- Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012
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Hammer Creative, a Videogame Creative Agency specializing in all aspects of A/V, has conceived, produced, edited, and provided post production for a new, four trailer marketing campaign promoting client THQ's new Darksiders II videogame. The announcement was made by Hammer Creative's Executive Creative Director Scott Hayman.
Creative Director/Producer Brett Hocker and the Hammer team spearheaded the new campaign, first conceiving and story-boarding the four trailers behind Darksiders II, including three that are fully CGI, along with a highly ambitious, live action trailer book-ended by CGI content. Hammer then retained The Ebeling Group and director Abdel Abonamous to shoot the live action trailer, a highly cinematic piece (running time 2:17) which was filmed on location in Prague earlier this year.
Entitled "Last Sermon," the live action trailer begins with the scene of an Eastern European city lying in ruin, but with an old church still proudly standing amidst the rubble. Inside the church, actor James Cosmo, star of HBO's "Game of Thrones," appears as a Minister, delivering a "last sermon" to his congregants, all of whom stand on the brink of death. "Before the eyes of God, we have been judged…and we have been found guilty," Cosmo declares, with smoke from his bitter cold breath pouring from his mouth. "Death awaits us all, just as Revelations proclaimed it would."
We hear the monstrous screams of demons emanating from outside the church, as stained glass windows shatter, a chandelier falls from the ceiling and an enormous cross crashes to the ground. The Minister, reading from the Book of Revelations, screams, "The great day of his wrath has come! And who shall be able to stand!" Suddenly, an eerie quiet takes hold of the church, until a bloody sword comes shooting through the church's front door. The Minister peers through the hole left by the sword, and sees their savior – Death – standing as the last defense before an army of demons. At the end of the piece, we see the logo for Darksiders II and the tagline: "Death Lives."
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Said Hayman, "Brett Hocker wrote and produced this dramatic piece for 'Darksiders II,' and truly was the creative visionary behind this unique trailer. Our goal with this campaign was to build up the mystique of the 'Death' game character. Gamers aren't sure if 'Death' is a hero or a villain – whether he's good or evil. We don't really know what his intentions are, so we wanted to convey a bit of intrigue about this unique character. For the 'Last Sermon' trailer, we wanted to add a human element to the story of 'Darksiders,' which takes place mostly in Heaven or Hell—there's very little game activity on Earth. The scene of a Minister in a decimated church delivering his literal 'last sermon' was our way of presenting what would likely happen here on Earth, before the actual apocalypse were to take place."
Adds Hocker, "The live action trailer was conceived as a companion piece of fiction inspired by the 'Darksiders' story, bringing real life 'humans' into the game's world. We shot the piece for a week inside a 200-year old church near Prague, with no heat, during winter. The 'cold smoke' you see coming out of James Cosmo's mouth during his speech was real! James was the perfect actor for this part, since he has such a larger than life presence and a wonderful, commanding voice. We felt if anyone would stand up to 'Death' during Mankind's final hour in real life, it would be him."
Director Abdel Abonamous said, "What attracted me to the 'Last Sermon' script was its deliberate focus on the collateral damage in the 'Darksiders' universe. Outside the church, Hell, in a very literal sense, is breaking loose, but in our film, we decided to focus on the reactions of a huddled congregation who barely even understand what's happening to them, let alone the bigger picture that the game's plot paints. This storytelling method takes a huge event and transforms it into a low-level personal experience, making us, as viewers, feel like helpless bystanders. The location in Prague we found was great, both visually and in terms of the emotions it elicited. We shot in the very deep winter, and my goal was to make sure that James Cosmo and the extras felt a deep desolation. James was the perfect choice for the role of Priest, both for his physicality and for the deeply human element that shimmers from behind his eyes."
"Right from my first conversations with the Hammer Creative team, I knew that we shared the same feelings about this material, and together we branched out from the core of the concept to add more subtle facets to it. Brett, Scott, and I were always following the same emotional guideline -- this type of understanding is sometimes hard to come by with creative collaborators, and I'm thankful for every moment of it," Abonamous concludes.
Jim Huntley, vice president of marketing, THQ, adds, "What Hammer Creative did so effectively in producing 'The Last Sermon' was to deliver something directly targeted to the Darksiders audience. After viewing this trailer, fans will be acutely aware of the massive scope of the apocalypse that humankind is experiencing in the world of the game."
