Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kinect: Fun That's Good for You!

First big project of the new year was the first round of post-launch promotions we were doing for the Xbox: Kinect. The project was called "Fun That's Good for You" and it centered around a young woman playing the various Kinect titles. As she plays various elements from the games appear around her.

FTGFY Shoot 04

I've done this sort of thing before. There've been several projects over the years I've worked on that involved people interacting with elements from Xbox titles. What made this one special was that I was tasked with handeling the project from pre-pro all the way through to final compositing and international localization. Almost instantly this went from "one more compositing job" to "Directorial Debut".

FTGFY Shoot 01

We shot the whole thing against white at Studio 1550 in the Dogpatch.

FTGFY Shoot 03

We used a RED ONE with the Mysterium censor and a set of Arriflex Primes from Chater Camera over in Berkeley (seen here with our DP Steve Condiotti).

After the shoot, I was all on my own for post production. I had a few days to get all five of the edits done and then about a week and a half for compositing and finishing. 3d was all done in Maya. Since most of the shots that involved direct contact with the objects were very brief, I matched the animation by hand. We used green sticks for placement reference which helped a lot for the javelin shot.

Everything not done in Maya was in After Effects. This included lots of tracked type and a generous helping of Particular.

Overall, I learned a lot from the experience. I learned that being able to point out flaws in a shot during post in no way makes you capable of avoiding them during production. I also learned just how helpful it can be to have an accurate camera report. And most importantly, I learned that I really enjoy directing. The day was hectic, but the fun kind of hectic, and I hope to get more opportunities like this in the coming months.

For now, you can check out the finished project here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The End of 2010

It's been a good long while since I last updated and I figure it's time for a quick update. I'm just now realizing that my last post was in June of last year and I can hardly believe it's been 9 months since. It feels like a few weeks.

So shortly after wrapping Alan Wake up, I was brought onto the Target account to help create a video that summed up their new "My Target Weekly" site. I spent a few days storyboarding this out, and then went straight into animation. My co-workers Jake and Tori helped out with some Cinema4d animation for the opening shot of the leaflet opening up.

I worked on the MTW demo video from August until the beginning September when yet again the Target team briefed me on the upcoming Target 2 Day shoot. This was a whole shoot built around promoting the countdown site for Target's 2 day holiday (The Blackest of Fridays) sale. For whatever reason most of the stuff we made never saw the light of day, but the shoot by far the most memorable I've ever been on. Here's a few of my favorite pics:

Our fearless Director: Enno Jacobsen

Director of Photography: Roman Jakobi

(for those who don't know, those are the formulas used to determine depth of field. 2 guesses as to what he does)

September ran right on into October, which was extremely busy for me cuz I got married, and then immediately went to New Zealand. Then I came back and immediately worked on 2 pitches (one of which we won!) over the next 3 weeks, until desperatly needing yet another week off. And my last official act of 2010 was to shoot my new Nephew's first christmas.

So that was the last quarter of 2010 for me, and while I thought that was as busy as I'd ever been, recent events suggest it was only the tip of the ice burg.