June 1st is International Donut Day.

It’s a great day when people celebrate their love for donuts, but it’s also a great opportunity for Chevrolet Arabia to do something amazing.

They wanted to build something really cool to celebrate International Donut Day

The solution? To create a short stop-motion film with a Hot Wheels Camaro that jumps off a ramp and through a real-size donut.

The brief was clear and the tone needed to be – Over the top. Dramatic. Epic. Super cool.

This is the kind of world we love to sink our teeth into. Stop motion & cars.

We loved digging into our imagination to conjure up all the shots that could create speed & and we took extra care in animating the details that would bring those moments to life.

What does it feel like to lay it all on the line? To engage into a stunt, driving a muscle car. The sensation of exhilaration. The pounding of your heart.

We buckled our seat belts and you should Hold on tight and of course DO NUT TRY this at home!

Leaning heavily on the idea of stop-motion techniques, we pushed the aesthetic to feel as tactile as possible and still carry the personality and magic of driving a Camaro even though we are plunged into a miniature world.

We had a lot of fun with our Art Department. Building all kinds of props and sets. With a various mix of elements, both fun and cool to work with.

This is the kind of world we love to sink our teeth into. Stop motion & toy cars!

— Director Stefan Rand

Step in our stop motion world

Each twist and turn of the car had to be meticulously planned.

Our main challenge was to convey speed on a table top set up while still retaining the stop motion feel and all of that with only 12 fps (frames per second).

Filmmaking is not easy. But you should try stop motion animation it’s brutal.

You need to be meticulous and very patient as you are moving each element a little bit, and then you take the photo. There is no room for mistakes otherwise you need to start all over again.

Before shooting we created a 3D CG PRE-VIZ of the entire video. We quickly modeled the environment in Autodesk Maya and used an already pre built 3d model of the car.

Even though it’s not very beautiful to look at. It gave us the opportunity to test the focal length we would use. Calculate all sorts of useful data, like the size of the set, the distance the car needed to travel to give us the illusion of speed.

This way we could both get approvals from the client before filming and because it takes a tremendous amount of time to move the car frame by frame and then realizing you are not getting the final effect needed.

Or worse that you lost time shooting all those frames and you realize you don’t even need that specific shot.

This could be tragic when working on a limited budget.

So nothing can be left to chance. Everything needed to be meticulously planned.

Thanks to this method and workflow we went into filming completely confident.

We knew we would get what we needed in camera, on time and on budget.

We did not build the sets in their entirety,just the elements surrounding the chevrolet camaro hotweels toy. For the background we decided to use green screen, as we wanted to have the ability to add moving background in post. And this would give us the ability to play with  our shots a bit more in post production like extending our sets where needed.

It made our post production workflow tougher as well, as we had a lot of green screen spill that we needed to remove and work with additional masks where the key was inefficient.

So nothing can be left to chance. Everything needed to be meticulously planned. Fail to prepare then you better prepare to fail.

— Cinematographer Stefan Rand

2018 is the year mobile becomes the number one way people will consume video.

We rethought formats, composition and production.

We ended up designing a spot for mobile that looks just as amazing when broadcast on TV.

To do that we covered our camera with tape on the back screen of the camera, To make sure that our framing would work in all the aspect ratios. The framing had to work for both vertical format and horizontal. So we needed to make sure that the main action was always covered by each specific aspect ratio. That is a bit tricky but overall the tape is a simple and dirty trick but it did the job just fine.

We ended up designing a spot for mobile that looks just as amazing when broadcast on TV.

— Director Stefan Rand

Our new studio

We spent 3 days filming this lovely social media video content for Chevrolet. It was a real pleasure working in our studio in Belgrade for this project.

If you want to learn more about making social media video content based on stop motion animation, check out the course by @iamstefanrand over at kinomentor.com