy Kofanov Gennady Kulakovskiy Alexandr Filipenkov LIGHT & GRIP Gaffer: Leo Sidorenko Light/Grip: Yura Kuzmin Light/Grip: Sergey Rulev Light/Grip: Сергей Трошин Light/Grip: Андрей Горовой Light/Grip: Владимир Акулов Light/Grip: Тищенко Артем Light/Grip: Сергей Зуйков Light/Grip: Вадим Борода Light/Grip: Площанюк Роман Light/Grip: Алексей Збронжк Dolly Grip 1: Олег Чернышов Dolly Grip 2: Стеценко Александр CRANE Crane Technician: Sergey Subota Crane Technician: Anton Lapiga Crane Driver: Sergey Melnichuk WARDROBE Wardrobe Stylist: Masha Kero Wardrobe Assistant: Ladislav Beza Wardrobe Assistant: Jan Padyšák Wardrobe Assistant: Tatyana Davidenko Wardrobe Assistant: Alyona Matveeva Wardrobe Assistant: Andrey Sychov Wardrobe Assistant: Alexandr Shevchuk Wardrobe Assistant: Natalya Smihovskaya Wardrobe Assistant: Vilkus Voytek Wardrobe Assistant: Galina Otenko Armor: Denis Zakrevskiy MAKE UP Make Up Artist: Mart Elle Make UP Assistant: Yuliya Tihomirova Make UP Assistant: Aleksandra Bublienko Make UP Assistant: Anna Minenko Make UP Assistant: Mariya Petrovskaya Make UP Assistant: Alexandra Dzuba Make UP Assistant: Marina Kotsovskaya Make UP Assistant: Kristina Moroz Make UP Assistant: Ekaterina Kavaler Make UP Assistant: Dariya Gnatyukova Make UP Assistant: Elena Baranovskaya Make UP Assistant: Inna Samus Make UP Assistant: Olga Dyadyun Make UP Assistant: Anna Rebrikova Make UP Assistant: Lilya Novikova Make UP Assistant: Elena Andreytseva Make UP Assistant: Anna Chervinskaya Make UP Assistant: Iris Onufriyenko RUNNERS Artur Vizenkov Igor Brazhko Tolik Koval Dima Krutenko Andrei Krutenko DRIVERS Max Caravella Dima Kyiv Oleg Scuba Miscellaneous Crew Assistant Director: Kolya Perestyuk Assistant Director: Artem Sobko Location Manager: Andrey Nedobora Maxim Suhovey DIT: Denis mazepa DIT: maxim pesovskiy Sound: Mihail Naskaslniy Sound: Sergey Movchan Sergey ristenko BTS: Max Malinovskiy Medic: Dmitriy Petrov Clapper: Marina Svetnaya Chaperone: Sasha Voskova Chaperone: Kristina Zheldak Chaperone: Marina Yarovaya Chaperone: Yulya Satsuta Chaperone: Sasha Belko EDITORIAL: WORK EDITORIAL Editor: Stewart Reeves Editor: Adam Witten EP: Marlo Baird LA Producer: Brian Scharwath NY Producer: Christopher Delarenal Assistant Editor: Josh Sasson Assistant Editor: Keith Hamm VISUAL EFFECTS: MPC Executive Producer: Nick Haynes Producer: Brendan Kahn VFX Supervisor: Vicky Osborn / Tobey Lindbäck 2D Lead: Tobey Lindbäck 3D Lead: Vicky Osborn 2D Team: Leslie Chung, Ruairi Twohig, Alex Harding, Kelly Bruce, Christopher Miller, Artur Elson, David Anger, Anthony Ricciardi, Benjamin Williams, Bilali Mack, Giulia Bartra, Mazyar Sharifian. David Rouxel, Rajinikanth R, S. Samson Samuel, Ginesh Gandhi, Bala Krishnan R, Rajesh Kaushik, Sabanayagam V, Uday Veerepalli, Kajal Pandya, Mithilesh.G, Sreejimol CP, Shalwin Shaiju, Vishal Digambar Mule, Vamsi Krishna Reddy, Prasanth Palaparthi, Jose J. Arulanandhan, Bruno Roosewelt, Hemalatha T, Manu Gopalakrishnan, Manu PS, Padma Priya, Praveenkumar Samiraj, Sudheesh TV, V Jegadeesan, Yasasvini.V, Likin Ganpathy CP, Sivakumar R, Silambarasan R P, Srikanth Salla, R Vignesh, Muruganatham T, Mohanakrishnan C, Mahendra Reddy, Karthi G, Amit Shukla, Amresh Kumar, Joshi John, Aginesh, Naresh, P N Arunkumar, S Rajesh. 