Prada: “The Future of Flesh”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
DIRECTOR: Luke Gilford

Every time I watch this Prada promotional spot, I’m never quite sure if it’s serious, mocking, or both. It’s an odd one. Visually, I see hints of “Brazil,” Hannibal Lector, some form of latex bondage, and some far out ’70s sci-fi. I think there’s a commentary on age and the lengths exerted for the preservation of youth. Perhaps, I’m overthinking it.

But I suppose that’s why I truly enjoyed contributing to this spot. It’s abstract, open to interpretation, and visually weird enough to hold my interest, both while working on it, and after the fact.

The spot was crafted for a fashion event I can’t quite recall. But Jane Fonda was going to be present. And they even roped her in to providing some VO for the imagery.

As far as my efforts, I did a ton of beauty and clean-up. But not the typical skin work that usually comes with the territory. This project was all about organic latex, as if it was another layer of skin, and in some instances, a direct extension of it, blending directly into the forehead, cheeks, and neck of the featured model. Other face masks needed finesse, with fewer, tighter seems to show an organic constricting nature.

Clothing also needed to look perfect, and some environments required a bit of polish. Incidentally, the whole spot was shot in Logan’s offices, for the trivia-minded.

Fruit of the Loom: “Curvation”

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
CLIENT: Fruit of the Loom
DIRECTOR: Luke Gilford

I always get a smile from others when I mention I worked on this spot for Fruit of the Loom. It’s definitely one of the more interesting challenges I’ve come across. The focus was on promoting underwear for plus-sized women. Since the subject matter can be somewhat sensitive, the presentation was intended to be natural and confident, promoting beauty in all shapes and sizes.

As mentioned, there were some unique challenges, mainly concerning the beauty work. Typically, I’m asked to remove wrinkles and rolls, often performing digital tummy tucks and slimming of double chins. In this case, the size needed to remain, without actually appearing overweight or unhealthy.

For the most part, the given models fit that description, making this an exercise in subtlety, with slight adjustments to skin texture and regions of contrast. Like I said, weight reduction was not the brief. In addition, there was the usual facial beauty, removing dark regions beneath the eyes, and the occasional mole or acne.

I also extended some environments, and tracked and integrated all the chalk-based motion graphics onto walls, steps, and pillars. The conform itself was fairly straightforward.

MSMR: “Hurricane”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
CLIENT: Columbia Records
DIRECTOR: Luke Gilford

Director Luke Gilford is one of those young and gifted talents that actually has a visual style all his own. Previously, I’ve worked with him on a few interesting commercial spots. But it wasn’t until MS MR’s video for “Hurricane” that I really realized what he was capable of.

Designed to provoke reactions through abstract imagery, the video evolves like a futuristic fashion shoot through a collage of “human” imagery, with blue skinned women, growing tattooed scalps, and multi-eyed beauties, to name a few. The imagery ranges from bizarre, grotesque, striking, surreal, and gorgeous.

My contributions tended to be on the bizarre and striking, adding additional eyes to a woman’s cheeks for multiple shots, and augmenting tattooed scales on a woman’s head that grow like spilled ink on paper. I also contributed some minimal beauty work to various shots, as the director preferred to keep the imagery pure rather than perfect.