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Hope And Hereos: From The Red Carpet To Promotion

M. Galas

Fur was in on the El Capitan Theatre’s red carpet July 19th, when a massive crowd braved triple digit temperatures to witness the world premiere of Disney’s “G-Force.”

“G-Force” follows a team of highly trained guinea pigs: Darwin (Sam Rockwell), Blaster (Tracy Morgan) and Juarez (Penelope Cruz) who, aided by mole Speckles (Nicolas Cage), are trying to expose suspected mastermind criminal Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy).  When a mission initiated by Dr. Ben Kendall (Zach Galifianakis) fails, the animal agent unit is closed down by the FBI.   G-Force is on it’s own to thwart Saber’s plan.

Several young stars were not only excited to watch the premiere, but also found the movie’s slogan: “The world needs bigger heroes” inspirational to young and old alike.

“This message can empower today’s youth,” said Chelsea Gilligan, Miss California Teen USA.  “We are the people of tomorrow.  Our positive attitude and knowledge can make a big difference in the future.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, or who you are or what you do for a living,” said Debby Ryan (“The Suite Life on Deck,” “Hannah Montana”).  “We are the heroes. We have to be the type of people that make a difference in the world.”

“It’s a call out to people who aren’t afraid to step up and do the right thing,” said Vincent Martella (“Role Models,” “Phineas and Ferb”).  Having raised six guinea pigs, Martella loved the concept behind “G-Force.”

“They are such great pets,” said Martella.  “I did always feel they were up to something!”

With numerous awards for films compositions in movies such as “Flyboys,” “Armageddon,” and “Remember the Titans,” composer Trevor Rabin was excited to be attending the premiere.  “G-Force” marked his first animated feature.

“(Producer) Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to keep the element of action very strong,” said Rabin.  “I followed Leonard Bernstein‘s rule of ‘keep the music straight.’  I employed a lot of orchestration performed by the Hollywood Orchestra for the action scenes. My favorite sequences incorporated a Spanish flavor inspired by Penelope Cruz’s character.  An acoustic Spanish guitar highlights the score of a number of scenes.”

Arriving with his wife and son, cinematographer Bojan Bazelli was enthusiastic to share the experience of “G-Force” with a packed house.  Currently shooting Bruckhemier’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” Bazelli appreciated the creative experience he received working with the producer, as well as director Hoyt Yeatman.

“Jerry Bruckhemier has great visual taste.  He encourages creativity, and provides great freedom behind the camera," said Bazelli.  "Hoyt Yeatman is a genius and a wizard.  He knew everything about the technical aspects of the film.  I learned quite a bit from him.”

Bazelli felt the greatest challenge came in creating scenes that had to be shot with the animated characters in mind, while also taking into consideration the 3D elements of each scene.

“The goal was to have all the elements come together, and provide a seamless integration of the effects,” said Bazelli.  “We used ‘stuffies’ to replicate guinea pigs to capture the shadows and lighting the animators would use.  This greatly helped establish the look of the film.”

Along with the action sequences and shooting bold, vivid colors, Bazelli enjoyed getting down to guinea pig level and capturing the world from this lowered perspective.

“My knees are still bruised,” laughed Bazelli.

As the invited guests entered the air conditioned theater for the premiere, people on the street began noticing some unique “G-Force” promotions.

Along with colorful billboards highlighting the main characters in their spy gear, a red, white and blue image of G-Force leader Darwin began appearing randomly in bill post zones.  The poster, which bore a similarity to some Obama campaign images, had the word “Hope” written under an image of Darwin’s face.

“The artwork was developed very organically,” said Don Levy, Sr. VP of Marketing and Communications for Sony Pictures Digital Productions. 

“For every show the visual effects team works on, a t-shirt design is created to pass out to each team member.  The group got together and brainstormed ideas and the campaign posters from the presidential election were very memorable to everyone. One of our artists drew an image of Darwin for a silk screened print, and everybody loved it.”

Jerry Bruckhemier also loved the graphic style and humorous design.  During a visit to Imageworks, he saw a t-shirt and took a few with him after his meeting.  It was brought to the attention of Disney, which used the image for additional publicity.

Having created the visual and animated effects of “G-Force,” the Imageworks team was excited to see their internal project hit the streets to further promote the movie.

“If you look closely at the pin on Darwin’s lapel, you will see the Imageworks logo!”