Tag Archives: editorial

Quick Chat: Lord Danger takes on VFX-heavy Devil May Cry 5 spot

By Randi Altman

Visual effects for spots have become more and more sophisticated, and the recent Capcom trailer promoting the availability of its game Devil May Cry 5 is a perfect example.

 The Mike Diva-directed Something Greater starts off like it might be a commercial for an anti-depressant with images of a woman cooking dinner for some guests, people working at a construction site, a bored guy trimming hedges… but suddenly each of our “Everyday Joes” turns into a warrior fighting baddies in a video game.

Josh Shadid

The hedge trimmer’s right arm turns into a futuristic weapon, the construction worker evokes a panther to fight a monster, and the lady cooking is seen with guns a blazin’ in both hands. When she runs out of ammo, and to the dismay of her dinner guests, her arms turn into giant saws. 

Lord Danger’s team worked closely with Capcom USA to create this over-the-top experience, and they provided everything from production to VFX to post, including sound and music.

We reached out to Lord Danger founder/EP Josh Shadid to learn more about their collaboration with Capcom, as well as their workflow.

How much direction did you get from Capcom? What was their brief to you?
Capcom’s fight-games director of brand marketing, Charlene Ingram, came to us with a simple request — make a memorable TV commercial that did not use gameplay footage but still illustrated the intensity and epic-ness of the DMC series.

What was it shot on and why?
We shot on both Arri Alexa Mini and Phantom Flex 4k using Zeiss Super Speed MKii Prime lenses, thanks to our friends at Antagonist Camera, and a Technodolly motion control crane arm. We used the Phantom on the Technodolly to capture the high-speed shots. We used that setup to speed ramp through character actions, while maintaining 4K resolution for post in both the garden and kitchen transformations.

We used the Alexa Mini on the rest of the spot. It’s our preferred camera for most of our shoots because we love the combination of its size and image quality. The Technodolly allowed us to create frame-accurate, repeatable camera movements around the characters so we could seamlessly stitch together multiple shots as one. We also needed to cue the fight choreography to sync up with our camera positions.

You had a VFX supervisor on set. Can you give an example of how that was beneficial?
We did have a VFX supervisor on site for this production. Our usual VFX supervisor is one of our lead animators — having him on site to work with means we’re often starting elements in our post production workflow while we’re still shooting.

Assuming some of it was greenscreen?
We shot elements of the construction site and gardening scene on greenscreen. We used pop-ups to film these elements on set so we could mimic camera moves and lighting perfectly. We also took photogrammetry scans of our characters to help rebuild parts of their bodies during transition moments, and to emulate flying without requiring wire work — which would have been difficult to control outside during windy and rainy weather.

Can you talk about some of the more challenging VFX?
The shot of the gardener jumping into the air while the camera spins around him twice was particularly difficult. The camera starts on a 45-degree frontal, swings behind him and then returns to a 45-degree frontal once he’s in the air.

We had to digitally recreate the entire street, so we used the technocrane at the highest position possible to capture data from a slow pan across the neighborhood in order to rebuild the world. We also had to shoot this scene in several pieces and stitch it together. Since we didn’t use wire work to suspend the character, we also had to recreate the lower half of his body in 3D to achieve a natural looking jump position. That with the combination of the CG weapon elements made for a challenging composite — but in the end, it turned out really dramatic (and pretty cool).

Were any of the assets provided by Capcom? All created from scratch?
We were provided with the character and weapons models from Capcom — but these were in-game assets, and if you’ve played the game you’ll see that the environments are often dark and moody, so the textures and shaders really didn’t apply to a real-world scenario.

Our character modeling team had to recreate and re-interpret what these characters and weapons would look like in the real world — and they had to nail it — because game culture wouldn’t forgive a poor interpretation of these iconic elements. So far the feedback has been pretty darn good.

In what ways did being the production company and the VFX house on the project help?
The separation of creative from production and post production is an outdated model. The time it takes to bring each team up to speed, to manage the communication of ideas between creatives and to ensure there is a cohesive vision from start to finish, increases both the costs and the time it takes to deliver a final project.

We shot and delivered all of Devil May Cry’s Something Greater in four weeks total, all in-house. We find that working as the production company and VFX house reduces the ratio of managers per creative significantly, putting more of the money into the final product.


Randi Altman is the founder and editor-in-chief of postPerspective. She has been covering production and post production for more than 20 years. 

Post producer Tony Rucker joins Dallas-based 3008 Editorial

Post producer Tony Rucker has joined Dallas-based editorial boutique 3008. He brings over a decade of post experience including work on commercial campaigns, branded content, 3D animation and visual effects projects.

Before joining 3008, Rucker worked as a post producer at Post Asylum, Element X and Fast Cuts. Clients have included Visionworks, The Salvation Army, Atmos Energy, Mott’s and others.

This past year, owner and editor Brent Herrington assumed sole ownership of 3008. While editorial remains the company’s main focus, Herrington has expanded its editorial roster and turnkey production arm under his leadership. “As we see our clients needs evolve, we want to ensure that we too are evolving as a company to offer the talent, comprehensive services and a seamless experience,” he says.

Recent 3008 projects include work for AT&T, Chrysler, Cricket Wireless, McDonald’s, Top Golf, Snapple, Universal Orlando, Bridgestone and Frito-Lay.

Editing vets launch TwoPoint0 ‘collective’ in NYC

Industry vets Wendy Rosen and Anthony Marinelli have launched editorial house TwoPoint0 in New York City, based on what they call an “innovative, new business model” — a creative collective featuring the talents of the two founding partners as well as such seasoned editors as Bruce Ashley, Charlie Cusumano, Jane Keller, Nick Lofting, John Marinis, Keith Olwell and Jon Rosen.

