Working together with Onesize we created the Playgrounds festival opening titles. Basically it are two guys beating the shit out of each other. It was very important to give the movie a high end feeling. While there was a small budget it looks like it was created with a big budget. It has the look and feel of a movie filmed with an expensive high-speed camera. But actually the complete movie is build up out of photographs only.
Quoted from Onesize (with whom I created this piece with):
The film was created in little over 2 weeks.
Playgrounds director Leon van Rooij asked us, like 6 months ago, if we wanted to do the titles for this years' fest.
I quote: "Playgrounds is a two-day festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where you can see the best digital audiovisual art in the world, such as musicvideos, animations, commercials, character design, VFX and games AND you can find out how it's been made during artist lectures and Q&A's."
Of course we said yes, because doing titles for festivals like these are rare opportunities. So we welcomed it with open arms.
Next to that, we've been involved in the festival for 3 years now and we are the first ones to design a title sequence for this festival. What a burden... ;)
With no creative brief and even less budget, we slowly started thinking, concepting, designing, thinking of how we could create something impressive, something new, something with a lot of production value but produce-able within 3 weeks and of course something we had not done before with our team, to challenge ourselves even more.
We ended up with the idea to have 2 fighters fighting over whatever on a children's playground. Kind of a metaphor for a creative process, which can be a battle sometimes.. kill your darlings.. etc.. etc... Anyway, this could become visually very interesting, so we thought. We focused on the image, look and feel, a bit more than we used to this time, simply because we wanted to.
We did some research, especially on the visual style in photography, the air we wanted the film to breath.
Initially, the film needed to be very slow paced, almost like a dance on classical music in ultra slow motion, this was still the idea at the time when we shot the images.
Just ultra slow motion, shooting with a phantom camera would not do the trick for us. We wanted to have more control over the slow motion in post production, still be be able to decide camera angles and motion. To do this we used the camera mapping technique in 3D.
The production was made fairly simple compared to live-action shoots with high speed camera's shooting on location. By using this technique, simply because we only needed still images, we wrapped the shoot in 3 hours. Our photographer, Jasper Faber did an outstanding job by using only 2 flash lights, a camera and a macbook.
In post production we changed the direction a little, we wanted more action. Jasper took a bunch of photo's which I found out could work just fine in a quick sequence. The contrast between the ultra slow-motion image and super fast paced short sequences made it more powerful and dramatized the impact of the slow motion sequence.
Joris, our sound designer did what was necessary to enhance the impact even more.
For the production of this shoot we contacted rotterdam based production company Revolver and asked them if they wanted to help us out producing the shoot.
Luckily they said yes They just contracted photographer Jasper Faber who was willing to shoot the images and help us out with the production, since we knew that post production would be very time consuming. Revolver helped us out producing it, so we could focus on direction and post production.
The people who saw it thus far, all responded to the film equally, asking the same question "... how did you shoot it, with a phantom?" .. no, it's all 3D.
Direction & Post-Production - Onesize (onesize.com)
Sound Design - Studio Takt (studio-takt.com)
Production Company - Revolver (revolver.nl/)
Producer - Dijana Olcay-Hot
Photography - Jasper Faber (jasperfaber.com/photography.html)
Fighter #1 - Jeroen Roos
Fighter #2 - Cesario di Domenico
Make-up - Elseline Hokke (elselinehokke.nl/)
Location Scout - Hans v/d Berg
Playgroundfestival: (playgroundsfestival.nl/)# vimeo.com/7160598 Uploaded 98.1K Plays 2,652 Likes 64 Comments
Still shocked and excited from last night, it's an honor for us to show you this absolutely MINDBLOWING TITLES made for OFFF by PostPanic.
Thank you so much to PostPanic, and specially to Mischa Rozema, Ania Markham and Si Scott, simply epic!!!
Written by Mischa Rozema and British graphic designer, Si Scott, the opening titles reflect their dark thoughts on a possible future. Directed by Mischa and shot on location in Prague, the film guides the viewer through a grim scenario embedded with the names of artists appearing at this year’s OFFF festival. The live action was brought back to Amsterdam for post, primarily carried out by PostPanic’s in-house team of artists but also with the additional help of freelancers and partner companies that we have enjoyed strong creative relationships with over the years. It’s really fair to say that this was a labour of love by a passionate crew of people.
