You want time lapse? Director Doug Purver’s got time lapse. His virtuosic spec spot for New Balance is based on footage captured by a custom-built Canon 5D Mark II motion-control camera rig snapping one three-second exposure every seven seconds for a total of two hours. He took that set-up to the corner of Washington and Water Streets in Brooklyn, facing the Manhattan Bridge, and shot multiple takes, panning the camera from right to left, until he got it just right. Artists at design/Animation/VFX studio SUSPECT picked up the baton by creating high-resolution 3D models of New Balance sneakers, based on extensive reference photography (and the texture maps derived from those photos), which they animated with exceptional realism and attention to detail. Match-moving the shot took several days — but it got there, as you can see by watching the footage. Purver answered Five Questions for StudioDaily.
Q: What are you working on today?
A: I’ve started research on building my own structured-light 3D scanner. I was introduced to the technology a couple of years ago. I was completely impressed with how it works, but was frustrated with specific shortcomings in the models I had been playing with. Not sure what will come of it yet … but I’m psyched to be nerding out with it. [That's the technology employed for Radiohead's "House of Cards" music video. -Ed.]
Q: What’s the best tool or innovation you’ve found in the last year?
A: It has been more than a year, but the release of the Canon 5D MK II has had a huge impact on how I work. The advent of video on DSLRs is putting real tools into more hands. It’s an exciting time to be making pictures.
Q: What’s the film, television, commercial or music video project that most impressed you in the last year? Why?
A: I have a bit of a soft spot for Where The Wild Things Are. I’m aware part of that is sentimentality, but I do believe that was one of the most beautifully shot films I have seen in some time.
Q: What’s the best, or your favorite, project that you worked on in the past year? And why?
A: This New Balance spec spot was by far the most fun and rewarding project I have worked on in the past year. The combination of the techniques we implemented and the people I was able to work with made this a special one for me. From the start, everyone was on board with experimenting and trying new things and committed to perfection. It’s a rare opportunity when you are afforded both at the same time.
Q: Who are the top 4 artists on your iPod?
A: It’s always a revolving door, but right now I’m enjoying the stylings of Deer Tick, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Django Reinhardt and Mason Jennings.