Great Race of 1908

    First Clearing, 2011


    Nothing gets the blood pumping quite like a sporting race from New York City to Paris, France in ye olde-timey classic cars. The Great Race of 1908 did just that, and the Neo-Pangea Society lent their prowess in the department of moving pictures to First Clearing, in conjunction with Dave Swain and Circle S Studios, to create an inspiring short film that relates the financial company’s story to the historic race.

    This collaborative project featured a charming swirl of archival photos and film, new video, and computer-generated graphics in an entertaining and informative way. The tight script drew powerful analogies between the courage, creativity, and tenacity required to win an intercontinental auto race or run a successful business.

    Neo-Pangea's image gurus were tasked with editing and completing the animations and composites for the archival sections of the film, as well as crafting the transitions into the more modern sections. The archival film footage we managed to find was processed and color-corrected to maintain a consistent look despite the variety of sources. Since there wasn't much archival video available, we kept things interesting by sprinkling some Photoshop pixie dust on static black-and-white photos, adding subtle animations and the illusion of depth to these vintage 2D assets.

    Further, we used After Effects to realize the non-gigantic-robot transformation of the only American car in the race, "The Thomas Flyer," and to create a colorful visualization of the race route across a virtual map that is eventually folded up by the film's spokesman. The animated gears and newspaper graphics we supplied also added to the visual splendor.

    As for the American race driver, George Schuster Sr., he eventually won the checkered flag, borrowed bicycle headlight and all, earning his place in this innovative collaboration.


    David Swain & Circle S Studio