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.

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