Jack Ü: “To Ü” feat. AlunaGeorge

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
PRODUCTION CO: Park Pictures

These days, I always welcome a music video, when, on the off chance, it actually does enter my domain. I have a long history with the music industry, albeit at a much earlier stage in my career, prior to all this Flame stuff. Anyway, I don’t always get to work on these videos, due to my bookings leaning more and more into commercials and online media. But every now and then, one comes along, and the nostalgia kicks in.

This particular video from Jack Ü, a.k.a. Diplo and Skrillex, doesn’t conjure the sound of those days of old. But the spirit still remains, offering four minutes of naturistic documentary-styled photography, an organically assembled visual flow, and an impressionistic collage of young romance.

Workwise, this wasn’t a particularly difficult project, essentially one long conform, featuring some additional color grading, and a little bit of clean-up and/or beauty. Fairly straightforward. But like I said, welcome nonetheless.

I should also add that I had the pleasure of 2D supervising an earlier commercial effort with director AJ Rojas, who’s enthusiasm and openness to the artform made for an enjoyable experience.

Full Credits

Google Nest: “Talking Houses”

Google Nest: “Talking Houses: 127 Willow Lane”

Google Nest: “Talking Houses: 36 Spring Street”

Google Nest: “Talking Houses: 208 Ridge Road”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: Google
PRODUCTION CO: Park Pictures
DIRECTOR: Chris Wilcha

To promote their Smart Home initiative, Google Nest opted to let the homes tell their own stories, literally. The personification of these three houses reflect memories of the families and events that have taken place within their walls. You might even recognize some of the talent lending their voices to these homes.

All three were exercises of subtlety in storytelling, crafting an idyllic and naturalistic visual narrative that signified familiarity. This meant beautifying home exteriors, landscaping yards, and augmenting various rooms, all through the wonders of 2D compositing and clean-up. The idea was to present a home that could be your own, if not in actuality, than in spirit.

Specific vignettes required additional comp work. “36 Spring Street” featured a pseudo-timelapse of its exterior remodels, as well as depictions of seasonal changes. “127 Willow Lane” had a shaggy dog that needed to blend into a shag carpet, and a load of period-related interior adjustments, particularly the conversation room. And “208 Ridge Road” had a racoon bandit, shot practically, that needed a bit of retiming and clean-up.

Also, each spot had Nest devices that required product beauty and screen comps for the given displays. The round UI for the thermostat was a bit tricky to make stick. And the background wallpaper for each house needed styling to make the device stand-out.

Samsung: “LeBron Always On”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: 72andSunny
PRODUCTION CO: Park Pictures
DIRECTOR: Lance Accord

This is the longest Samsung spot I worked on, during my permalancer days at the Mission. It’s mostly a found footage celebration of then-product sponsor LeBron James, with some original shots peppered throughout, and the requisite endtag product shot.

Being found footage, there was a fair share of cleanup, particularly in the NBA game footage, but also in background signage and product logos. Also, there was a fair amount of screen comps throughout … phones, tablets, flat screens, etc. I was one of six that handled the workload.

Lastly, as was now my M.O., I tackled the endcard, this round being assembled from turntable footage that needed to be rebuilt in 2D to accommodate agency preference. Screen comps, clean-up, glints and glimmers, and a new background space.