NEW YORK — Creative studio Carbon recently teamed up with agency Cramer-Krasselt to create a new :30 spot for Cedar Fair’s Kings Island theme park in Mason, OH. The commercial is designed to reflect the otherworldly experience visitors will take in via the newly-unveiled, 109-foot-tall Mystic Timbers wooden roller coaster. Carbon was brought in early to help craft a fully-animated video that gives viewers a perspective of the ride while highlighting some of its standout features.
“This was a dream brief for the artists,” says Carbon executive producer Phil Linturn. “Cramer-Krasselt proposed some great references for the look and tone, and we immediately knew we were going to have fun developing the style into something very different from any of Cedar Fair’s previous campaigns.”
Using reference points that ranged from computer games to graphic novels, as well as hours of real-life roller coaster footage, the Carbon team initially oversaw fundamental development of styleframes to establish the mysterious, enchanting look and feel of the film. They also developed the storyboard, edit and animatic.
“We needed to walk a fine line that allowed the ride to appear thrilling and spooky, without becoming too menacing and bleak, losing appeal for the intended audience,” Linturn explains. “Once we found that balance, full work began on production of individual shots, which involved all modeling, VFX, animation, compositing and color correction.
The project was created over an eight-week period, with Carbon working closely with Cramer-Krasselt throughout.
“We are lucky to already have a close working relationship with the team at Cramer Krasselt, so we began this project with a level of trust that affords greater latitude when making creative suggestions,” Linturn adds. “This was a rare project where ideas and recommendations flew from initial conversation to testing to screen in record time. I think this is a testament to the early detailed creative conversations allowing us all to begin and ultimately finish development with a very clear and unified vision.”
Maria Carretero served as colorist on the project. Liam Chapple was creative director. The animation team included lead CGI/director Gary Fouchy, lead TD/director Tim Little, CGI artists Chris Friesen and Anthony Morrell, and Flame artist Matt Bregger.