Verizon’s new 5G ad serves up some impressive visual effects to illustrate a world with lag

May 10, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Verizon’s new 5G ad serves up some impressive visual effects to illustrate a world with lag

May 10, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Most commercials don’t interest me these days. But sometimes, you spot one that really grabs your attention. This one from Verizon called The Reset, to promote their 5G service, grabbed mine. And I’m not even close to being in their service area, living in a different continent n’ all.

The 2-minute video shows what the world would be like if we experienced video game “lag” in real life and it’s just packed with some pretty amazing (and occasionally creepy) visual effects. It reminds me a lot of the early days of World of Warcraft, with glitchy terrain, walking through walls and things not loading exactly where they’re supposed to be.

It was created by the VFX team at MPC with director Doug Liman and the Madwell creative agency. Chris Sojka, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Madwell told Shots

It’s never easy to create an alternative reality, but this spot required one. Our goal was to depict life in the style of hte omniscient wandering camera you might experience in a video game, then completely and successively subvert it until everything was falling into pieces. Quite literally.

We used camears in ways you don’t, we did effects in ways you otherwise wouldn’t, all to complete the illusion of a universe slowly and steadily degrading, unable to find the power necessary to render its own reality. The result needed to be confounding and captivating.

Between Doug’s vision and MPC’s tireless attention to detail we merged a broken video game into a broken “reality”.

They certainly seem to have pulled that off. That reminder of World of Warcraft for me is pretty solid evidence of that. But the visual feast that this ad serves up is extremely well done. Even though it’s an obviously surreal look at the world, it all seems very… real. Well, perhaps except for the cat and the pigeons which look like very obviously 3D renders.

I haven’t seen a behind the scenes video for which elements of this are actually real footage and which are CG, how it was all composited together and so on, but there are a lot of very cool effects in this video that offer an equal split of “How tf did they do that?!?” and “Oh, I bet I could do that in After Effects!”.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Verizon’s new 5G ad serves up some impressive visual effects to illustrate a world with lag”

  1. Dajanaye Rollins Avatar
    Dajanaye Rollins

    Looks like the sims when it just completely lags out lol

  2. Brad C Avatar
    Brad C

    I mean this looks like when I use my Verizon work sim in the US.. Verizon has the least data capacity per customer currently in use – and boy if you want lag, that’s surely the network to experience it on haha.

    mmWave is great where I can get it outside, but indoors the speeds are pathetic (will improve eventually with that new spectrum) but in the current state of the network, they have no business charging the higher pricing.

    AT&Ts LTE network is far faster, and T-Mobile has a far superior 5G network right now, and both are usually less than Verizon.