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The Best Work You May Never See: Bipolar Studio Gets "Airborne" For Uber Elevate

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Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2019

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Pioneering tech company Uber has another revolutionary transportation offering in the offing. Uber Elevate is poised to bring to market for the first time the ability for consumers to use aerial ridesharing within cities as soon as 2023. Uber Elevate handpicked Cannes Mobile Grand Prix and AICP-winning creative and production boutique Bipolar Studio for the innovative marketing campaign which launched this week at Uber Elevate Summit. The integrated campaign includes this centerpiece film titled Airborne, as well as an experiential VR installation, print stills and social content.

The campaign’s imagery was created entirely digitally and is 100 percent CGI.  Airborne delivers a cinematic vision of Uber’s upcoming aerial mass transit platform.  “Airborne” begins with an Uber Air flight traveling from Mission Bay HQ across sun-soaked skies above San Francisco and landmarks like Warriors’ Arena and Transamerica Tower. Dusk gives way to early evening as lights blink on the ground below and buildings appear as silhouettes in the far background, images that are in reality, fully articulated digital cars and buildings. The Uber Air flight lands in neighboring Santa Clara on Uber’s Skytower. Total travel time: 18 minutes vs. an hour or more in rush hour traffic; multi-floor docking at Skytower is equipped to handle a high volume of commuters and each hour can land up to 1000 eVTOLs (those futuristic-looking vehicles which hover, take off and land vertically). 

So how did Bipolar meticulously digitize San Francisco and Santa Clara?  For the experiential, they developed a bespoke AI-fueled pipeline that could capture, manage and process miles and miles of actual data and faithfully mirror the real terrain, buildings, traffic and scattered people in cities. Then they re-used the all-digital assets, which gave them full freedom to digitally scout the city for locations for “Airborne.” Shooting the spot, as with live-action production, they were able to place the CG camera anywhere in the digital city to capture the aircraft. This gave the team a lot of room to play. 

Also part of the new campaign, a high-fidelity four-minute VR installation offered at Uber Elevate Summit that gives attendees a full flight experience inside a built-out physical cabin so they can see and feel what passengers will experience when they fly Uber Air. After the Summit, the installation will travel to Uber events globally. Still images and social media content will further extend the campaign’s reach. 

Credits

Client Uber/Uber Elevate Nikhil Goel, head of product aviation; John Badalamenti, head of design; Arianna Pilram, sr. integrated brand producer; Matt Derkach, sr. industrial design lead. Creative, Production & CGI, Postproduction & Finishing Bipolar Studio, Los Angeles Bipolar Studio, director

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