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Why It’s Cool:
It isn’t just the rock stars acting up in this video- so does their environment. Directors Alex & Martin (Alexandre Courtes and Martin Fougerole) cover a massive performance with ambitious camera angles in the middle of the desert.
The vertiginous act of cramming 150 effects into a three-minute video fell on the capable shoulders of Jam Abelanet, post visual effects supervisor, who implemented custom scripts for behavior animation.
1. Alex & Martin: The original concept of the 50 meter (in diameter) target was to build it out of concrete. However, due to our location [on a delta near Tarragon, Spain ] being environmentally protected, it was impossible to have this built. We decided to use two different colors of gravel instead.
Abelanet: The most unusual and interesting effect in terms of technique was the vertigo effect, when the ground separates in different circles. At Buf Compagnie we have a powerful scripting language so we developed a special algorithm for all the circles to move the other circles like a dance. It was half-artistic feeling and half-mathematical equations.
2. Alex & Martin: On the first day of the 35mm shoot we were confronted with weather problems. Our technical team, after much effort, built a mini-studio in the middle of the desert for the close-ups and the light [which was animated] when the band drops deep into the arena. The day ended brilliantly with Bono performing in the middle of the desert as the sun was setting.
3. Abelanet: The most demanding effect was the smoke. Before the shoot, we did pre-vis to see how it would look. We produced a lot of different versions of 3D smoke for Alex and Martin to see, and even when they were happy with the treatment, we had to deal with different setups if the shot was a close-up, a medium shot, a shot from above or a wide shot.
It was nearly a military strategy. We couldn’t afford to lose any time (three weeks from receiving elements to deadline). We had 13 graphic artists plus the two Flame artists, which is more like a feature film crew.
After we received the elements, we split the work in two. The first team began to work on the color correction and all the rotoscoping and camera matching we would need later [ Buf Compagnie used in-house developed software from camera matching, comp software and 2D effect (bcolor), 3D software (Bstudio) and scripting language (db2)]. The second team was more an R&D team, so that we could try different styles for the smoke, the particles, and the vertigo effect, each time on a reference shot. Once the directors liked and approved the effect, we applied this particular setup to all the similar shots. With this technique, we were able to add dozens of shots each time we updated the video, instead of adding shot by shot. The final conform was done in Flame.
CREDITS: Directors: Alex & Martin, Partizan ¦ Producer: Grace Bodie ¦ Production Manager: Johnny Wardle ¦ 1st AD: Ben Gill ¦ Lighting Cameraman: Omer Ganai ¦ Art Director: Dan Betteridge ¦ Post Production Supervisor: Jam Abelanet ¦ Offline Edit: Medialabs ¦ Paris Editor: Joe Guest ¦ Telecine/online: Buf Compagnie, Paris