Press Release

Bicoastal creative production company Stardust Studios recently delivered the third spot in a high-profile broadcast campaign for the Nissan Murano and TBWAChiatDay Los Angeles. Directed by Stardust’s owner and executive creative director Jake Banks, the first spot entitled “Soar” broke in Dec., “Glide” debuted just before Super Bowl XL and aired during ABC’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, and the third spot ‘ entitled “Fly” ‘ began airing nationally this week. Stardust also provided design, live-action production, animation, editorial and visual effects for the campaign.
Each of the spots uses a stylized approach to showcase how smoothly the Murano's Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) operates, featuring the vehicle inside of an animated world transforming into a bird in “Soar,” a manta ray in “Glide” and a paper airplane in “Fly.”
After receiving the agency’s request for proposal, Banks and his team created a written treatment, in-depth storyboards and a series of motion tests, all of which helped to land the job. Upon award, the team began previsualizing the camera moves for the live-action shoot, building a 3D car in Maya and moving the cameras around to match camera-car and helicopter perspectives.
Filmed with the assistance of director of photography Neil Shapiro, Banks used a camera car, a helicopter, and locked-down mounts to capture the shots and get the angles necessary to match his storyboards. "We had to shoot the car in a way that would be in-tune with the animation that had elements of flowing, soaring and gliding," he said. "The way we approached the project ‘ doing extreme dynamic camera moves ‘ allowed us to be more free with animation."
Meanwhile, Stardust’s design team used Maya to create 3D models and fluid animation of their bird, manta and airplane. Next came the transitions from the Murano into and out of the animated sequences. “We actually presented a lot of ideas to the agency to ensure those transitions exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Banks added.
The creative team for TBWAChiatDay Los Angeles included executive creative director Rob Schwartz, creative director Joe Shands, associate creative directors Mike Yagi and Chris Lynch, art director David Steinke, copywriter Robin Fitzgerald and producer Carrie Schaer.
Along with Banks and executive producer Eileen Doherty, Stardust’s team also included editor Tony Hall, live-action producer Rich Kaylor, post producer Erin Sullivan, lead animator/VFX supervisor Shane Zucker, art director P.J. Richardson (on “Soar”), designers Kinda Akash and Neil Tsai, and animators Joseph Andrade, Chris Eckhart, Scott Signore, Ian Townsend, Ash Wagers and Moses Journey.
Ad Agency: TbwaChiatDay – LA
Executive Creative Director: Rob Schwartz
Creative Director: Joe Shands
Assoc. Creative Directors: Mike Yagi, Chris Lynch
Art Director: David Steinke
Copywriter: Robin Fitzgerald
Agency Producer: Carrie Schaer
Production/Animation/Editorial/VFX Company: Stardust Studios
Director, Executive Creative Director: Jake Banks
Executive Producer: Eileen Doherty
Director Of Photography: Neil Shapiro
Editor: Tony Hall
Live Action Producer: Rich Kaylor
Post Producer: Erin Sullivan
Lead Animator/Vfx Supervisor: Shane Zucker
Art Director: P.J. Richardson (“Soar”)
Designers: Kinda Akash, Neil Tsai
Animators: Joseph Andrade, Chris Eckhart, Scott Signore, Ian Townsend, Ash Wagers
Telecine: Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Additional VFX: Zoic Studios
Producer: Leighton Greer
Flame Artists/Online Editors: Mark Loso, John Shirley
Music Company: Asche & Spencer
Producer: Janelle Schmidt
Composer: Greg Herzenach
Sound Design: Mophonics Music & Sound

Producers: Shelley Altman, Colette Huemer
Sound Designer: John Reese
Final Mix: Lime Studios