3DTeam: Tiago Dias, Graeme Revell, Butch Belair, Chris Ribar, Chris Bernier, Jacob Fradkin, Jemmy Molero, Sue Jang, Mike Lombardo, Reginald Emvula, Madeline Jackson, James Vidal, Jimmy San, Anna White, Lee Wolland, Alain Cisneros, Zhao Wang, Angela Carafas, Anthony Gordon, Wesley Schneider. Radu Ciubotariu, Kate Gabriel, Flavia Minnone, Maximilian Mallmann, Hanna Binswanger. Dave White, Ryan McDougal, Andrew Price, Meghan Sesnie, Lyndsey Horton, Ali Rizvi, Jim Koonce, Brendan Echsner, Rodrigo Carrasco. Debalina Dasgupta, Subbaiah, Ankan Sanyal, Ambalika Nandy, D. Venkatesan, Debasish Raha, Shiny Rajan, Jyoti Prakash Panda, Gopika Priya, Jayadeep Chandran, Manjunath Ramakrishnaiah, Baskaran S, Ria Banerjee, SelvaKumar k, Ajai V John, Anbarasu E, Bibin Balan P, Sumesh Chammancheri, Vaibhav Gupta, Gowri Shankar Velusamy D, Joyett Fernandes, Partha Modal, Pramod L J, Gayatri Patel, Mohan Pugaz, Prashanth Paramasivam, Earnest Victor, Elangovan Ganeshan, Sivapriyan, Ganesh Kumar S, Jacob T. Oommen, Raju Ganesh S., Gowri Shankar Velusamy D, Deepali Negi, Bakiyaraj P, Srinivas Achary, Parineeta Jasiwal,. Colorist: Jean-Clement Soret Executive Producer: Ellora Chowdhury London Line Producer: Sandra Eklund LA Line Producer: Colin Clarry Bangalore Line Producer: Pooja Pandya NY Coordinators: Erin Hewitt, Stephen Dierks LA Coordinator: John Edson DIGITAL PRODUCTION : JAM3 Executive Creative Director : Adrian Belina Executive Creative Director : Pablo Vio Executive Producer : Jordan Cuddy Creative Director : Dirk van Ginkel Associate Creative Director : Vinicius Araujo Producer : Jason Legge Lead Developer : Matt DesLauriers Technical Director : Aaron Morris UX Designer : Melissa Hernandez MUSIC : ECHOLAB Music Producer : Gavin Little Composer : Steve Lynch Programming/sequencing/synths : Steve Lynch Frame Drums/Bass Drums/live percussion : Robbie Harris Violin/Violas : Kenneth Rice Tuba : Nick Etheridge Trombone : David Liddell Bass Trombone : Richard Henry Drum kits : Tom du Pree SOUND DESIGN AND SOUND EDITORIAL : FORMOSA FEATURES Supervising Sound Editor : Per Hallberg Sound design : Ann Scibelli 1st Assistant Sound Editor : Philip D. Morrill RECORDING STUDIO: SOUND LOUNGE Sound Engineer: Rob DiFondi ADR Engineer: Pat Christensen Executive Producer: Mike Gullo Executive Producer - Film & TV: Rob Browning Senior Producers: Kate Albers and Liana Rosenberg WB TALENT Pollyanna McIntosh / Voice of Shelob Troy Baker / Voice of Talion LIVE ACTION CAST / UK Ashley Beck / Talion Charlie Rawes / Mogg Spencer Wilding / Noruk Steve Lewington / Red Best Master Sergey Babchuk / Massive Blue Orc Gary Finan / Trapped Blue Orc LIVE ACTION CAST / UA Vitya Doroshenko / Crossbowman #3 Sergey Balatskiy / Crossbowman #2 Nikita Kopus / Crossbowman #4 Roma Buyanov / Main Crossbowman Sergey Babchuk Aleksandr Kolodiy / Necromancer Kirill Rybyantsev / Henchman #2 Oleg Spisovskiy / Pyro (Krosh) Oleg Cherkesov / Gang Leader (Grom) Sergey Shlyakhtyuk / Henchman #1 Yuri Gorbenko Dima Ivanenko / Archer #1 LIVE ACTION CAST / UK STUNT TEAM Adam Collins Andrius Davidenas Al Holland Nik Schodel Luke Tumber LIVE ACTION CAST / UA STUNT TEAM Ivan Doskich Pavel Lyashenko Sergei Yarmoshenko Konstantin Stoyanov Alexandr Kosinov Valery Pasechnik Slavomir Hilinsky Gennady Krutko Andrey Valiev Andrey Lisichkin Any questions, please contact: Simon Wakelin fastlens@mac.com

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