Making of Call Of Duty Game Trailer
Making of Call Of Duty Game Trailer

Making of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Live Action Trailer : Discover Your Power

The raw power of first-shooter combat sets the stage in the high-octane live action trailer for the launch of Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. From 72andSunny and directed by acclaimed Pony Show filmmaker Peter Berg (Hancock, Lone Survivor) with high-end VFX by MPC LA, the 90-second spot immerses viewers on a riveting experience to ‘discover your power.’

The MPC team, led by VFX Supervisor Paul O’Shea, harnessed the full range of creative disciplines to craft the ambitious film, which features superhuman athleticism as players leap and smash their way through the world of Advanced Warfare. The journey of the first-person point-of-view camera, CG, extras, war vehicles, and explosions were all carefully planned to the smallest detail, so all the different elements would integrate perfectly and feel utterly realistic.

The approach from Peter, the agency and client was to ground the spot by capturing as much of the action as possible in camera,” said Paul. “MPC ensured the VFX served this story so that the spot gives you a visceral sense of what it would be like to play the game for real. We tried to make sure we didn’t compromise the camera, stunts and pyroworks. Rather, we used the VFX to join and enhance the action, adding in the game assets to take you on this breathtaking ride. It’s so disorientating, it’s so remarkable, that you pause for a breath at the end of it to say to yourself, ‘What did I just see?’

If we have done our job right, you won’t know what’s live action and what’s CG. This spot warrants repeat viewings to really understand what you’ve done and where you’ve been. It’s a game players’ dream – to feel that incredible adrenaline without the jeopardy, but with all the action.”

VFX Detail

MPC was enlisted early in the process by 72andSunnys’ creative team to partner with Peter and forge a cinematic vision from a first-person point-of-view. Setting the project’s tone in pre-production, Peter assembled a world-class team including Josh McLaglen, first assistant director (Avatar, Titanic), and Jeff Mann, production designer (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Transformers).

Paul explains: “We wanted to make something with an immediacy and freshness that would distinguish it from the gameplay and the game cinematics. The result is even more impressive given the extreme nature of the camera’s journey. A lot of credit organizing the project goes to Pony Show and the stunt crew. Over the first few weeks, we pre-visualized and planned out what could be achieved practically in a day’s shooting, how far we could go with a stunt performer, where we could take a camera and what sets and locations would be appropriate.“

 Prior to the weeklong shoot, tests were required to select a camera rig that could attach to the stunt performer, withstand ratchet jumps and extreme wire work, and would still allow some control over the composition of shots. Cinematographer Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Bright Star) tested over five cameras with various frame rates and resolutions before landing on the right one, which had the most latitude, a small lightweight profile, and the capability to shoot at 6K resolution.

The practical sets and effects gave MPC a strong photographic base and lighting reference to work from. VFX artists could then look to work as invisibly as possible. Using CG to bridge and glue it all together, a wide range of complex VFX was created, including full CG photoreal cities, war-torn bridges, explosions, bullets, hover bikes, CG soldiers and war birds. Enhancements to the location and set extensions transformed a fantastic California desert set into the game’s ultimate destination of Lagos, Nigeria in 2059.

The grand finale of the spot brings the players onto a bridge blown out from underneath, as they launch and collapse onto a spider tank amidst an abandoned city full of bad guys, helicopters and missiles. For this, MPC created full CG photoreal scenes in which the second player and a small bridge set piece were the only practical elements. The performance of Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) was composited from six separate takes morphed together to put him at the center of the fully CG shot.

The scene of the protagonist falling out of a building and crashing onto an enemy vehicle was filmed entirely on blue screen with only a static truck as a practical build. The environments and roads were created in CG and each sequence seamlessly bridged into the next environment.

MPC US Creative Director of Color Mark Gethin completed the grade, reflecting the grit and action-packed realism to complement the visceral nature of the film.

The project spanned eight weeks and encompassed intensive pre-production planning, R&D, and five weeks of subsequent VFX work to reimagine the game as one epic mission.



