Time Based Arts re-Create Childhood Wonder for Mercedes in ‘Time to Look up Again’ Campaign

Mercedes has teamed up with Antoni, the lead European agency for the car division of Mercedes-Benz, to launch the latest model of the C-Class Family, the C-Class Cabriolet.

In the inaugural campaign for Mercedes agency, Anorak Films’ director, Sebastian Strasser, and EP, Christoph Petzenhauser, pulled together a world-class team of filmmakers to realise the creative idea. DoP Rodrigo Prieto (Wolf of Wall Street, Brokeback Mountain and Babel), Academy award-winning costume designer, Mark Bridges, and renowned production designer, K. K. Barrett (Her, Lost in Translation and Being John Malkovich), made up part of a formidable team.

The film is visually intriguing, seeing the imagination of a young boy come to life in delicate beauty. As he grows up, we see him gradually lose the freedom and dreams of his formative years. Passing through adolescence into the doldrums of adult life, the vivid wonderment of his childhood is lost to the roles and responsibilities of being a grown up.  

The spot reaches its climax with the hero reclining the roof of his C-Class Cabriolet, looking up and seeing the paper birds from his childhood re-worked as giants of the sky. The protagonist speeds off into the distance, imagination restored once more.

Time Based Arts partnered with long-time collaborator, Sebastian Strasser, to help bring the journey to life, completing all of the VFX and grade work on the film. The team created a number of the visual elements, including the CG origami birds, inflatable dragon, the giant mother, puffer fish and 80’s 8bit karate game.

Mike Skrgatic. VFX Supervisor and co-owner at Time Based Arts, comments: “The project was another incredible opportunity for us to apply our art alongside some of the industry’s biggest hitters. Seb always surrounds himself with super talented makers, so it’s nice to be regarded in such good company. The crew rose to the challenge and once again produced some outstanding images throughout. With the addition of grading this year it’s rewarding to see a job of this scale go through Time Based Arts from start to finish. As a group we’re very happy with the influence we had on what is a beautifully crafted piece of work.”

Simone Grattarola, Head of Colour at Time Based Arts, comments: “The brief for the grade was to evoke a sense of warmth throughout the hero’s childhood, which then returns towards the end of the film to create a feeling of nostalgia as he drives off into the city, surrounded by the creatures he dreamt of when he was a child. In between these two harmonious periods, the grade took a darker turn through his adolescence and into life as a working adult, complementing the fast paced editing to demonstrate the monotony of ‘boring’ adult life.”


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