SUSPECT and Late Night & Weekends Dance a Jig for Puma
| by Levent Ozler
Partner/VFX Artist Tim Crean of NY-based Conceptual Design, Animation and VFX studio, SUSPECT collaborates with Creative Director/Director Andrew Zuckerman of hybrid agency Late Night & Weekends via @radical.media to create this conceptual masterpiece for PUMA. "This was a truly great experience and opportunity for us to work with a very unique agency and creative studio such as LN&W," noted SUSPECT Partner/EP Rob Appelblatt. "We loved the speed and ease in which they worked and look forward to our next effort together."
Scotland's break out rock band, Paolo Nutini sets the stage for a building anticipation of eager dancers waiting in the wings. A cue is given, and one by one the colorfully clothed, hip young dancers from the Bill T. Jones Dance Company emerge from backstage. Each one gracefully twists, leaps and curls into position as they are suspended in front of a giant screen with projected images. Gradually adding on to a formation, each masterful performer holds the pose. Suddenly, the spell is broken as the dance crew is released from its artistic bonds and able to once again tread on the ground in their stylishly diverse PUMA's.
"In choosing a post house for this project we worked closely with Karen Kourtessis, our editor at Crew Cuts to find a VFX/flame artist who understood the aesthetic, could add an element of design, and had the manpower to handle the extensive rotoscoping that these spots commanded," said Andrew Zuckerman- Partner/CD/Director of LN&W. "We partnered with Tim (Crean) at SUSPECT because he filled the criteria and most importantly was truly enthused by the concept and boards. We were impressed with the work they had been doing for other clients and were excited to see what they could bring.
The location and schedules of our talent dictated a heavy composite - placing the musicians shot in Glasgow and the dancers in NYC in the same frame without the use of motion control. Fortunately, SUSPECT provided us with on set support and a sensible plan of action insuring a composite that worked seamlessly. SUSPECT also took part in the motion graphics that populate the screen behind the dancers. We shot against a large green screen that we had plans on filling with the B-camera footage of the performance itself. The design director of the spot, David Warren, from Tank Design, worked with us on extensive pre-vis of the screen in the weeks before shooting and was also on set to guide us into a space to work from. When post began, SUSPECT was able to take these ideas and execute them in motion. David Warren was also involved through all steps of post and collaborated with Tim on the screen. Overall, I very much enjoyed working with Tim and his team at SUSPECT and found that they brought a certain dynamism to the spots, not only in all of the mechanical work needed to finish them, but the subtle light augmentation and overall tonal work done on the piece."
"Working with such a talented director as Andrew Zuckerman and a unique hybrid studio like LN&W was a special treat," commented SUSPECT VFX Supervisor/Artist Tim Crean. "Andrew is someone who embraces the spontaneity of a project and works miracles with any work he sinks his teeth into. We were able to expand immensely on our creative choices mainly due to the fact that LN&W acts as the agency and production studio making the approval process move much more swiftly. The most important thing we were trying to capture was the feel of a live action event. From a creative standpoint this campaign is different than anything that's out there right now. They wanted to push the performance angle of the piece and we ended up getting a real live rock/dance concert. We added several lighting effects and all the dancers had a treatment to make it feel as if they were reacting to the light. We mastered in HD and handled everything with Autodesk Flame. The piece was shot entirely using the Panavision Genesis DV Camera."