Partner / Client Team
CEO Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer Tim Ellis
SVP, Consumer Marketing Todd Harvey
Sr. Director, Consumer Marketing Matt Small
Sr. Manager, Consumer Marketing Mike Pelletier
Consumer Marketing Manager David Cushman
72andSunny Team
Chief Executive Officer John Boiler
Chief Creative Officer Glenn Cole
Group Creative Director Frank Hahn
Creative Director/Designer Rey Andrade
Creative Director/Writer Josh Fell
Designer Will Lindberg
Writer Matt Spicer
Chief Production Officer Tom Dunlap
Director of Film Production Sam Baerwald
Executive Film Producer Dan Ruth
Sr. Film Producer Stanton Hill
Film Production Coordinator Michael Quinones
Film Production Assistant Alissa Stevens
Group Brand Director Mike Parseghian
Sr. Brand Manager Elaine Chu
Brand Manager Justin Gonzaga
Brand Coordinator Brian Kim
Director of Business Affairs Michelle McKinney
Group Business Affairs Director Amy Jacobsen
Business Affairs Manager Kelly Ventrelli
Business Affairs Coordinator Amy Shah
Chief Strategy Officer Matt Jarvis
Co-Director of Strategy Bryan Smith
Strategy Director John Graham
Strategist Daniel Teng
Production Partners
Production Company: Pony Show Entertainment
Director Peter Berg
AD Josh McLaglen
DP/Cameraman Greig Fraser
Executive Producer Susan Kirson
Executive Producer Jeffrey Frankel
Producer Helga Gruber
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor Angus Wall
Junior Editor Austyn Daines
Executive Producer Dave Sellars
Producer Lauren Wilson
Producer Angela Dorian
Executive Producer Asher Edwards
Deputy Head of Production Mike Wigart
VFX Supervisor Paul O’Shea
3D Lead Andy Boyd
2D Lead Jake Montgomery
Production Coordinator Ashley Greyson
VFX Team Benoit Mannequin, Michael Vaglienty, Matt Trivan, Brinton Jaecks, Brady Doyle, Toma Bowen, Dylan Brown, James Steller, EricMattson, Rocco Gioffre, Jonathan Ficcadenti, Aaron Hamman, Steven Browning, Nobu Sasagawa, Jennifer Kim, Brian Broussard, Hayley O’Neill, Steward Burris, Ian Wilson, Yvain Gnarbo, Corrine DeOrsay, Kristen Eggleston, JT Lawrence, Nate Lapinski, Jonathan Vaughn, Zach Dimaria, Nate Usiak, Arrev Chantikian, Michael Lori, Lee Mar
Color Grade: MPC LA
Colorist Mark Gethin
Mix: Lime Studios
Mixer Rohan Young
Assistant Jeff Malan
Sound Design: The Formosa Group
Supervising Sound Editor Per Hallberg, M.P.S.E.
1st Assistant Sound Editor Philip D. Morrill
Previsualization: Unit 11
Previsualization Artist Steve Yamamoto
Previsualization Supervisor Jill Ambrosino
Music Credits:
“Salute Your Solution” – The Raconteurs
Specialty Costumes and Weapons: Legacy Effects
Supervisors John Rosengrant, Shane Mahan
Key Artists Rob Ramsdell
Mike Manzel
Jeff Jingle
Trevor Hensley
Greg Smith
Wonil Song
Darnell Isom
Brian Claus
Kourtney Coats
Jim Charmatz
Nick Seldon
David Monzingo
Alan Garber
Jesse Gee
James Springham
Derek Rosengrant
Jamie Grove
John Cherevka
Ken Cornett
Key Technicians Jeff Deist
Chris Cheatham
Cory Czekaj
Chris Grossnickle
A.J. Venuto
Antonio Contreras
Jason Lopes
Kristen Sanchez
Tracy Roberts
Dawn Dininger
Lon Muckey
Javier Contreras
Dan Driscoll
Lou Diaz
Allan Holt
Nathan Fritges
Rodrick Khachatoorian
Thomas Ovenshire
Marilyn Chaney
Damien Fisher


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