According to partner/executive producer/editor Rosen, TwoPoint0, “is an answer to the constantly shifting advertising/post landscape where more highly experienced, creative individuals prefer to be in the freelance world, yet still desire administrative, production and promotional support.”

“We take the post production model a step beyond the previous four-walling concept,” adds Marinelli. “We provide a seasoned executive producer with Wendy, who is also an editor, so she really understands what the needs of an editor are on any given project. Wendy actively represents editors in the collective, assessing upcoming jobs in the marketplace and determining a complementary editor for a particular project or client.

Rosen and Marinelli’s mission is to create more opportunities for freelance editors while offering greater flexibility to clients by customizing each project to their needs, from conception to completion, with an eye towards comfort and convenience in the process.

Barbara Michelson, head of broadcast production at agency DeVito/Verdi, is currently in the middle of a TwoPoint0 project for Bernie & Phyl’s. It’s being edited by Marinelli, who is also working with agency creatives Rob Slosberg and Matt Songer on the new campaign. “They really understand the demands that we at the agency are under and they deliver every time,” she says.

Michelson likes the new model offered by TwoPoint0. “It provides us a great deal of flexibility about where we can work and when.”

TwoPoint0 editor Bruce Ashley believes in the collective model. “[For the client], you have a small stable of editors to choose from for your projects, whether that talent is working in comedy, beauty, dialog, etc. You also have all the client services that you require. For the editor, we have the full support that we need to complete a project, with a solid assistant and an executive producer like Wendy with so many years of experience. It’s a very appealing model.”

Behind the Title: Wax’s Stephen Jess

NAME: Stephen Jess

COMPANY: New York City edit house Wax

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
Wax is a boutique editorial company/creative collective/group of people who are committed to telling great stories — all kinds of stories.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE? Editor/Partner

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
I’m cutting most days, and working with my partner Toni Lipari to create the opportunity for our Continue reading

Boutique edit house Wax adds Christopher Huth

Editor Christopher Huth joins Wax, a New York-based boutique editorial company and creative collective that opened its doors last year.

Huth comes most recently from Lost Planet, where he collaborated with Smuggler director David Frankham on spots for Mercedes and Bank of America, and with Independent Media’s Janusz Kaminski on spots for New York Times Magazine and JBL.

In addition, a fair share of his work has been outside of traditional production workflow, either sourcing material with his own team (Mazda, iStock), creating fresh concepts from existing footage banks (Visa, Belvedere) or generating spots through graphic interface/online content (Google).

Huth’s work includes the Cannes Gold PR Lion-winning Honey Maid “This is Wholesome” campaign for Droga 5 with Academy Award-winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin; the Cannes Mobile Grand Prix-winning campaign for Google “Demo Slam” via Johannes Leonardo; and AICP Best in Show spot Dear Sophie, for Google Chrome’s “the Web is what you make of it” campaign via BBH New York.

“I try to make a personal connection with the material,” Huth explains, “which means being thoughtful about how I’m connected to it and how the agency is connected to it. I try to give every project patience. It never gets boring, especially because of how quickly the industry moves. The challenges, I find, are to stay on top of technology and the changing software landscape, and to remain thoughtful with clients, directors and myself.”

Huth is currently editing his first campaign at Wax for AT&T, with DGA-nominated directors The Mercadantes via BBDO NY.

Technicolor-PostWorks gets institutionalized for ‘Stonehearst Asylum’

For the film Stonehearst Asylum from Director Brad Anderson and Millennium Entertainment, Technicolor-PostWorks New York‘s facility provided editorial systems and support to the production in addition to handling the editorial conforming, color grading and deliverables.

Based on an Edgar Allan Poe story, Stonehearst Asylum (Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine) is a thriller about patients who take over a corrupt mental institution. The film was shot in Bulgaria with DP Thomas Yatsko. Brian Gates edited the film at Technicolor-PostWorks’ West Village location. The film was conformed by editor George Bunce on Autodesk Smoke. Technicolor-PostWorks generated DCP, film and video deliverables.

Stonehearst02

Senior colorist Sam Daley applied the final grade in Autodesk Lustre, working under the direct supervision of Anderson and Yatsko. Daley’s role was to enhance the film’s period setting and tense story. “The film takes place at the very end of the 19th century,” notes Yatsko. “It’s set in a remote location in northern England. It’s winter and the facility has no electricity, little oil and few supplies. Most scenes are lit by candlelight.”

Yasko contrasted the warm candlelight with blue lighting from the windows to create separation and convey the sense that we are in a remote country location.  That resulted in a dark, moody look that was further refined in post production. “Sam had his challenges,” Yatsko adds. “In addition to working with minimal light, we shot in Bulgaria in the summer time, where it was hot and sunny, while what we needed was a look that was grey and gloomy.”

Stonehearst01

Daley applied a number of atmospheric effects, enhancing the glow of candles and smoothing fog in exterior scenes. He also spent considerable time making skin tone adjustments. “Many of the characters are meant to look unhealthy, as if they are sick or have not been eating well,” Daley explains. “We took some of the life out of their faces. Our Lustre allowed me to isolate skin tones and manipulate them independent of the surrounding frame.”

The final look of the film, says Daley, is different from most period dramas. “Although the hair, wardrobe and set were all period, we treated it like a modern suspense film,” Daley says. “We made a lot of strong color choices.  We didn’t go into a modern palette, but we pushed the colors. We walked a fine line: respecting the time period, while delivering an entertaining movie.”