Absolute Cleans Up VH1′s Weird New Promo
"If You Like" Bocce, Bedroom Scenes and Body Parts, You'll Love This
Krispy Cornwell: I believe that, in the final piece, none of them were continuous.
Sally Heath: In the cases where they had actually set up two sets together to get them in camera, they had gone for different takes.
F&V: What was the challenge for you there? How easy, or how difficult, was it going to be for you to make seamless transitions convincing?
KC: The first one, into the robot, was quite simple. It was just a case of lining up the two plates, and they matched perfectly. For some of them, the shots going into and out of the transition were moving at different speeds and I had to time-warp them to match. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s perfectly smooth throughout.
SH: It’s not one long continuous move at the same rate. There are variations in each scene.
KC: It was an odd little spot, so I think the different speeds in different scenes worked with it. But the transitions themselves took a while to build up. And after that, there was a lot of rig removal on the giant boobs. So that took a long time.
F&V: So those were live-action giant boobs?
SH: They were models that [director] Bryan Buckley had his guys make, and they were puppeteered on rods.
KC: So it was a case of removing all the rods. Some of them, on the couch, were shot on green screen and I had to composite them in and add the extra boobs around and then, uh, make them wobble a bit more.
SH: Yes, the amount of wobble required was very contentious [laughs].
F&V: Was that from standards and practices getting into the act?
SH: I think everyone had an opinion, and everyone wanted to see it executed. By the end we had done multiple different wobble variations.
KC: We had many different wobbling boobs. But that was a big thing, getting rid of all the rigging.
SH: On the shot with the band, they had actually flopped the shot over in order to join things together seamlessly. That’s no big problem in itself, apart from the fact that there’s a guy wearing a security T-shirt that had to be matted, tracked in, and composited over so that it read correctly.
F&V: If they flipped the shot, wouldn’t the camera move have been reversed as well?
SH: That one is going in, instead of left to right.
KC: The previous shot was also flopped, so the two camera moves were in the same direction. The one before that, the dry cleaner, was completely built up with the clothes rack to hide the join in the transition. That’s how I disguised it.
F&V: Part of your job was making sure the mood wasn’t broken by having attention brought to a bad transition or a fake camera move. You have to get out of the way of the joke.
SH: Absolutely. You’re sitting there for months on end, sweating gobs and working hard so that nobody sees what you do!
KC: Another one we spent a long time working on was the robot. We added some lights and sparks coming off it.
SH: Additional CG work was done by a company in Argentina [3Delivery in Buenos Aires] to make the robot look less like a man in a suit and more like a robot.
KC: They did a CG leg, which they sent us and we composited in. We had a very good After Effects guy, JD Yepes, working on most of that shot, and he did a really good job.
SH: We weren’t just on [Autodesk] Flame and Combustion. We were also using [Adobe] After Effects and [The Foundry] Nuke.
KC: Most of the work was done on the Flame, which we worked on here. I had a bit of help from our London office, as well. That’s how we work – we send stuff back and forth. If we’ve got a bit of time here, we work for London, and if London has a bit of time they work for us.
SH: It also makes it a lot easier when you’re in a time crunch. With the time difference, you can work 24 hours a day without killing too many people.
F&V: Were there any special challenges or other unique aspects of this job that you want to talk about?
SH: Because of the nature of the budget and the client and the actual shoot itself, they had to shoot very hard and fast and get in and out. The ivy in the background of one of the shots wasn’t as high as it could have been. The wall in the Latin lover scene could have done with an extra coat of paint. All those things that you think, after the fact, oh, God, wouldn’t it be nice. So when they come into post-production, it’s “Well, wouldn’t it be nice?” The whole point of working with people like these creatives, who are really at the top of their game, is that you want to do the best possible job. That’s why Krispy and the gang were here until midnight or long past for weeks on end. We were doing very subtle things that you would really only notice if we hadn’t done it – like the extension of the ivy, the clean-up of the wall, adding some signage into the dry cleaner to make it look more like a dry cleaner and less like, “OK, what’s he doing there with a sweater?” It’s just subtle nuances that enhance the parts of the creatives’ vision that Bryan had not had time to get in camera.
KC: I have to say, they did an absolutely brilliant job on the models of the boobs. I saw the offline and I said, “Yes, I want to do this.” [Laughter all around.]
SH: So did a lot of people.
KC: The whole company did come past my suite at one point or another. “Can we see the giant boobs? You showed them to someone else. Can I see them?”
SH: You’d quite like to have one, just to put on the shelf. It’s become a member of the family, having been around for so long!