Says Ania Markham, Executive Producer at PostPanic:
“The images created by the crew of people working on the titles has been unbelievable, with nationalities represented including Dutch, Czech, English, American, Polish, German, Swedish and Belgian. It’s been a great opportunity for all of us to work together on a non-commercial project we’re passionate about and we’re so proud of the combined effort and final result.”
DIRECTORS NOTES (Mischa Rozema)
This project started out as a collaboration between myself and Si Scott. Right from the start, we decided that it should be the darkest thing we could make. I think it just felt natural to the both of us; if we had to nail the future, it would not be a nice place.
This idea evolved into a clash of times. Inspired by an idea from the late Arthur C. Clarke. He wrote about different historical civilizations meeting in a single point in time. So what happens when civilizations meet? The 'weaker' one gets eaten by the 'stronger'. You only have to look at history to see the destructive power of civilizations.
So the main underlying idea is: what would happen if the future lands on our doorstep today? Let's take mankind, add perhaps 100 years and then let them show up on our doorstep today. The future would pretty much devour the present. Probably in a matter of, let's say, 7 days… So that's what we're looking at. But every ending also means a new beginning, hence Year Zero.
There's all kinds of hidden messages in there. Like the virus eating away at reality, buildings and people, even at the viewers brain. It's behaving off course much like a computer virus. And the network of wires represents the future of social networking. I just made it physical and let it 'catch' the city and it's people like a net. All these ideas just serve as inspiration for us to create a future that worked for this concept. They're not meant to be deciphered by the audience. It's still meant to be just a title sequence and not an actual movie.
Now what makes a good title sequence? Personally, I think it's something that gets you in the mood, warms you up for what you're about to experience, be it a film, tv series or in our case, the OFFF festival. We decided to treat the OFFF festival as a feature film experience. So all we had to do was get the viewer into the right state of mind. Without, of course, being too narrative led. The best title sequences out there are nothing but a random collection of images/scenes that don't tell a lot if you watch them on their own. But edit them together and a new context is created. A context that matters, a feeling that gets the viewer ready for the main event, in our case, the festival.
To get started, the next thing we did was make a collection of ideas that would scare me and Si. So, anything drawn from our youth, right through to stuff that's inspired us over the years as well as seemingly random compositions that trigger the imagination of the viewer. For example, when we show you the aesthetics of a car explosion, it's carefully constructed. Why a car and not something else? Because an exploding car brings extra content to an otherwise simple aesthetic display of violence. A car doesn't explode by itself so instantly the brain tries to formulate the background behind it. It adds an either political or criminal edge to the violence. To me it felt appropriate because of the sense of protest and rebellion the shot has. And maybe the biggest question; was there someone in the car and if so, who was it? For me, every idea should provoke these kind of questions; from a girl in a prom dress holding a rocket launcher to a riot cop standing in the kitchen. All scenes have a pre and post story to them. In no time you're actually trying to connect these seemingly random scenes and boom; you've just created your own strange context. You now have a feeling, a taste and lots of questions probably. Questions that normally would be answered by watching the actual movie. But since there's no actual movie here we'll leave stranded with, hopefully, an uncomfortable feeling and lots of questions - some might feel unsatisfied and wondering why. Just like a nightmare.
We also wanted the actual titles to be different this time. Most of the time festival titles are driven by the idea on how to show titles. A mechanism that displays titles in a creative way. We actually thought to bring the festival theme to the foreground and have the titles play a part in it. Incorporate them so they become the actual fiber/texture of the piece itself. Practically I still think it's nice that the viewer has to actively look for the names and not get too comfortable. Even if it means to see it a couple of times which surely is the best we can aim for as a free project ; )
How about the shoot? Well, prior to Prague we created more than 50 ideas I could play with. This was always the intention. Go out shooting with a tiny crew, acting like we're still in art school and be open for anything that might happen. That's why we shot everything on 2 Canon 5D's (that and having no budget off course). This was a really nice change for me. Normally I prepare commercial shoots to the very last detail and there's a lot more people involved. Savage helped us out big time in Prague. We also had some bad news. Due to his back problems Si Scott had to abandon the project and couldn't join the shoot.
