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Asylum Chases Epic Samsung Spot

Asylum recently teamed up with Anonymous Content Director Daniel Benmayor via Leo Burnett to create a cinema-quality spot introducing the Samsung Galaxy S™ smartphone.


features a high-powered chase scene as a car tears after a motorcycle through an abandoned industrial landscape – a maze of ruined roads, warehouses, and empty fuel stations. The spot climaxes with the biker hurdling heedlessly through a window as the car emerges through the wall in a fireball. But when the camera gradually pulls out, the landscape is revealed to be not a maze of earth-bound buildings, but a miniature city nestled in the palm of a human hand – a symbolic representation of the power of the Samsung Galaxy S™ smartphone, the Samsung Fascinate™ to deliver big-time entertainment in a miniature handheld device.

“These days, the line is blurring between cinema and spot work, with clients increasingly wanting to create the same filmic level of VFX no matter the medium,” noted Asylum EP Mike Pardee. “At Asylum, we’ve assembled a crew with a broad range of talents, so we can take on any project, no matter the scale, and produce work that’s as strong as anything you’ll find anywhere.”

To the alert viewer, the revelation of the hand would not have been a total surprise, thanks to Asylum’s expert post work, including flesh textures subtly integrated into the ground plane. Asylum’s team created this effect with a combination of 2.5d matte paintings (created in Photoshop and Maya), and photographed elements composited in Inferno. The team shot various plates with a Canon 5D and composited realistically into the chase scenes.

The most difficult work was creating the city from the bird’s eye view that would be convincing as a real location and match the topography of the actor’s hand for the final reveal. This was done as a matte painting, tracked and composited into plate photography of the hand. Asylum then inserted Samsung’s signature blue line as an element to reveal the phone itself.

Asylum created the illusion of the chase taking place at the edge of the world in the same way, with a combination of particle effects created in Inferno, and practical library elements. The stunt shots of the motorcycle and car flying out the exploding window required complex rotoscoping, combined with matte paintings and clever compositing to give the illusion that the event is taking place in an alternate reality at the edge of the giant hand.

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Client: Samsung

Spots Title:


Air Date: September 2010

Agency: Leo Burnett

CD/Writer: Colin Selikow

CD/AD: Vince Cook

Producer: Matt Blitz

Prod Company: Anonymous Content

Director: Daniel Benmayor

EP: Jeff Baron

EP/Head of Commercials: Dave Morrison

Head of Production: Sue Ellen Clair

Post/Effects: Asylum

Visual Effects Supervisor: Mitch Drain

Lead Flame Artist: Miles Essmiller

2d Artist: Rachel Keyte

3d Artist: Jason Locke

Paint: Paul Fedor, Tim Clark

Executive Producer: Michael Pardee

Bidding Producer: Cassandra Khavari

Producer: Darcie Muangman

About Asylum

Asylum is a premier VFX and design studio handling high-profile features, commercials, music videos, and emerging media content for web and mobile platforms. Asylum’s team is currently working on Tony Scott’s upcoming film, Unstoppable and recently wrapped the summer hit,

Sorcerer’s Apprentice

. Past features include

Terminator Salvation


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Pirates Of The Caribbean ll & lll, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

(Academy Award and BAFTA nominated),

Moulin Rouge, Minority Report

, Tony Scott’s

Déjà Vu, Man on Fire



and Ridley Scott’s

Black Hawk Down


Asylum has added to commercial campaigns including

Halo 3:ODST, The Life

which garnered the award for Outstanding VFX in a Video Game Trailer at the 2010 VES Awards, as well as Porsche, Hershey’s, Nike, Sony Playstation, Coke, BMW, Gatorade and Apple. In addition, Asylum Design has created award winning title and graphic work for such films as

Bedtime Stories, X-Men I & II, The Island, Bad Boys II



, and Tim Burton’s

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Alice in Wonderland


More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA)