Check Out the Super Bowl Spot for God of War: Ascension
February 1, 2013
Following a tease earlier this week, Sony Playstation has revealed their Super Bowl spot for the upcoming God of War: Ascension. Check it out below alongside the official press release from Imaginary Forces and an official still!
What drives a warrior to relentless brutality? Deceived into murdering his beloved wife and child by Ares, the brutal warrior Kratos of Sony’s “God of War” video game series, has endlessly sought to avenge the unthinkable deed he was tricked into committing.
Imaginary Forces director Karin Fong peers past the gruesome ferocity to uncover the genuine humanity and emotion brought on by this pivotal moment in the affecting 2:00 live action trailer “From Ashes” for the launch of Sony’s “God of War: Ascension” title, produced direct-to-client. This highly cinematic trailer promotes the release of the latest installment in the wildly successful God Of War action-adventure video game series, forgoing the use of game play footage to deliver the emotional journey of a man coming to grips with unthinkable loss. A :60 version of the trailer will also air during the CBS.com live webcast of Super Bowl XLVII.
After working with Imaginary Forces on the in-game cinematics and titles for the “God of War III” title in 2010 and the forthcoming “God of War: Ascension” title, Sony once again reached out to Karin Fong and her team to entice fans with a revitalized eye on the iconic characters in the Ascension trailer. Created in conjunction with Sony’s overarching creative concept, the entire process was handled in-house: collaboration on creative concept, casting, live action production, editorial and VFX. Fong wanted to pull the characters and story out of the digital world and bring Kratos to flesh and blood in a uniquely filmic manner..
To allow fans to look past the violent nature of the protagonist, Fong chose to convey the emotional tumult driving his vengeance throughout the series. Notes Fong, “Having worked with the characters in a digital environment, I was anxious to bring Kratos to life as live action. I really wanted the character to be more human and relatable to the audience by showing the depth of his sorrow and pain.” To further transport players into this manifestation of Kratos’ world within the game, Fong brought on seasoned cinematographer Trent Opaloch ("District 9") to get the most out of the location, steering clear of the overuse of green screens to deliver a more authentic vision of Sparta.
VFX Supervisor Jeremy Cox paid meticulous attention to detail in pre-production in order to utilize every possible moment of the two-day shoot. He worked alongside Fong to choose lenses and camera angles to most effectively create the illusion of a grandiose Spartan army in Greece out of 10 actors in the mountains of Southern California. Cox and his team utilized an array of duplication techniques to enhance the legion of live soldier actors in post.
The shots following Kratos transference from the Spartan countryside and back into war were shot on a green screen set, utilizing as many practical elements as possible to sustain the authenticity of the storytelling. “I wanted there to be a strong visual representation of the transformation of Kratos’ world from idyllic Sparta to a desolate battlefield,” notes Cox of the shift between the two environments.
To execute the disintegration effects featured in the second half of the trailer, Imaginary Forces brought on seasoned VFX artist Allan McKay. He and his team went through a comprehensive research phase, and then completed the extensive 3D simulations, delivering assets that were married together with practical smoke, ash and debris elements by the IF team. The final climactic overhead shot of the trailer features Kratos in the center of a circle of advancing soldiers, teaming with desperation and rage. “After taking the player out of the customary digital world of the game, they are left in a place where they feel enticed by the story and want to jump in and start playing.”
With this trailer, the Imaginary Forces team was able to take the God of War series into uncharted territory. “These characters take on a life beyond their original format. Being so familiar with the characters’ digital inclinations, it was extremely rewarding to visualize them as actual people and bring that vision to life,” notes producer Jon Hassell.