In close cooperation with Square Enix and the VFX wizards at Visual Works in Japan, Christopher Schlierf developed a cinematic trailer for 'JUST CAUSE 4'. It was a blast for him, creating all these explosive action sequences, hooking fans with dramatic plot reveals and watching Visual Works bringing all these scenes to life, using motion capturing and different animation techniques. Square Enix is a Japanese video game developer, publisher and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts. Square Enix also owned by British game publisher Eidos Interactive, which was absorbed into Square Enix Europe to publish Eidos Interactive titles such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, and Hitman under the Square Enix brand.
In 2018 they were looking for a director to develop and direct the cinematic game trailer for the blockbuster ‘Just Cause 4’. Due to the huge fan community and the legacy of the successful multi million dollar franchise, they needed a director that was able to handle the big budget production and create a jaw dropping action trailer that creates a huge buzz among fans and leads to a huge number of sales for the game. Christopher Schlierf's experience in scriptwriting, action packed style of directing and the deep knowledge of VFX and 3D animation came handy to helm this project. He had to manage the challenge to trim down the essence of the game’s character, story and tonality and merge everything in a thrilling game trailer, that not only surpassed the fan’s expectations with an exciting new story plot, but also with unseen, over the top action sequences that have never been seen in an action game and a trailer before. In close collaboration with the Square Enix screenwriter and the concept art team, Christopher Schlierf wrote a trailer structure that broke down every beat and little detail for the animation team. He also developed mood cuts and edits for each specific scene to exactly nail down the pace, camera movement and angles according to his vision. Detailed moodboards with precise descriptions of color code, lighting, atmospheric effects and overall look and feel were created by him, to communicate his visions throughout multiple departments and brief the artists in the best way possible. All of this material was then handed to the Japan-based CGI animation studio Visual Works who animated every shot according to our detailed descriptions. Christopher Schlierf then gave feedback on each animation step to improve and fine tune the film. After the animation lock they created the sound design and fine cut in the sound studio for maximal auditive impact and pace.
This trailer was a massive undertaking with a budget of close to $1M. The collaboration with famous rap artist Artizan, who composed the song: “Bring the Thunder” for the music and score pushed the PR even more. The trailer had an incredible impact and effect on the fan community and was highly celebrated for its stunning action, visual effects and story elements. This led to massive sales for the game and made the product a huge success. The ‘Just Cause’ franchise counts up to 50 million copies sold to date.