Some fx shots produced by Synthespian Studios and Red Chillies VFX (c) 2011.
I was involved in the rubik cube kind of logic to animate the parts for the transformation between different shapes. All was done using Autodesk Softimage ICE, a couple of custom nodes (developed with c++) to accumulate the transform motion as well as a mature workflow system to cut meshes into 3D cubic segments and link their motion to the particle system.
Most of the segmented animation throughout the movie utilizes Exocortex Momentum 3.0 without gravity, but just for the collision and to avoid penetration between the segments.
Directed by: Anthony Scott Burns and Chris Bahry
Music and Sound Design: John Black of CypherAudio
Editor: Chris Murphy of Relish Editing
Executive Producer: Kate Bate
Producer: Molly Willows
DOP: Anthony Scott Burns
Costumes: Jessica Mary Clayton
Make-Up: Stacy Hatzinikolas
Grip: Chris Atkinson
PA's: Howard Gordon, Derek Evoy
Man at Computer: Travis Stone
Gods: Iain Soder, Jessica Mary Clayton
Motorcycle Rider: Kris Sharon
Guy with Binoculars: Dennis Pikulyk
Gods Concept Art: Marco Texeira and Vini Nascimento
Additional Gods Concept Art: Ash Thorp
Environment, Prop, and God Design: Anthony Scott Burns, Vini Nascimento, Chris Bahry, Andrew Vucko
3D Modeling: Vini Nascimento, Marcin Porebski, Renato Ferro, Andrew Vucko
3D Rigging: Renato Ferro
3D Animation: Vini Nasicmento, Marcin Porebski, Renato Ferro
Textures: Vini Nasicmento, Renato Ferro
Lighting, Render: Brad Husband
Title Animation: Andrew Vucko
Compositing: Chris Bahry, Anthony Scott Burns, Brad Husband
Tendril's longtime friend and collaborator John Black (of CypherAudio) was approached by Stash Magazine editor and STYLE FRAMES executive producer Stephen Price to create a musical framework for the show's opening titles. John recommended Tendril as a great partner to create a visual, and soon after we were meeting with Stephen to discuss.
After some initial brainstorming at the studio, our Creative Director Chris Bahry reached out to the ultra talented filmmaker, designer and musician Anthony Scott Burns. Anthony had left commercial work to pursue feature film, and to us this project and client seemed like the perfect chance for an overdue collaboration. Together we came up with the self-referential story of a person creating a pitch, and the nightmarish encounters he has with himself and five ‘Gods’ that represent aspects of his creative psyche - the 'Gods' represent flesh/blood; technology/power; rest/play; form/function; love/passion.
We figured that anyone who has engaged in a pitch or any kind of creative process under pressure will identify with aspects of the ‘Ritual’ that plays out over the course of the sequence. With pitches, we put the best of ourselves out there to be the ones selected for a project and it's a painful and exhilarating experience. It's the nerd/artist's equivalent of extreme sports. It’s not meant to be a message that pitching is bad at all; but when we really got into it, things quickly became visceral and dark. We wanted to be true to the subject and this is what came out.
It was ambitious and there was certainly interplay between life and art during the piece’s inception. We wanted it to be an epic live-action and CG combo; plus the timeline was incredibly tight with just over a month for a 3-minute short with over 95 shots and no money. To that end, we drew on every resource at our disposal, including our partners for make-up and costumes, friends and family as actors, running around town with our own kit and gear, and the amazing team of designers and artists at the studio for execution. We came up with a lot of smart and cheap solutions for getting all the shots we wanted and are excited to share it all soon in some behind the scenes materials.
After we had our footage, we enlisted Chris Murphy of Relish for editing and John got to work giving the score a deep, cinematic feel, building up slowly to the reveal of the Gods. The sound design opens with more traditional musical elements for the first two movements and then introduces a more contemporary feel in the middle that continues into the finale.
All in all, it was a dream team collaboration that resulted in a work that we we hope depicts the essence of the pitch process in 3 minutes.