The spot shows a biker being chased down the streets of a Japanese city by a giant robot mantis. The mantis knocks the biker, causing him to crash. He pulls a gun, which has no effect on the enormous metal insect, causing it to merely pause before delivering the final blow with a spiked mandible.
The concept is that the robot represents one of Praying Mantis’s unmanned surveillance drones, dealing with anyone acting against the interests of the PMC’s clients.
Both the production and post involved some adrenaline-pumping work, beginning with Tylevich following the biker “around the night streets at 40mph hanging out of a quad-bike which looked like something out of Mad Max.”
The biker’s fall was filmed using a stuntman, with the crashing bike created in 3D and composited in post. To make all the shots as realistic as possible, the footage was tracked in Boujou.
Then all street signs – and anything else that would give away that the scenes were filmed in LA, not Japan – had to be removed and replaced with a near-future take on Japanese elements. The team also replaced some of the clearly American buildings with more appropriate CG architecture.
The hardest part of creating the commercial was compositing the CG elements with the live-action footage convincingly – a task made more difficult by certain shots requiring almost half the frame to be replaced with CG.
The most important factor here was matching the lighting in the CG elements to that in the footage, which the team achieved by capturing HDR panoramic stills of the shoot locations.
These were used as reflection maps for the mantis to ensure a near-perfect lighting match – but further manual correction was still necessary.