Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Sehsucht Studio Visit

When we went to Berlin this November we went to a Studio called Sehsucht Located to the north of the city. They are the newest Sehsucht office as they have a larger office in Hamburg.
The company was very welcoming but that was probably amplified because of how cold we were when we got there. We were greeted by the managing director of Sehsucht who had previously work at Psyop (a company we visited and I personally loved in New York). The studio space was very similar to that of Psyop and that is probably one of the reasons I liked it so much.

This is the piece the studio had recently finished. While we have had street view on google for some time, out there they have not so this is a campaign to advertise what it is. We had all seen this before we headed out there but when we arrived the managing director had a breakdown of how they put it together (which is underneath). He walked us step by step through the process of making before we were shown the studio where they had filmed it. All the props were still out from filing and we were very impressed with the results they managed to get in such a small space.

Google Street View Ad

Making of Google Street View Ad

After our meeting we were aloud to walk around the very friendly working studio speaking with the designers and I managed to show one of them my showreel which he seemed impressed with. This was great but I was more taken aback by the stuff they were doing. They were showing us the work they were currently working on and how it was separated into sections between them. It was impressive to see the results they were getting and they all knew what everyone else in the team were doing and the stage they were at.

This was a great studio and I would love to work somewhere like this in the future. The small team meant you could work on a piece from start to finish. The team was separated in 2 though and I can imagine that there could be some rivalry. Im not sure if it could be healthy rivalry or not but that could be a concern. Other studios have everyone together which personally I think is better even if your working on different projects as you can bounce ideas and techniques off each other. After seeing this studio as well as the others I have visited I'm definitely sure I want to work in an advertising studio doing a wide variety of jobs.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Morning sequences

After looking at the Dexter sequence I looked further into morning sequences and wanted to look at how a small change to your morning routine could change the rest of your day. One thing I need to ensure is that the change be an obvious one so that the rest of the animation makes sense. I have only got 49 seconds so it need to be clear with my idea and communicate it well.

Dexter Opening Titles

This is the opening title sequence to the american series Dexter. As I highlighted in my sketchbook I want my piece to be an everyday sequence which is being deferred from. I started watching this series not so long back and found that this is one of the most memorable title sequences around at the moment. It focuses on the idea of relating everyday tasks or activities to one that a serial killer would perform. This is a very clever technique to use as it shows the normal front the character portrays and his hidden motive as well as setting up the audience for the drama they are about to witness in a non graphic manner.

Because of this sequence I had decided I want to use a typical day scene where a change is made and then everything thereafter changes as a result. The whole point in my piece is to encourage people to make a change, no matter how small, to create change in there lives. It may even leave to something good. For now I am going to focus on the morning sequence and getting ready from work.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Fisheye Test Berlin

When in Berlin on our final morning me and  group of friends decided to setup some photographs and play around with composition. These are some of the examples of the shots I managed to get.

Finally I had the idea to try filming in the fisheyes as when looking on the viewfinder while walking created great results. Because of the curvature of the piece of footage it makes it look as if I am walking on a sphere or globe of some kind. I really like how this looks and I would like to use this technique in a future project.

Harold and Kumar, Lift Scene

Watch 5:15 to 7:15

When thinking of decisions that could be made the idea of taking the lift or the stairs, or in fact the time you take it all stemmed from this scene I saw a long time back in "Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies".

The only difference is that in this scene Harold is daydreaming rather than it being on 2 separate occasions. I like this idea that the fact you say some thing when you usually wouldn't could not only affect your life but also the person you were speaking to which could have a knock on effect creating a huge chain of events. This could be the one change that has made the change in the sequence. From here I need to look into other possible changes that could be made to see if there is a better one I could use that would be more obvious for the audience to work out in the time scale.

Cold Water, Frances

This is the music video for Cold Water by the band Frances. They have used multiple screens throughout the video filming the same shots in separate locations. Afterwords these were edited together to create one composition. It works better because of the fact that the colour palettes of each shot/location are contrast. I like the fact similar framings were used to connect the shots together to create a seamless sequence. This is a technique I could use for my final outcome to link my 3 sequences together. This may be harder to do with 3 separate sequences but I think it is a technique I want to try.

Lie To Me: Faces Promo

This "Lie To Me" promo uses multiple screens in a different way to other examples I have been looking at. I reminds me of the children's books you used to get where you would try and match up all the segments of a persons picture. I especially like the way the screens flip to change what appears in each section. I also like the way the light and focus creates darker footage towards the corners of each section. This creates a lot of focus and depth to the faces and would be ideal in my small compositions.

