The Purge Launch Campaign

Client

USA

Year

2018

The Purge: Better America

“Is this real or what?” was the question we wanted our audience to ask when our provocative, graphic-driven tease for “Better America” was made public--and with over 2M views across social media, the responses have that question popping up everywhere.

Original Key Art Concepts

Our idea stemmed from the data-based political ads proliferated in our media, while we fully embraced the propaganda-like spin. As we searched through references of the a-typical ad campaign, we knew we could produce a visual language that would be both believable and satirical.

Animation by Alec Iselin & Jane Wu

This spot also called for a convincing script, which we crafted fully in-house. Creating faux statistics, we built infographic visuals driven by “inspiring” voice over to create a sense of duty that the Purge calls for.

Unlike the other two spots, this spot was built entirely in After Effects, as the simplicity of the 2D charts and graphs drives you visually through each statistic and makes it feel uncanny to a real campaign ad.

Animation by Alec Iselin & Jane Wu
The Purge USA - Key Art (Instagram - @thepurgetv)

Thanks again to USA for the collaborative effort on this spot and the launch campaign in its entirety--we had a lot of fun with this one!

The Purge: Mask

Floating in space, the suspense of our dark, altered America ramps up as pieces of the Purge mask connect and strengthen.

We produced this piece for USA Network’s The Purge- the new 10-part series based on the films of the same name in which all crime, including homicide, is legal for 12 hours. In collaboration with USA, we were given the opportunity to create a wide range of visuals that would ultimately set the tone for the series. With limited materials, we needed to conceptualize unique devices that would tell our story, and tease key themes of the series. Each idea had to stand alone and represent the tone, look & feel--all without the use of original show footage.

References

In one of three promo concepts, “Mask”, we were inspired by key Purge characters, using sound bites set to a dark environment as we built the Purge mask from the ground up. Floating in space, the suspense of our dark, altered America ramps up as pieces of the Purge mask connect and strengthen. The mask symbolizes the preparation for purge night--as the fibers interlock and weave together to form the mask, the sound bites build on top of each other to create the sense of chaos that looms as the night draws closer.

Early Mask Model by Casey Reuter
Design "roadmap" by Theo Daley & FX Render by Josh Clos

To start, we modeled the mask in ZBrush to establish the overall look and material. Once we nailed down the model, we explored various lighting and texturing avenues that led us to a dark metallic finish for the bulk of the mask, complete with copper-red eye plates. We then created a roadmap that would draw out how each piece of material would come together to conform the final render.

3D Animation by Alec Iselin & Josh Clos

In animation, Houdini gave us the best results for the interlocking motion and pushed us to work outside of our typical 3D workflow. Once we refined each piece of the cut, we worked on mastering the final audio mix with our partners over at Plush.

First to final mask

A big thanks to our ongoing collaboration with the USA team--keep reading for all of the spots we created for this year’s campaign.

The Purge: Emblem

All built in C4D and rendered in Octane, the emblem spot allowed us to explore the realistic qualities of heat and the flexibility of warped metal.

Born out of purge night destruction and purification, our “Emblem” tease called for us to develop a story-telling device inspired by real-life objects and visuals from the show. Because The Purge takes over American ideals of liberty and freedom, we explored overt & recognizable symbols of patriotism. After gathering reference and the right artists, we came up with an arresting visual representation of a familiar American emblem melting and transforming into the NFFA motif.

In the center of a dark and ominous void, a representation of the Presidential Seal sits confident and proud. We emulate light moving over the eagle and shield to reveal the cold, steel construction and welded elements.

We cut to a close shot of the eagle’s head as the metal begins to warp and distort, melting away to reveal the eagle’s skull. We show a series of macro shots of the seal - E Pluribus Unum, the stars and the arrows, all at various stages of melting and disappearing as the patriotic audio builds.

Finally we see the shield, half melted, revealing a new unidentified element underneath--the NFFA emblem--showing the change from the original founding fathers and their goals for America, to one catered to the Purge.

All built in C4D and rendered in Octane, the emblem spot challenged us and allowed us to explore the realistic qualities of heat and the flexibility of warped metal.

Our artists and creatives took this spot to the next level, and the cinematic result became one of our favorites to date.

-BGSTR

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