With the proliferation of virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift, award-winning creative company LOGAN expands their offerings with the launch of a standalone VR division. Led by LOGAN Co-founder/Director Ben Conrad and supported by its robust roster of multidisciplinary directors, the new unit will set its focus on experiential and virtual reality projects for the advertising, entertainment, and action sports industries.
Forever pushing the boundaries of storytelling and technology, LOGAN launches their new division on the heels of “Virtual Drift” a groundbreaking project for Castrol EDGE via agency The Brooklyn Brothers. For the first time ever, the production company was able to recreate their infamous automotive films – “Gymkhana Seven,” Castrol “Blackout,” and “Recoil 2” – but this time in the virtual world using the Oculus Rift.
“Virtual Drift” begins by placing champion Formula Drifter Matt Powers and his 650-horsepower Mustang on a clear open course, before connecting the driver to the Oculus gear. Blinded by the headset but fed images of a virtual obstacle course, Powers must drive his real car in response to the virtual environment. Powers skillfully maneuvers his way to safely avoiding pitfalls, falling boulders, and monster waves, as the entire virtual world collapses around him. The resulting film, directed by Conrad, shows a harrowing and inventive use of the extraordinary VR technology.
To create this stunt, Conrad and his team of creative technologists, including Adam Amaral and Glenn Snyder, designed a digital, apocalyptic obstacle course to test the best drivers’ reflexes and skills. They then hardwired a car in the real world with a triangulated GPS system and a network of sensors that would monitor variables including speed, temperature, torque, and throttle. All this data was then collected and processed through a computer and plugged into the virtual world essentially creating an exact replica of the car in the space. As the driver maneuvered in the real world, the virtual car would move as well.
“We’re doing something that has never been done before,” notes Conrad. “Drifting in a real car with your eyes completely covered is extremely dangerous, but our tech team was were able to make it happen. LOGAN has always been about pushing the envelope when it comes to experiential projects and filmmaking. It was so awesome to be a part of this first of its kind project.”
Conrad is no stranger to pushing the boundaries with automotive filmmaking. Recently, the director lensed the viral sensations Castrol “Blackout,” a star-studded relay team race filmed in pitch darkness, Castrol “Footkhana,” a head-to-head scrimmage between Gymkhana king Ken Block and football phenom Neymar, and “Gymkhana Seven,” the latest installment in the popular driving series set in Los Angeles. To date, the Gymkhana films directed by Conrad (Gymkhana 4-7) have garnered over 151.2 million views on YouTube.
Title: “Virtual Drift”
Agency: The Brooklyn Brothers, London UK
Creative Director: Victoria Daltrey, Will Bingham
Client Partner: Matt Brown
Producer: Victoria Bennett
Creative Director: Ben Conrad
VR Producer: Pierre Nobile
Developer, Creative Technologist : Adam Amaral, Glenn Snyder
Production Company: Logan & Sons
Director: Ben Conrad
Head of Production: Scott Siegal
Producer: Rick Brown
Director of Photography: Jordan Valenti
Stunt Coordinator: Eliza Coleman
Automotive Consultant: Ashley Baker
Production Manager: Chris Fox
Editorial, VFX: Logan
Executive Creative Director: Ben Conrad
Head of Production: Scott Siegal
Producer: Pierre Nobile
Creative Director: Kenneth Robin
Editor: Volkert Besseling
Assistant Editor: Matt Anderson, Kyle Helf
Lead Design: Kenneth Robin
Designers: Kenneth Robin, Ash Thorp, Lamson To
VFX Supervisor: Stephan Kosinski
CG Lead: Pauline Giraudel
CG Artists: Pauline Giraudel, Bryanna London, Daniel Jensen, Ryan Kirkwood
Compositing Lead: Andrew Pellicer
2D Compositors: Andrew Pellicer, Bryan Yu, Ryan Kirkwood
3D Animation Lead: John Bloch
3D Animators: John Bloch, James Grow, Robin Kim, Mike Atniel, Warren Heimall, Robert Dollase, Josh Hardeman
3D Modeling: Michael Conrad, Jake Hill, Pedro Mendoza
3D Tracking: Graham Herbster, Michael Theurer
FX Artists: Jenny Anderson, Ivan Cruz, Eric Rosenthal, Pedro Mendoza
2D Roto Paint: William Cox
Flame Conform: Carl Edwards
Storyboards: Bryan De Loach
Sound Designer, Mixer: Keith Ruggiero
Colorist: Luis Silva
Talent, Driver: Matt Powers
LOGAN (www.logan.tv) is an award-winning New York and Los Angeles-based content creation studio. Their team of producers, directors, creative directors, VFX artists, and animators excel at problem solving and helping clients bring their vision to life. Concepting, ideation, design, live-action production, 2D and 3D animation, VFX, editorial, and ﬁnishing take place under one roof, making workﬂow a truly seamless experience. Logan & Sons (www.loganandsons.com) is the live-action division of LOGAN and represents a broad spectrum of directorial talent.
Known for its iconic work for top brands, LOGAN helped define many memorable cultural moments, including commercial campaigns like the Apple’s iPod Silhouettes, viral hits like the Gymkhana ﬁlms (over 165 million views), opening titles and sequences for ﬁlms like Zombieland, The Avengers, Premium Rush, and Gangster Squad, content and marketing campaigns for hit video game like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Spider-Man, Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid, and many others.