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Directed by Noam Murro, the spot for Jameson  features a town that’s almost completely engulfed by flames. To save the distillery that produces his famed Irish whiskey, John Jameson breaks a dam, causing the town to flood. Method were thrilled to see this effects-heavy commercial pick up a host of accolades after its release: an AICP nomination, Australian Effects and Animation nomination, Hollywood Post Aliance win for compositing and a VES award nomination for visual effects.


The live-action shoot took place over five nights and included dressed fire on location, full-scale water sets, white water rapids, helicopter footage of the city and even flooding a 1/4 scale miniature.

Compositing Supervisor Chris Bankoff and the Method team took on the task of setting the town ablaze and then flooding it. “One of the biggest challenges we faced was integrating the live-action fire and flood footage with all of the CG elements,” said Bankoff. “Approximately 30% of the scenery was captured during the shoot; we added the rest using a combination of CG fire and practical elements from Method's asset library.  For example, all of the fires in the opening shot were selected from either a 2D or 3D source, placed by hand, and integrated into the scene to produce a cohesive shot of the inferno.”   Renowned for their water effects, Scanline VFX was brought in to create raging floodwaters for the spot.  They used their proprietary fluid & effects simulation software throughout the project.


“We added a lot of atmospheric smoke and debris,” offered Lead Flame Artist Noah Caddis. “We also had a big challenge in creating the final aftermath shot, where we ended up replacing nearly all of the live action plate with 3D destroyed buildings, smoke, and smoldering remains.” Color grading, provided by Company 3, throughout the spot brought out elements of the fiery scenes further and made the water pop.

The 3D fire, smoke & ember work was done in Houdini; the 3D matte paintings for the wide shots was completed using MAYA & Photoshop with assistance from the Method London office, and composited in Flame.  Supporting roto work was completed in Silhouette, and PFTrack was used to track shots needing 3D elements.   

"This was an epic commercial in every sense - it's not every day you get to play with the extremes of fire and flooding on such a cinematic scale,” commented Dan Glass, VFX Supervisor for the project. “It was great working with Noam Murro again and collectively pushing our creative and technical limits."


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