With FIFA 2022 approaching, Qatar is in the process of developing multiple state of the art stadiums to host the coveted international tournament. In preparation, the Supreme Council of Delivery & Legacy, responsible for the delivery of the required infrastructure and host country planning and operations, looked to create a short animation to exemplify the cultural and technical aspects of Al Thumama Stadium.
LNG Studios was tasked with crafting a story that would become the template for this 3D animation video. The question became, how to create a story that intertwined the rich history of Qatar, the core design concept of the stadium, and the variety of technical amenities all while laying the foundation for a realistic animation?
The design of the stadium was based off the Gahfiya, a traditional headwear native to that region of the world. The Gahfiya is often given as a gift to young boys to strengthen the sense of belonging to a mutual culture and the family values. We looked to embody these values, highlight the beauty of Qatar and show the FIFA values of sportsmanship and bringing the global community together.
While the technical components of an animation are important to developing a visually stimulating viewing experience, the heart of the animation comes from the story. For LNG Studios, this creative process was largely a collaborative process between multiple creatives in the agency. Through this collaboration, LNG Studios was able to craft four distinct stories. Here are small snippets from each story:
“In the heart of Qatar, a group of friends are sitting together. They look at one another, in front of them are instruments. They begin to grin, a blend of mischief and playfulness. The music starts, it’s slow, a down tempo. We move across Qatar. Each stroke of the drum takes us to a new destination, highlighting structures, locations, and markets.”
The Children of Qatar
“The storm is making its way towards the grass, unrelenting. The scene returns to the kids now at the edge of each corner of the crowd, all smiling. They all reach the ground and grab a golden string. The string radiates as the kids begin to run around the crowd. The string begins to form a barrier and it ducks and weaves becoming a pattern. The kids let go of the string and it quickly forms the stadium.”
The Pearl of Qatar
“As Ali appreciates the pearl, Ahmed playfully kicks the pearl around. Ahmed teases his younger brother, juggling the ball just out of reach. Ali sees an opportunity and kicks the ball. it soars, and as it lands on a truck. Both boys in shock, they refuse to lose the pearl and the chase begins. The boys begin running through the city never losing sight of the truck. Both exhibiting a high level of athleticism, drawing the attention of vendors and pedestrians. As they manage to jump onto the truck, it turns and the pearl falls off rolling toward the stadium.”
The Pillar of light
“Scared, Hassan remains at his doorstep unwilling to check inside. As he sits on his porch a hand grabs his shoulder. He turns, with tears in his eyes, and looks at his fathers face. Though he expected anger, what he sees is an expression of kindness and forgiveness. Hassan’s Gahfiya begins to shine with a luminous light. Hassan re-enters his home and the entire house begins to illuminate. Everyone stands up, staring at Hasson with intrigue. Hassan leaves his home and begins to walk through the streets. People begin to follow this beacon of light; the path is illuminated. The crowd makes its way to the stadium, following Hassan.”
Within each story, the client found appealing elements such as the string in “The Children of Qatar” or the Gahfiyas lighting up in “The Pillar of Light”. Through working with the client we were able to develop a singular story in which “Drumbeat Heartbeat” acted as the core and elements from other stories influenced the final product.
Once a final concept was chosen, we proceeded to pair the words with a storyboard. Through our in-house design team, we were able to use illustration and bring the words to life. This allowed LNG Studios to properly convey the vision that our team was crafting. Within this process many specifications were added to ensure that the story was conveying the technical aspects that the Supreme Council was looking for. This included the conversion of the stadium from “Tournament” mode, which was designed for the duration of FIFA, to “Legacy” mode, which would downsize the stadium after the tournament to better suit the needs of the Qatari soccer scene.
Developing a story is a complex collaborative process, but when done properly, it can bring life to stories and create a product worth watching. Our collaboration with FIFA was a great success, helping push the animation out on a tight deadline. The Al Thumama project was a great opportunity for us to showcase our creative capabilities and our ability to work with multiple clients across the globe.