When we first got our hands on this exciting and challenging project, no one could foresee that it would be a dead end. Nor we, nor the agency not even the client. And then, the client changed his mind shortly before it was supposed to be released and pulled the plug.

You can imagine that disappointment was grand: with so much effort invested from all of the parties – KARMA the agency, Matthias – the director, SGA, the production and velvet’s post, months of hard work – client abandoned the concept completely and left us with the finished, still fantastic, bold end product which might never see the light of day. Proud of the delivered prime brand communication tool on a high level, we stand with the agency and compliment the remarkable work all individuals put in – so we decided this stunning work should not end in a dark archive, but should be shown and available to the audience all over the world.

It was a project for the Chinese short-term rent online service called Xiao Zhu (Small Pig), (equivalent to our Airbnb). For this commercial Matthias Zentner illustrated the life in Chinese standard hotel, resembling the ride in a Tunnel of Horror as a tragic comedy. Using the frozen moment effect with combined moving elements Matthias Zentner follows in a seamless edit the peculiar events enrolling in front of his camera as he enters different rooms and climbs up the floors of this dramatic standard hotel setting.

All people suspended in time are kept trapped in the most awkward, often humiliating situations. The Chinese elegy echoes as a karaoke song around us in a mournful cacophony, yet humorously highlighting the situations occurring in Chinese standard hotel. The life’s drama is concentrated on the scenery details and people emotions revealed level by level.

At the peak of this “Opera Grotesca” the rescue is found in a jump out of the window from a very top floor. But don’t worry: our hero only found XiaoZhu – an alternative possibility and definite improvement, escaping this mediocracy, forever.

Technical preparations took months time of detail planning including pre-viz of moco moves and pre-build in CGI, demanding the outmost concentration, perfectionism and professionalism pushing the art department, the rigging crews, the frozen actors and the whole production crew to the verge of what was achievable. The challenge was then transported to the post production where the stunning CGI from Ignyte and velvet compositing in a combo finessed the impressive real shoot in order to shape an unexpected experience.

Credits· agency: Karma Advertising Co | Shanghai, Agency Ecd: Karma Zhang; Agency Ad: Wang Shuai | Atin Qu | Yy Li | Tom Li; Agency Copy: Suya Shu | Tina Tian; Agency Account: Amanda Zheng; Agency Account Manager: Rino Zhang; Agency Account Executive: Snow Zhang; Production: Shooting Gallery Asia | Shanghai; Executive Producer SGA: Leollyne Teng; Senior Producer SGA: Star Hu, Producer: Jason Yu; Line Producer: Franky Xie | Zhao Shiqing; Director: Matthias Zentner; First Ad: Hank Zeng; DoP: Dieter Deventer; Motion Control Operator: Alex De Heus; Production Designer: Zorana Zen; Post: Velvet Mediendesign Gmbh | Munich; Vfx Supervisor: Falk Buettner; Editor: Matthias Zentner | Velvet; Post Producer: Maria Metodieva | Sampada Harkara; Post Production Manager: Niklas Stolzenberg; Post Production Supervisor: Christopher Chaber; Mattpainting: Korbinian Vogel; Grading: Flo Wolf; 3d | Pre-viz: Ignyte; Rotoscoping | Retouching: Rayk Hemmerling | Johannes Bogenhauser; Rotoscoping India: Ab Vfx | Famous Studios; Flame Artist | Compositing: Andreas Rathmacher | Marco Pelzel; Titles | Afx: Thomas Wernbacher; Music: Chris Zhou; Sound Design: M-sound Studios

CG Adv
small pig, airbnb, xiao zhu, frozen in time, suspended, hotel, economy, budget, matthias zentner, velvet, munich, china, seamless cut, one take