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The Irish National Lottery ‘Million Euro Challenge’

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The Method Design team in NY teamed with ad agency DDFH&B to construct a Rube Goldberg-inspired installation for the Ireland National Lottery’s new game show “Million Euro Challenge.” Directed by Method’s Shane Griffin and Jon Noorlander, the 60 second spot was completed using an innovative blend of previsualization, 3D printing, and physical set construction with weighted pulley systems and motion sensors.

The meticulously crafted pyramid installation features six levels, each illustrating a luxury about which a potential millionaire might dream. The spot takes viewers through each level, starting with a Ferrari traversing a racetrack, then moving to a luxury cruise ship in the tropics, a glamorous nightclub, a musical wonderland, and a lavish home, before finally reaching the top of the pyramid and a stack of Euros.

The Method artists began by storyboarding and concepting all elements in Photoshop and Maya, then completing previsualization using Maya and a 3D camera in order to create the pyramid in physical scale. The previz process utilized a motion control rig that moved through the 3D environment to determine how far away the camera should be from the installation when filming, and to determine the proper size for the various triangles that ultimately create the overall border for the pyramid. Then Method finalized the design of the physical pyramid, which included handcrafted set pieces, 3D printed elements, and cleverly hidden pulley systems and motion sensors to make the installation work from start to finish. Method worked with Toronto-based 2D House, who provided modeling in Rhino and custom 3D prints for props like the cruise ship, two jets, golden house, and one million fake Euro notes.

DP Christophe Colette shot over 90 takes of the installation, using a RED Dragon camera attached to a Technodolly rig, shooting at 50 frames per second. The motion control dolly ensured that the camera could glide through the various levels of the pyramid and pull back for the final full-pyramid view all in one smooth take. Method then completed clean up in Nuke, and Company 3 completed color grading in Baselight.

“Everyone lets their imagination run wild when thinking about winning the lottery, so we had a lot of fun creating all the fanciful elements of this spot, from the hot air balloon to some pyrotechnics to making it rain with Euros,” said Griffin. “We really wanted this piece to feel handmade and tactile, and the final product is a testament to all the very precise work done by the designers and artists at Method and 2D House.”


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