Top Spots: Visuals

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DirecTV "Kite"

From the opening shots, it looks like the strings held by a teenage boy are tethered to a large kite. But when a huge spaceship-like metal object swoops in front of the camera, we realize why the kid is being dragged around. After he wrestles with a satellite and it swoops around like a damaged plane, it finally shoots up through the clouds to take its place in orbit, while the kid takes his place on a beach full of satellite-connected folks. Convincing animation and compositing, combined with creative camera angles, make this a visually dramatic spot.

Effects Company: Buf Compagnie, Paris Production Supervisor: Olivier Gilbert VFX Supervisors: Antoine Deschamp, Olivier Dumont VFX Producer: Karine Binaux VFX Coordinator: Rahel Makonnen Graphic Artists: Antoine Carlon, Bruno Etchepare, Frederique Gyuran, Xavier Loic Perol Flame Artists: Francis Polve Online Editors: Francis Polve, Herve Theron & Thibaut Debaveye Agency: BBDO/N.Y. CCO: David Lubars ECD: Eric Silver ACD/CWs: Ari Weiss, Scott Kaplan Agency Executive Producer: Ed Zazzera Director of Music Production: Rani Vaz Director: Thierry Poiraud/Paranoid Projects @ Tool DP: Philippe Lesourd Editor: Gavin Cutler/MacKenzie Cutler Editorial Song: "First Sleep"

Altoids "Altoidia"

The newest campaignfrom Altoids look like a National Geographic expedition from the '70s, appropriately grungy and washed out like its Third World destination, the fictional land of Altoidia. Bumbling British host Sir Gerald Pines is gleefully embarrassed and abused by the native Altoidians in three spots, in turn attacked by a giant fruit bat, catapulted onto a fire and caught in a tree trap that leaves him hanging by one foot. Venice-based effects company Sight Effects animated the CG bat and performed multiple compositing jobs.

Effects Company: Sight Effects, Venice VFX Supervisors: Alan Barnett, Adrian Hurley VFX Producer: Jeff Blodgett VFX Artist: Chris Stevens Agency: Leo Burnett/Chicago ECD/CW: G. Andrew Meyer ECD/AD: Noel Haan Director: Craig Gillespie/MJZ DP: Neil Shapiro Editor: Paul Martinez/Lost Planet Editorial

Hartford "Trophies"

In a logo-come-to-life moment, the Hartford group's stylized stag becomes a realistic CG icon, walking the halls of UCLA's gym and onto the court, turning heads among the CG trophies as well as the audience. "The stag has a great deal of humanity," says Campbell Mithun president Jack Rooney. "With his wet nose, the nuances of his movements and his quiet strength, he not only gets noticed but he inherently belongs [in his settings]." As a sponsor of the NCAA basketball tournament, the financial services company also shows its connection to the sport with a voiceover by 94-year-old UCLA coach John Wooden, speaking of integrity.

Effects Company: Rhythm + Hues Animation Director: Craig Talmy Lighting Supervisor: Jason Bayever Lead Animator: Steve Ziolkowski Flame and Compositing: Yukiko Ishiwata Producers: Caroline Heyward, Amy Hassler Agency: Campbell mithun/Minneapolis Deputy Creative Officer: Rick Gibson CD/CWs: Christy Kendall, Barb Meeker ACD/ADs: Nicold Anderson, Richard Lokensgard Director of Broadcast Production: Kathy DiToro Director: Zack Snyder/Believe Media Editor: Karen Knowles/KKE Editorial

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