American Idol: “2012 Ford Music Challenge”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Ntropic
AGENCY: Team Detroit
DIRECTOR: P.R. Brown & Ethan Lader

12 weeks.  12 music videos.  Each custom-themed.  Shoot on Sunday.  Edit on Monday-Tuesday. Compositing and post on Tuesday-Wednesday.  Finish and deliver on Wednesday night.

That’s the production schedule for “American Idol” and Ford’s fourth annual “Music Video Challenge.” To say it’s a short turnaround is a bit of an understatement.

I worked on 8 of the 12 weeks, with Lead Flame Artist MB Emigh, as well as additional Flame Aritsts Chris Moore, Chris DeCristo, and Rob Hubbard.  Each week was different, depending on the theme: fairy tale, zodiac, ghosts, school, magic, giants, etc.

One week would necessitate heavy greenscreen compositing, making the Idols look like giants; the next week creating stylized treatments, transforming the Idols into astrological signs or magical fantasy figures. In short, a lot of hard work with no time, lots of creativity, and a reliance on pretty much every trick in the book.