Hammer Creative also produced additional behind the scenes content promoting Darksiders II, and supplied all of the post production for the campaign, including editorial, motion graphics, original music, sound design and audio post, at its Hollywood facilities. Additionally, Hammer retained Sydney, Australia-based Plastic Wax Animation to produce the CGI featured within the four Darksiders II trailers.
About DARKSIDERS II
Awakened by the End of Days, Death, the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen embarks on a quest to redeem his brother's name. Become the terrifying force which everything fears but nothing can escape.
The original Darksiders®, released in January 2010, received critical acclaim including the "Best Fantasy Game 2010" award from IGN. Darksiders followed the story of WAR, wrongly accused of starting the apocalypse, on a quest to reclaim lost honor and take revenge on those who wronged him.
Darksiders II follows the exploits of DEATH, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, in an action-packed tale that runs parallel to the events in the original Darksiders game. This epic journey propels DEATH through various light and dark realms as he tries to redeem his brother WAR.
Darksiders II is scheduled to be available for console and PC in August 2012 with a WiiU™ version coming at a later date, for more information check www.Darksiders.com.
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com.
About HAMMER CREATIVE
Originally launched in Hollywood in l988 by Mark Pierce as a motion picture marketing and trailer company, today Hammer Creative is one of the leading Videogame Creative Agencies in Los Angeles specializing in all aspects of A/V Production. The agency conceives and implements marketing campaigns on
behalf of videogame title releases by such major game publishers as THQ, Warner Bros. Games, EA, Ubisoft, Sony Online, Sega, Capcom, Activision, Square Enix and Zynga.
Hammer Creative's work was prominently displayed during 2012's E3 Conference. This included promotional trailers for one of the very first promos demonstrating Nintendo's Wii U Console (illustrated by "Batman: Arkham City"/WB Games,) as well as trailers for "Doom 3: BFG Edition" (Bethesda Softworks,) "Lost Planet 3" (Capcom,) "SimCity Social" for Facebook (EA,) "DC Universe Online" (WB Games/DC Comics/Sony Online Entertainment,) and "Lego: Batman 2" (WB Games/TtGames/DC Comics.) To view this work click here.
Other recent videogame marketing campaigns produced by Hammer Creative include those promoting THQ's "Saints Row: The Third" and "Lollipop Chainsaw" for Warner Bros. Games; trailers for "Star Wars: The Old Republic" appearing on social media sites, and additional gaming trailers appearing on social media sites, including Zynga.com.
A cinematic approach to its A/V presentations, combined with a proven history of producing campaigns for entertainment brands featuring compelling, visual and narrative storytelling, have allowed Hammer Creative to evolve during the past 25 years from its origin within the motion picture marketing culture, to its current position today as a leading creative agency within the videogame marketing space.
The winner of numerous MI6, Telly, and Golden Trailer Awards, Hammer Creative employs a full-time staff of over 25 creative directors, creative editors, sound designers, motion graphics artists, producers and music supervisors. The company is located at 6311 Romaine Street, Hollywood, CA 90038. The phone is: 323/ 606-4700, and the web is www.hammercreative.com
"Last Sermon" Credits
Director ABDEL ABONAMOUS
Executive Producer (US) MICK EBELING
Agency: Hammer Creative
Written By (Hammer Creative) BRETT HOCKER
Executive Creative Director (Hammer Creative) SCOTT HAYMAN
VP Marketing (THQ) JIM HUNTLEY
Producer (Hammer Creative) BRETT HOCKER
Producer (Hammer Creative) JIM BOTKO
Producer (US) MATTHEW WINKEL
Executive Producer (CZ) MICHAEL NOURI
Producer (CZ) MICHAL ŠKOP
Production Manager (CZ) RADKA BOHUSLAVOVÁ
Location Manager (CZ) PAVEL MRKOUS
Production Assistant (CZ) DENISA FRACOVÁ
Editor MIKE BERENSON
Editor PAUL OSBORNE
Visual Effects By PLASTIC WAX
Visual Effects By GRADIENT
Sound Design TREVOR JOLLY
THQ, Darksiders and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.
Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, the Xbox logos, and the Xbox LIVE logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
"PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Nintendo trademarks and copyrights are properties of Nintendo.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Media Contact for Hammer Creative:
The Asbury PR Agency
Contact Dan via email