Even though my ideas have moved on I would like to still include some text in the piece and after seeing this I have had the idea of the screens flipping and the letters of the word being on the rear of each section. Where the spaces are between words some of the screens could stay still playing their loops therefore tying the whole piece together. Some test need to be done as I only have limited time to fill.

Split screen colour patches

This is a short video by a band called "Plus Guest" for the track "My Horse Died In The River". It is exactly the style I'm looking for. The colours, the rounded screens and the grainy footage all remind me of footage from the 70's and would be a fantastic way / take on the multiple screen concept. The rounded nature of the pieces of footage remind me of the lighting I used in my last piece and I think it makes the footage more audience friendly.

For my piece the idea is each screen / each shot is of a different decision being made. This will show how decisions are made everyday and I am trying to get the idea of changing peoples routine and trying something new across to the audience. Having different filters on the footage could help when creating the text at the end of the piece which emphasises this message I am trying to convey. I will have to try some techniques and tests to get some similar feel to my footage.

Split screen

This is a short split screen student project which is of a person doing the same thing in a town square but on each screen it is shot from a different angle. I like the idea that all the screens connect together which means the piece flows constantly. This continuity between frames is just what I need in my piece. I now need to look at other split screen examples to see what other techniques I could use in my final outcome.

Split screen in 24

This is the example from my sketchbook of the split screen used in 24. The example in my sketchbook is quite dark and hard to explain but I love how the multiple screens come into the composition. They fill the screen making it busy to watch but it also raises the excitement of the viewer. It is very much like a crescendo which is building and building until it is stopped by the clock at the end. It leaves the audience guessing. I like the busyness of the piece and the building of excitement and hopefully I will be able to do that in my piece.

This is the cast and production team talking about the split scree device and how it came about. It is interesting how it came out of just experimenting with phone calls to being used as a great device of showing simultaneous activities. This could be perfect for my piece as I want to show 3 journeys simultaneously.

Mainframe Studio Visit

The week before last I went to Mainframes design studio in the Northern Quarter of Manchester and spoke to the managing director Chris Hardcastle. After walking to there studio on Silk Street and finding there attic studio I met Chris and sat with him at his meeting table. We started by talking about the industry and the kind of things I as interested in and the area in which I wanted to head. We spoke about how until a couple of weeks previous I wanted to get into to film industry and work on large projects but recently I had turned more towards the advertising industry. I mentioned how I wanted to see a project through as opposed to just being another cog in the works who ends up doing the same thing all the time. 

This is a screenshot taken from Mainframe's Huggies (For The Journey) ad

We spoke how he had done that when he was working down in London and that the larger Mainframe studio in Soho is more like that too. It was very interesting listening to him how there Manchester studio was a stand alone office or sister company as opposed to working on the same work in both offices. He was interested in where I wanted to work, whether down south or staying up in the north. I mentioned that I would like the experience of London at some point but would not be upset about staying up in Manchester or Liverpool if the opportunity came around. Chris mentioned how they are wanting to expand the business up here and are trying to keep designers up north as opposed to them all heading south. He mentioned a company called The Neighborhood which are their closest rivals and there main competition.

This is a screenshot from Mainframe's COI sexual health ad

After we spoke about the industry we moved onto my work  and questions I had. At the end of last year I asked Chris for a portfolio visit and unfortunately it wasn't possible because of the work they had on at the time. He did say I could send some work through to him and he would send me some feedback back. Because of this I didn't want to show him the same pieces so I showed him the new showreel I had just created (which included the 2 pieces to refresh his memory) and my Big Draw ident as well. He was very positive of my work and suggested some small tricks to improve my work and make me stand out from the crowd when it came to job hunting. This was the question I asked him funnily enough. I wanted to know what he looks for when hiring and how people stand out. The main message he said was to make the work speak for itself and have it finished to a high standard, then the employer looks towards the person themselves and see how they could get on with them in the working environment. He was also interested in the timescales in which the pieces were done in to see if results could be got quickly and deadlines could be met.

This was a great visit and I enjoyed meeting Chris and seeing a professional studio space much like MI's. Hopefully Chris will have the chance to see my end of year show as he asked to keep in touch and let him know when it was. Hopefully this will be a good contact for the future.

