Diesel’s Christmas Magic: Hypnosis

I’ve been away for a while, mostly working on a trilogy of short videos for Diesel’s Christmas campaign: The Magic of Christmas.

In this campaign, we wanted to capture children’s feelings of anticipation, joy, and the goodwill that surround a holiday like Christmas. But to make it true to Diesel, we went ahead and changed some things.

Things like casting adult models and not children, and then putting them under hypnosis and coax them into evoking a range of feelings, expressions and behaviors. Some people believe me instantly when I say we actually hypnotized people, others are hesitant and want to see proof. Lucky for the naysayers, we have behind the scenes footage from both the casting and the shoot date. Oddly enough, I feel that the impact of these videos is better appreciated if you watch the Behind the Scenes first – trust me, these people were really hypnotized and it made for a hilarious, weird, and sometimes terrifying experience.

Diesel: Behind The Dreams

Now that you’re a believer, here’s the three episodes, in chronological order:

Episode 1: The Anticipation

Episode 2: The Joy

Episode 3: The Goodwill

My role on these videos was working first on the casting, then on the post-work (creating and animating titles, the little sparkly particles, dust-busting, tiny bits of compositing, etc).

Everything was done in After Effects using Trapcode Particular – on some of the more whimsical shots I used Cinema4D to make a more dynamic path out of a spline, aligned a light to said spline and animated it, then imported the AEC into After Effects and played with the light as an emitter.

Since the three videos were launched on separate days, the Diesel website called for a video placeholder that was in line with the Diesel branding as well as their current Christmas decorations.

This year they’re using playing cards as their key visual (as well as a die/dice). I made an initial style render for the pitch, which got accepted. Then it had to be made a looping animation – once the video was rendered and compressed, it was delivered and placed into an HTML5 canvas where the video was then flipped, and overlayed with 2 instances of itself (different scale, transparency, and orientation).



Research & Development

Before settling on hypnosis, we were toying with the idea of trippy patterns, hidden and subliminal messages/iconry – lots of things that were black and white (basically Op Art meets hypnosis), and also before settling on cards there was dice. Here’s some renders and composites from before we had a clear direction.


Final Render

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