In the month of Transformers, with every single car manufacturer in Detroit taking advantage of the eye candy trend by having their car do a Michael Bay transformation in their ads, this one created by director Josh Baker (Sydney Film Company) and vfx powerhouse Fuel stands out to me. It is stylized very much like the sleek, real, walking robots being produced right now in Japan, but the team took the idea of the transformation and went in a different direction with it. These spots just have more character to them and are more enjoyable to watch then all the Transformer impostors out there.
Josh gave us a few more details:
“The spots were created for Japan by Hakuhodo Inc (the agency), for a Tokyo-only release, and went to air back in May and June (before Transformers). The Powered Suit was designed by uber-mecha-designer Shoji Kawamori (Macross, Patlabor, Ghost In The Shell, the original interpretation of Optimus Prime etc), and as he’s a genius, we were lucky to get him.
Another super cool point is that the folks at Nissan Japan then went and made a life-size version of the Powered Suit to exhibit around Tokyo (Ginza and Shibuya). I wish I could get a photo with it.
Japan have been making robot related spots WAY before the Western world discovered Citroen and Michael Bay… and this is another in a long line. The difference we tried to capture was more of an ‘organic’ transition, something melty and bendy that didn’t remind everyone of what’s been seen before. Also the design is a ‘suit’ to be worn… and not a robot… something the agency really wanted to underline during production.