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Cavalry and radical media teamed up with Method Studios once again to produce the latest installment of super chilled Coors ads - three commercials titled Break The Ice, Mountain Tap and Avalanche. 

For Method’s VFX crew, ‘Avalanche’ presented the team with the most challenges which were keenly taken on by Gil Baron who acted as both VFX Supervisor and Creative Director. In this ad, a duo of snowboarders race down a mountain with a huge avalanche hot on their heels. They escape the tumbling snow just in time to deliver an ice cold beer. Needless to say, due to safety reasons, the avalanche needed to be created using CGI and blend in seamlessly with filmed footage.


During the two week arctic shoot actors were dunked into iceberg filled waters on a glacial lake, dynamite dropped from helicopters while footage was captured from other helicopters and suitable vistas were hunted down thousands of feet up to drop snowboarders onto. It was an inspiring and amazing shoot to say the least. 

Gil comments “The logistics of shooting created unique storytelling challenges so we had to think creatively about how to tie our disciplines of matte painting, 3d, composting and effects to best effect. Since agency, client and director were aligned in the quest to capture as much as possible in camera, we had a foundation of great footage to work with.”

This base of amazing practical photography raised a high creative bar for the VFX team and made the artistic target very clear – to make the CG effects look real and as epic and exciting as possible.


Making the most of the Method talent across our global network, and working closely with clients based in Chicago, the project was shared between Chicago, London and New York. Acting as one, the project was a great success with the majority of VFX work produced out of Method New York.

The pre and post production stage involved a lot of R&D into the avalanche simulation. The falling snow needed to work well in close-up as well as the sweeping wide shots and the resulting amount of simulations, volumetric data and render times needed careful management.

FXTD Goncalo Cabaca notes “The avalanche needed to be art directable so the main system derives from several wire simulations to create the front edge. We needed to maintain the gentle broad movement of the main mass of snow and at the same time make the front edge highly menacing to the snowboarders. Debris and snow chunks were added in a controlled way, permanently jumping ahead and merging with the main mass of the avalanche.”

Other effects required in the final delivery included set extension, crowd simulation, CG snowboarders and matte paintings.


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