"A Bullying Cigarette Goes on a Tear"
^ The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Chose to Personify Tobacco Wrapped in Paper as a Trash-Talking Jerk of a Human. Point Taken!
Picture it: a cigarette personified as a four-inch bully of a human. In this memorable Anti-Smoking campaign produced through the FDA, an unkempt, vulgar and demanding man attempts to bully teenagers into smoking.
In reality, this man was 6-feet-1 so Kilt Studios scaled him down to a tiny four inches. Scaling a human down is always tricky. The scale always needs to be agreed upon before a shoot since the position of the resulting person and any props will be based on that scale. With this in mind, the Kilt Studios team and the client’s art department worked in unison to ensure the scale was common throughout.
The background plates for the bully shots were handled first. The position of camera and bully were hero-based for those particular shots. Kilt Studios then derived the resulting Bully lens and camera position based on the background plates. After each shoot day, the Kilt team took the script notes and developed a shooting methodology for the next day where the bully was being shot against the blue screen. Though the camera couldn’t be pushed back as far as hoped, a change of lens accommodated the distance and proper lens distortion was added on the plate in post. Also a concern, the motion of the camera never quite matched from background to foreground as the Kilt team and production didn’t have time and space to physically accommodate for motion control. As a result, matching the speed, tracking between camera moves and scaling all on the context of a large to scaled object was quite difficult.
Despite the challenges, the Kilt Studios team worked tirelessly to make sure the resulting images were delivered with the most realistic aesthetic possible. With painstaking effort, the team integrated shadows, and tracked them to the motion of the talent while making sure they properly wrapped around a finger, a door and books. The details of the shadows completely unified the images of background and foreground. The resulting image is obviously affected but exhibits properties of a realistic-looking scene. A mean one at that!
There can be a lot of truth in casting. The Bully didn’t have to vere to far to find his character. – maybe mean. Or – when the cafeteria became the shooting stage dressed in blue screen end to end, we knew we had made it.
Andy Mac, Todd Mesher, Fernando de Souza, Andy Edwards, Patrick Sullivan
Second Unit Direction, Compositing, 3D smoke
Word count: Approximately 365