What Lives Inside: Real Narrative Marketing, Surreal Movie Magic

As first noted here in February, we’ve been working with Intel, two-time Oscar-winner Robert Stromberg, actor Colin Hanks, recent Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons and others to bring the “What Lives Inside” movie exclusively to hulu.

The third episode was released last week, and a recap just came out today:

While the director and actors get a lot of the limelight, there are many other talented individuals who have been hard at work making the world of a character’s imagination come to life – or as one of them put it: making things real, but surreal.

Visual effects were produced at MPC, where CG and 2D artists contributing over 200 stunning VFX shots to create four 10-minute short films in an ambitious four and a half months.

 “A film project in a commercial time,” is how Aaron Hamman at MPC described it.

The visual effects agency says they undertook extensive R&D to inject life, emotion, and natural movements into each character, including texturing of scales, rigging of skeletal structures, and animation of interaction, movements and voice dialogue.

With high-performance computing power from Dell and Intel, MPC actually built a separate render farm fine-tuned solely for the different render engines used for this project such as V-Ray from Chaos Group which uses specific ray-tracing software with an Intel chip to speed up render times.

We’ve heard a lot of great feedback about the film online, and a similar theme tweeted here by @Anelakins is a desire for more:

But, others still have their reservations like Joey Preger:

I was fortunate enough to be part of a small audience that got to see Stromberg preview the first episode during SXSW, and he does not strike me as the type to let product placement supersede the story he wants to tell.

“He’s not a director who sits back and lets other people take over,” said Ross Denner at MPC. “He’s very full-on-hand, he gets involved and it’s fantastic to have that kind of interaction between director and post houses because this is such a post-heavy job.”

Stromberg had creative freedom and combined that post-production interaction with his attention to detail to bring the Intel tagline "It’s what’s inside that counts" to life. So, while yes, there is Dell technology in the film, in addition to the Dell technology helping create the film, Boing Boing says: “The animation is beautiful, the acting is top notch, and the story looks fun and mysterious.”

“The movie is free to be about Colin Hanks [sic] tries to come to terms with the great things his father created and his own relationship with him and not how to use a tablet for every conceivable situation,” says blogger Joshua P’ng who calls it “Narrative Marketing at its finest.”

Watch the first three episodes now, so you’ll be ready when the finale goes live TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.