New York, NY — Dense white clouds travel quickly across the screen before revealing a mass of white feathers highlighted by two single bands of red ones. Two powerful wings pump twice as the camera rises up, revealing the face of the red-haired young woman who controls them. The pretty young avian is Maximum Ride, the heroine of prolific author James Patterson’s immensely popular fantasy novel series of the same name. The scene is one created by visual effects company Light of Day, via James Patterson Entertainment, to promote Nevermore, the eighth and final novel in the series for young adult readers. The result is a scintillating 15-second blend of live action, CG animation, and motion graphics that will have readers reading and buyers talking.
“Since this is the final chapter, our clients were looking for something that was both realistic and climactic,” explains Charles Nordeen, Creative Director of Development at Light of Day and Director of the new 15-second spot. “Past promotions for the books have tended to be more illustrative and stylized, but for the final installment, a more photorealistic, cinematic approach was in order.”
Light of Day handled the entire production in-house, beginning with the casting of an appropriately aged woman to play main character Max: “The live action shoot was vital to setting the right tone, and that meant getting just the right face,” says Nordeen. “At this point in the story, the characters are all growing into young-adulthood, so it was important to cast someone who looked more like a young woman than a child. We also selected wardrobe for a more contemporary and cool look, and based on input we solicited from online fans who shared their own idea of how she looks and dresses.”