Flying High, Longlist - Branded, VFX, Dance
Shortlist - VFX
Winner - Silver

Wild Rift, Opening Ceremony

Ross Cooper

Lucky Strike Productions

‘Wild Rift' was created for League of Legends - Wild Rift Icons Global Championship, which is the crowning event of Wild Rift e-sports year. Pandemic restrictions in China forced the cancellation of the planned live opening ceremony in a stadium for tens of thousands of fans. So, instead, League of Legends decided to pivot and create an opening ceremony film to run ahead of the live streamed event. The film transports a troupe of stunningly styled, incredible and diverse performers into an intricately designed future, a fantastical Singapore where we see them unleash their wild sides. It is a stunning and engaging showcase of what SFX can be achieved in-camera. It was a particular challenge to work out how to reflect the game’s mix of high fantasy, steam punk & Lovecraftian horror, filled with magical spells, blue fire breathing space dragons and undead robotic mummies into a post-production-free in-camera world. The original script was pretty loose, offering freedom to develop the story, suggest ideas, invent techniques and create new sequences to showcase the performers inherited from the cancelled live event. The brief was to ‘celebrate these diverse performers’ as they ‘unleashed their wild sides in a world alive with colour’. We were also charged with peppering the film with as many Wild Rift Easter eggs as possible, to reward the game’s obsessive fans.

Ross Cooper is a director known for his visual humour, charming characters, remarkable transitions, clever post-production effects and even cleverer practical-in-camera-ones. Ross developed a passion for ideas with his BA in graphic design from Central Saint Martins, followed by a Masters from the Royal College of Art where he invented a new type of camera the chronoramic camera that takes pictures of time not space. He has since won 2 Silver D&AD’s, Gold from the Art Director's Club of Europe and a BAFTA nomination. His work has been exhibited in many prestigious galleries including Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, The Australian Centre for Moving Image and The Design Museum London. He got into directing by making a very low budget music video (about £127). Then he made another for £2k, a couple for £5k then one for £30k. A French bank saw that one and really liked it. Fortunately, they didn’t just rip him off. They asked him to remake it as a £500k TV commercial, which meant he became a commercials director, which is lucky, because Ross loves directing commercials. When he is not directing, Ross enjoys practising crafts, with a particular desire to do a job well for its own sake. Recently he’s been doing Japanese joinery, dry stone walling, Sashiko stitching and cooking increasingly elaborate meals for his friends. His other passion is telling stories, please do ask him about Mexican wrestling tree branches, the diamond with the scratch, or the dog that begged to be arrested.