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What Lives Inside: Real Narrative Marketing, Surreal Movie Magic


As first noted here in February, we’ve been working with Intel, two-time Oscar-winner Robert Stromberg, actor Colin Hanks, recent Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons and others to bring the “What Lives Inside” movie exclusively to hulu.

The third episode was released last week, and a recap just came out today:

While the director and actors get a lot of the limelight, there are many other talented individuals who have been hard at work making the world of a character’s imagination come to life – or as one of them put it: making things real, but surreal.

Visual effects were produced at MPC, where CG and 2D artists contributing over 200 stunning VFX shots to create four 10-minute short films in an ambitious four and a half months.

 “A film project in a commercial time,” is how Aaron Hamman at MPC described it.

The visual effects agency says they undertook extensive R&D to inject life, emotion, and natural movements into each character, including texturing of scales, rigging of skeletal structures, and animation of interaction, movements and voice dialogue.

With high-performance computing power from Dell and Intel, MPC actually built a separate render farm fine-tuned solely for the different render engines used for this project such as V-Ray from Chaos Group which uses specific ray-tracing software with an Intel chip to speed up render times.

We’ve heard a lot of great feedback about the film online, and a similar theme tweeted here by @Anelakins is a desire for more:

But, others still have their reservations like Joey Preger:

I was fortunate enough to be part of a small audience that got to see Stromberg preview the first episode during SXSW, and he does not strike me as the type to let product placement supersede the story he wants to tell.

“He’s not a director who sits back and lets other people take over,” said Ross Denner at MPC. “He’s very full-on-hand, he gets involved and it’s fantastic to have that kind of interaction between director and post houses because this is such a post-heavy job.”

Stromberg had creative freedom and combined that post-production interaction with his attention to detail to bring the Intel tagline "It’s what’s inside that counts" to life. So, while yes, there is Dell technology in the film, in addition to the Dell technology helping create the film, Boing Boing says: “The animation is beautiful, the acting is top notch, and the story looks fun and mysterious.”

“The movie is free to be about Colin Hanks [sic] tries to come to terms with the great things his father created and his own relationship with him and not how to use a tablet for every conceivable situation,” says blogger Joshua P’ng who calls it “Narrative Marketing at its finest.”

Watch the first three episodes now, so you’ll be ready when the finale goes live TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

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