The hilarious Will Ferrell takes Super Bowl LVII audiences through the sets of hit Netflix shows like Army of The Dead, Squid Game, Bridgerton, Stranger Things, Love is Blind and Queer Eye to showcase where some of GM’s impressive fleet of EVs might be found (as well as the places they definitely will not). 

While things take a turn for Ferrell after being infected by a nasty zombie bite, Framestore was front and center of the action when it came to recreating the post-apocalyptic Las Vegas scene. Having worked on the original Army of the Dead show for Netflix, the VFX team was able to leverage previously created assets and oversee the shoot with Ferrell and a small cast of zombies on an LED volume stage, and oversaw the scenes through to finishing and delivery.

Framestore’s Executive Creative Director Aron Hjartarson and Creative Director Vicky Osborn worked closely with director David Shane, strategizing the project’s initial goals, prepping and supervising the shoot. Using the same camera and rehoused vintage lenses that were used on the film helped to achieve a similar look and feel to the Army of The Dead film.

“While there was a huge technical aspect to the shoot, we focused on giving director David Shane a methodology that was as transparent and intuitive as possible, while providing Will Ferrell with an immersive world in which to ground his performance,” said Hjartarson. “The LED stage lends itself really well to the subject matter. We had a great time shooting it.”

Performances by zombie extras were captured on a treadmill using a volume array of cameras. The 4D volumetric captures were then used to populate the midground of each shot to increase the number of zombies swarming the car. Crowd zombies were also added in the deep background and in the opening aerial shot using Houdini, mixing volumetric captures and autonomous crowd agents.

“For the driving shots featuring Will Ferrell in the car interior, an extra long section of the Las Vegas strip from the Army of the Dead world was created in Unreal Engine and translated at the correct driving speed to give the impression that the car was moving,” explained Osborn, who supervised the post production process to completion. “This allowed David and Will the flexibility to focus purely on the comedic aspect of the performance and riff on the script to get the most out of the lines.”