COI Sexual Health Ad, Mainframe

As I was looking at Mainframes work before I go on my studio visit with them I found this. Well I had seen this before but had no idea it was made by Mainframe. This Is a great piece to look at in relation to my current project. I've been looking at using 3 dimensional text within a live footage composition and this is just that but doing it in an interesting way. It is recording peoples conversations without seeing the actual people which makes it less personal but something the audience can react with alot better considering it is regarding Sexual Health. This is one of my favourite adverts out ad the moment. Not because of the content but because of the way its done. Its just not the same as anything else I have seen recently even though matchmoving is starting to be seen everywhere.

Dexter Kenetic type Ad, 13th Street

When looking at using type in composition I had to look at using kenetic type as it plays such a large part in todays advertising world. This technique could be used in a composition I make but combined with the use of 3D text. This could make for a really good piece as I can't remember ever seeing a piece like that. This is another direction in which I could look to take this project.

Sky Arts Breakdown

This is the ident for Sky Arts that has been broken down into its separate stages. I like the way this has been shown. It shows how they got from just having the footage to the final outcome they have produced. This would be a good method for a making of, showing how the piece had been improved and made in stages. If this is the way a professional company shows their working methods then it might aid myself to produce making of's in this way to show that I am with the times and a contemporary designer that can work in today's industry.

Channel 4 Idents

I put these up for the same reason I put the Sky idents up. These are iconic idents that has created the image for Channel 4. These use CGI in a subtle way to create the the 4 in a split second in the ident. I think these work well because of the tension they build up before the quick reveal of the number. The satisfaction the audience get from seeing the for is why these are so popular. The viewer is glued to the idents until the reveal. The ads aren't tied to any programs in particular which means they can be used at random between programs giving the channel much more freedom.

Sky 1, 2 & 3 Idents

When looking into using CGI composited in live footage I thought back to the recent idents that had been made for the 3 sky channels. The same footage is used for each but with the CGI aspect different depending on the channel. This gives each channel its individuality while still tying all them together. They have used the programs they show as themes as well as standard footage in the background. All the ads revolve around the idea of the number of the channel breaking up in some kind, which really creates focus on the number itself therefore completing its job.

This is much like the technique used in Zombieland which has been proven in both of these that it is a very effective method creating focus and drawing the eye in a composition. The key is to get them to look like they are in the surroundings as opposed to just stuck on after. For example the numbers need to look as if they are sat on the floor rather than floading in the space. this means that lighting and shadows will have to be used in conjunction with the numbers when compositing with the live footage.

Text in Zombieland

Recently I saw the film Zombieland as I was told to look out for the 3D text used in it. As I am looking into matchmoving I thought it was a great clip to put on my blog. As the lead character explains the rules of surviving in a world covered in zombies the rules are placed within the scene and in any scene after in which they are mentioned. The are obviously created and composited using 3D software but are not made to look realistic. I like the way it is used and where the text is situated (for example, on the toilet door).

If I were to matchmove for this piece I like the idea of using a similar style to this as it really grabs the attention of the audience, getting its message across. As the new pepsi brief I am looking at is only 60 seconds in total I need a method, such as this one, to show my message in an obvious way.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Matchmoving Showreel, James Porter

This is a showreel created by James Porter showing some of the motion tracking work he had produced with Framestore. It shows how the objects he has made in the piece interact with objects in the footage. 

After speaking to a friend who has done a lot of motion tracking in the past he showed you can get results relatively quickly. Now I have seen the results that can be produced I need to look at what I am hoping to produce using this method. 

Matchmoving Demo, Yvan Galtié

This is showreel of matchmoving work produced by Yvan Galtié for Mikros Images. He is a freelance designer and these are the pieces he has worked on in 2010. The Peugot ad I remember seeing at the cinema a long time back and being very impressed. Matchmoving is something I am very interested in looking at for my Final Major and this next project could be ideal to experiment and see if it would be possible. It is good to see that these have been produced using the programs I have available to me, showing that a high quality outcome is possible. I will look into this more but ensure it is not the driving factor of my ideas. The brief I am looking at is quite an open brief looking me explore what i want to produce.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Plane emergency cards copies

These are images of people who have taken the same style I am looking at and have used it int their own way to comic effect. The illustrator I am hoping to collaborate with is happy with the style Im looking at working with and producing imagery similar to this.

