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Here’s how they made that physics-defying Gravity Rush 2 ad

A big rig for a little cat

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Gravity Rush 2 is a game about manipulating gravity, which is totally something that cats — the most mysterious and enigmatic pets — would be able to figure out. You may have seen proof of that in a stunning four-minute ad for Gravity Rush 2 that Sony released last week, and now, the company has put out a behind-the-scenes video to explain the production.

In the “Gravity Cat” commercial, which you can watch below, a young Japanese grad student and her sister have their lives upended — literally — when their adorable orange tabby kitten wreaks much more havoc than merely spilling some milk.

“For this film, we faced three challenges,” the producers wrote. “One-shot POV, to film a kitten, and to depict gravity changes.” (Both the ad and the making-of video are Japanese-language productions, but you can turn on English closed captions.)

The filmmakers created storyboards and used a variety of simulations to plan the project. Much of the ad stars a real kitten, which had to be handled by an animal wrangler on the set in order for it to do what the director needed.

For the gravity-defying section of the ad, the filmmakers constructed a room-size rotating rig they dubbed the “Gravity Change System” — a larger version of what the makers of the video for NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” used. You can see a great picture-in-picture shot, starting at 3:04, that juxtaposes the final product with the way it was filmed on set.

Gravity Rush 2 launched earlier this week on PlayStation 4. For more, read our review.