Tag Archives: 1stAveMachine

1stAveMachine makes coffee for Nespresso

People take their coffee very seriously. They want it brewed and served in a certain way, and any aberration could ruin the entire experience. With this in mind, 1stAveMachine and director Roman Rütten showcased the intricate brewing process of the Nespresso VertuoPlus (for agency 360i) in a mysterious way that actually shows little of the machine itself.

“You’re taken on this really interesting journey, and in the end this complex structure collapses into the actual machine, which makes it feel quite slick and sophisticated,” says Rütten. “We’re making the complex, hidden art of coffee-making from the inside look simple.”

1stAveMachine got involved in the project early on. “We really collaborated with the agency to come up with a concept that deconstructs the Nespresso machine and shows coffee brewing in an artistic way,” explains Rütten. “We wanted to inspire and surprise people with visuals that are usually hidden inside a coffee machine.”

Highlighting the inner workings of Nespresso’s VertuoPlus required a bit of creativity since all parties agreed to shoot everything in-camera. “We had to basically create a rig to show something in a way it has never been seen before while working with the real coffee on a macro level in high-speed,” he explains. “It’s just a really fragile process of fine-tuning adjustments, which just adds a lot of variables to the shoot as we’re dealing with real physics. So, you need the patience to keep pushing for the perfect shot. It can come quick or take a little bit longer, but in the end, every shot looked really pretty and very classy when we walked away from it.”

Why not go the visual effects route?  “An in-camera approach may add complexity but also creates a warm and tactile feel,” explains Rütten. “There is something really intimate about working with the product on a macro level like this, which you might not get when strictly using post. A practical approach is more difficult to achieve and replicate which shows a certain level of expertise and craft. This works really well with the Nespresso brand and their level of craft that goes into the development of their products.

The spot was was developed over a period of weeks and shot in two days with a Phantom and Bolt rig. “These were really challenging and long days since we were dealing with real physics at a macro level and just a slight adjustment gives a complete different result,” reports Rütten.

According to the director, embracing the spontaneity and unpredictability of any shoot can lead to such an ultimately rewarding result. “With an interesting creative concept, some unconventional framing and the natural epic-ness of high-speed photography, you get some really stunning results that are quite mesmerizing,” he says. “Every time it’s slightly new and we always learn a lot about how certain rigs perform and physics react. You try to set up the stage with some interesting variables and embrace happy accidents. When no take looks the same, it’s a blessing and curse at the same time. But with the right patience and talented crew, we can push the boundaries, come in with some fresh ideas and try to have a little fun.”

The spot was edited in Adobe Premiere and color graded in Blackmagic Resolve.

1stAveMachine opens London office, animation vet at helm

Brooklyn, New York-based mixed media production company 1stAveMachine, which creates video, digital and experimental content for TV, web, and mobile, has opened an office in London. Heading the new operation, including a set of UK-based directors and artists, is managing director/executive producer Isabella Parish, an animation/production vet who spent well over a decade at global production company Partizan.

Even though 1stAveMachine is opening up shop in Europe, the company is no stranger to European collaborations. As partner Serge Patzak notes, “The UK, and Europe in general, has been a really important marketplace. 1stAve’s foundation was built on creative work with the likes of Mother London and 180 Amsterdam for brands such as Diageo and Adidas’ Modular Man for the 2006 World Cup, respectively. We hit the ground running with campaigns like Audi’s ‘Unboxed,’ one of 1stAve’s earliest UK campaigns.”

Parish says that the production company and partners Sam Penfield and Patzak have been on her radar for quite a while. “I have always kept an eye over what’s been going on at 1stAveMacine,” she half-jokingly admits. “When we met it just felt right. Sam and Serge approached me with the idea; I loved it, and was excited for the challenge.”

During her lengthy stay at Partizan, Parish set up the production company’s animation arm, Partizan Lab, and served as head of animation. She’s worked with some big-named directors, including Michel Gondry, Doug Nichol, Michael Gracey, Antoine Bardou-Jacquet and Matthias Hoene. Along the way, Parish and Partizan’s directorial roster collaborated with brands like Evian, Samsung, Kellogg’s, Nokia, Coca-Cola, eBay and Starbucks, picking up awards at D&AD, Cannes and BTAA.

Europe-based directors joining 1stAveMachine for the London launch include Ubik, D.A.D.D.Y, Maxime Bruneel, Sophie Gateau, Emmanuelle & Julien, Martin Allais, Alessandro Pacciani and Marc Reisbig.

1stAveMachine adds Italian director Alessandro Pacciani to team

Brooklyn-based 1stAveMachine has added to its roster with Florence, Italy-born Alessandro Pacciani, who got his start in the industry working at ad agencies beginning at the age of 15. It was there he started learning about design, animation and visual effects.

By 19, he began directing, moving independent music videos to commercials, including those for BMW, Subaru, Nike, Samsung, Google and Universal. Now, with over a decade of experience in the international commercial world, Pacciani specializes in integration of live action with photoreal CG.

And when he’s not working on spots, he has been known to dabble in video game work. Pacciani directed the trailer for Bandai Namco’s video game Dark Souls II.

“We’re thrilled to have Alessandro on our roster,” says 1stAveMachine EP/partner Sam Penfield. “He’s entrepreneurial, fearless and makes things happen. Specifically, he’s dedicated to shooting as much live footage as possible in lieu of CG, and will fit seamlessly into the vibrant creative community at 1stAveMachine.”