When we came back from Prague I started editing straight away and soon came to the conclusion we had about 60 vfx shots to work on and no budget and increasingly less time. Remember that this project was a side dish for PostPanic, we had to work on commissioned jobs also. But everybody involved soon fell in love with the project, including STORM Postproduction who are our neighbors (luckily for us).
In the mean time we received the title list. It had about 70 names on it! That's when I found out that the dynamics I wanted to use would probably not work. Just too many names that would make the piece too long to just show random images. So in the plane towards Prague I thought of bringing in a tiny bit of narrative. Which turned out to be the beginning of the sequence (1st act). I wrote in a lead character that would relate to the viewer.
The idea was to trick the audience into thinking they're watching some kind of documentary. We basically follow a guy going home. Bit by bit his environment gets stranger and more uncomfortable to watch. Is he living in a war zone? Slowly the background takes over and the piece changes into an urban nightmare. And like a nightmare, the story/edit doesn't always make sense but makes you feel really uncomfortable. I also wanted the viewer to experience the nightmare. That's where the dark matter comes in. Dark matter is what I call the macro shot bits. Flashes that derail your train of thought like there's something eating away at your brain as you try to make sense of the nightmare. I wanted the viewer to go nuts, alongside with the cast. Erase the line between nightmare and reality. The end result is something you won't come across easily on your tv. And is also just another fun way to do titles.
The sound design and music made by Hecq added a lot to the feel and scale of the film. It clearly divides the 3 acts (1st act: up to execution, 2nd from execution, 3rd final shot) and makes completely different ideas and scenes feel coherent. It also emphasizes the dynamics of the film and brings the much needed pace at the end. It's been great working with Ben. We've been surfing the same wave length throughout the project.
Finally I want to thank everyone involved for making these titles possible. For creating something out of nothing. For showing so much love for something as dark as this.
Directed by Mischa Rozema
Story by Mischa Rozema & Si Scott
Production Company: PostPanic
Executive Producers: Jules Tervoort, Ania Markham
DoP: Jiri Malek, Mischa Rozema
Music & Sound Design: Hecq
Senior Producer: Annejes van Liempd
Production Assistant: Jacinta Ramaker
Production Designer: Roland Mylanus
Editor: Mischa Rozema
Main Hero: Vladan Bláha
Grafitti Guy: Tom Malar
Main Hero Sister: Katerina Galova
CG Supervisor: Ivor Goldberg
VFX Supervisor: Chris Staves
3D Artists: Jeroen Aerts, Matthijs Joor, Jurriën Boogert, Marnix Reckman, Adam Janeczek
2D Artist: Erwin van den IJssel
3D Interns: Cara To, Xander Clerckx
2D Interns: Mathijs Luijten, Per Westholm
Compositing: Chris Staves, Ivor Goldberg, Adam Janeczek, Matthijs Joor
Graphic Designs: Si Scott
Additional Graffiti Elements: Florian Stumpe
Matte Painting: Wieger Poutsma
Additional 3D and Compositing: Storm PostProduction
Production (Prague) by Savage:
Executive Producer: Klara Kralickova, Pavla Burgetova Callegari
Producer: Michaela Berkova
Production Assistant: Vojta Ruzicka
Prop master: Jan Fiala
Location Scout & Management: Petr Bastar, Adam Fuchs
Location: CREVISTON, a.s.
Tattoos made by: Wowa tattoo prague# vimeo.com/24982650 Uploaded
For Norvell Jefferson we produced a film promoting Philips latest tv product line of 2011.
In December of 2011 It was recut and broadcasted as TVC in Germany.
Next to the film, we produced BTL print visuals, which are being used by Philips world-wide to promote their 21:9 tv's.
Creative Agency: Norvell Jefferson
Design, Direction, VFX & Production: Onesize
Photographer: Carli Hermes
Sound: Echolab# vimeo.com/34609436 Uploaded 51.7K Plays 701 Likes 16 Comments
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