The only thing we are waiting for a reply to the email I have sent regarding the deadline to the project. As I am not sure on when the deadline will be I am feeling as I can't really progress with this piece much more until I have the answers. I don't want to put load of time and work into this to find that the deadline has gone and I have missed my opportunity. Also I want to do something that is going to help myself and help me prepare for my Final Major and for this reason I feel like I should be getting on with development.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

MI Portfolio Visit

This morning I went to MI's studio and sat and spoke with with their managing director Tony Denton. I showed him a few pieces of my work which by the sounds of things he liked. I saw the studio in which he works with his colleges. It was a great working atmosphere with the radio on in the background and everyone laughing and joking about the days jobs. It was a really welcoming environment with very friendly and polite designers. It is the kind of studio i could see myself working in in the future. Tony said that the reason it was quite relaxed was because they have just sent off a piece they had just finished but it can get hectic.

This is a screenshot of a piece they have just completed. It is of the trailer for the new Nascar Game being released on multi-platforms.

As I said before, I was sat with Tony and we spoke about the industry and he asked about where I see myself in it. I spoke about Double Negative and Framestore, which he had strong connections with, but explained that I don't want to fade into the background and I want to follow a project through to the end. He explained his experiences with the larger companies and how you can quite easily fade into the background doing the same old thing. The conversation with Tony was fascinating, listening to his experiences and how other people come through the ranks and how it is harder to do so in a large company. It has made me rethink where I want to be and what job I want to go into. I would love to be in a small team where you know everyone and can get on with everyone. I suppose it is a bit like the course I'm on. I wanted to be on a course where I knew everyone and could connect with everyone, therefore ensuring I learnt more.

A lot of the work MI do is architectural based and is completed to a very high quality. He gave me some examples to go away with, which is great resource to have.

To finish on he gave me loads of advice for when leaving university and looking for jobs and going to interviews. He told me the kind of thing he looks for in a employee and what gets people noticed. Tony suggested that I keep in touch over the next year and that I could go back which I certainly will. With talks of a possible a placement when I finish the course I am already very excited about working in the advertising industry, if you can't tell that already. All in all it was a fantastic studio visit and I hope it wont be the last time I step through MI's door.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Plane emergency cards

These are examples of plane emergency cards I have found. These cards are famous for having the little cartoon characters on them. These characters are the style I've been thinking of and would be ideal for a funny advertising campaign that would be great for the United Utilities brief. I am thinking of using these to create a piece in the similar style to the title sequence for the film Eurotrip.

United States of Tara Title Sequence

These are the titles for "The United States of Tara".

This is slightly different to the Eurotrip piece I posted but still using 2D images to show a point. I like this 2.5D approach and is something I would like to consider in response to the brief. I like the way this piece has been based on a pop-up book to illustrate the characters and their surroundings in the piece. This is a light hearted introduction to the characters and sets the audience up well for what they are about to watch. 

Also I like the Showtime ad that is after it but for separate reasons. I like the 3 dimensional squares moving together with the information on it. I creates interest where there usually isn't much to look at. I shows they have thought about this in terms of the audience. Also American channels have more ad breaks than in the UK so you would see these ads more often so it is important to keep the audience even while showing them information.

Eurotrip Title Sequence

When thinking of the United Utilities brief I had the idea of using characters that are typical of plane emergency procedure cards. They wanted a non graphic way of showing what not to flush down a toilet. I thought this could be a fun and interesting way of showing what you can and can't do. The idea is to illustrate all the separate elements and then animate them in after effects much like this piece about. I apologise for the quality of this example but this is what came to mind when trying to show something bad in a humorous way.

I have spoken to an illustrator regarding a collaboration for this project. All I am waiting for is the reply from Origin Creative to find out when the deadline is. Meanwhile I am going to carry on looking around and see what other competitions are around. As well as looking further into this idea.

Possible Brief, Origins - United Utilities

After looking through a few different briefs I have decided to look at this 1 in more depth. I sent an email to the organisers of the brief to see if there is any news on the revised date for entries. I am still yet to hear back but this will probably be the factor that decided whether I take the brief or not. I have had an idea already and I'm working to improve it. The new deadline wont be very long away so i don't have a great deal of time to develop and change the idea. This is the reason why I'm putting a brainstorm together now and trying to make some important decision as soon as possible. Also with this hopefully short deadline it frees up the opportunity of another competition after.