Dec. 13, 2016
The Third Collaborative Video with AC Milan “AC Milan vs. Drift Cars” has been Released
We completed our third collaborative video with AC Milan following the release of “AC Milan vs Super Car by TOYO TIRES” in 2014 and “Chase in Milan by TOYO TIRES” last year. Competitive performance is the theme of this year’s video, titled “AC Milan vs. Drift Cars.” In an arena surrounded by wildly excited spectators you will see two sportscars, a Nissan GT-R and TOYOTA 86, fitted with our PROXES tires, battling it out with AC Milan stars for the best performance. For starters, have a look at the video.
The stage was set for the Colosseum, but using a World Heritage site was obvoiusly not an option (lol). So as an alternative, we created an original TOYO TIRES Colosseum for featuring our tires and the AC Milan players using computer graphics, synthesis techniques, and good old fashioned staff zeal. Below is a behind-the-scenes look to the two-country, nine-day shoot.
We began filming in October at the Kashima plant of JFE Bars & Shapes Corporation in Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Do any of you recognize the windmills on the premises? Those of you that do can consider yourselves to be certified TOYO TIRES buffs. We borrowed a warehouse at the same plant to use as a studio for shooting the Corporate CF we released in June earlier this year.
The back area of the warehouse was hemmed in on three sides by green walls where the colosseum spectator seating was to appear. Computer graphics and scenes shot in Italy were layered on top of the conspicuous green coloring of the walls. The green was later cut away in editing. In the video, it looks as though several hundred spectators surround the arena, but as seen in the photo, only a few dozen extras took part in the shoot. The other spectators were digitally simulated.
Here you see a method of computer graphics in which various facial expressions and poses by the extras are shot separately, then edited in to create a life-like scene. If you look very carefully, you may be able to spot the same person sitting in several different seats.
Cameras started rolling when the NISSAN GT-R handled by Masato Kawabata exploded onto the set. Kawabata was able to maintain such incredible momentum in the extremely limited space – It was unbelievable! As for Hideyuki Fujino behind the wheel of the TOYOTA 86….
He was locked up! Fujino on stand-by behind a beautiful model doing a test photo shoot was quite an amusing sight.
While mishaps did occur, such as having to halt filming due to white smoke billowing up from the cars, the perfectly synchronized drifting of both drivers was met with cheers and applause by the entire production staff.
It was not the white smoke, however, that produced the biggest headache for the staff – It was “Kuma-chan” the teddy bear. The screenplay called for a simple scene in which dribbling saves the falling stuffed animal, but it did not go as easily as planned. Figuring out how it should make contact with the ball, and at what angle the cut was to be shot, had to be worked out on-site through trial and error. The staff tried all kinds of techniques, like throwing the stuffed animal, mounting it on a stick and hanging it from a nylon thread. In the end, just this one scene ended up taking several hours to shoot.
Filming in Japan included some special guests, including three mysterious bullfighters. Who were those masked men…?
They were none other than YOSSHI, YU-J and i-zu of ALEG-Re, the freestyle football team that we sponsor.
After completing the five-day shoot in Japan with the support of numerous other actors, the filming staff finally headed to Italy, where the AC Milan players were waiting.
The staff had only three hours to shoot the scenes with the AC Milano players. It made for a tight schedule considering the dozens of cuts that had to be shot within the allotted time. Given that the players had made time in their busy schedules to come out to the studio after practice, keeping them there a long time was not an option. Several days before the shoot, the staff had already begun preparing by repeatedly rehearsing the positioning of the players and cameras, and reconfirming camera focus and intensity of the lights.
Finally, the day of the shoot arrived along with the long-awaited appearance of the players. First on the scene was Romagnoli, who is a defender for AC Milan at the young age of 21. He seemed slightly nervous in the unfamiliar surroundings. Close behind were Gabriel and Honda. Abate, who participated in the shoot last year, lightened the atmosphere and engaged the other players. The way he brought together the players certainly attested to his exceptional talent as team captain.
Honda garners great respect from the AC Milan head coach for his professional attitude, and he took the same kind of approach toward the shoot. Here you see him checking a playback of his volleying on the monitor.
After the player shoot was over, we welcomed into the studio AC Milan legend, “Franco” Baresi! He was a legendary defender who devoted his entire life to AC Milan as a player, and who had his uniform number “6” retired.
Here is the cut where Baresi heads the ball. Passing the ball to him from off-camera was one of the video editing staff who was a former youth soccer player that had taken up the sport because he had idolized Baresi. However, his nerves seemed to get the better of him in front of the legend and he threw the ball off mark. In fact, he continued to misthrow it so often that Baresi himself directed him to, “Toss it here.” That seemed to do the trick and they got a shot of a perfect pass and header; and that pretty much wrapped-up the four-day shoot in Italy.
Following the shoot, roughly a month was spent editing footage for the video before it was released on December 1. Completion of the video required about seven months from start to finish. Now that it is out, we are breathing a sigh of relief. We would like to thank the numerous staff and performers who all spent such an enormous amount of time on this production; and we hope that the video is viewed and enjoyed by as many people as possible.
You can also check out the “the making of” version here: