Tag Archives: MTV

MTV International’s Flanker Channels get graphic rebrand

LA-based animation and design studio Laundry has rebranded MTV International’s Flanker Channels, seven music-themed channels that broadcast in international markets and complement the MTV flagship channel. They worked closely with MTV World Creative Studio, the network’s international creative unit. The new brand identity is now on-air and online.

The MTV Flanker Channels offer viewers a wide variety of choices across seven different subsets of programming: Live, Hits, Classic, Rock, Music, Dance and Base. While the new branding package has a unified look, each channel’s theme is tailored for that type of music. Within the package there is a series of genre-inspired “party animal” characters that dance, shake and move to the DNA of each channel.

“We were faced with the challenge of finding a conceptual and visual thread that connected everything,” says Maximiliano Borrego, creative director at MTV World Creative Studio. “Something unique and identifiable across the channels that would, above all, entertain our audience. It was a big visual creative puzzle.”

“Adhering to MTV’s ‘Kill Boring’ mantra was a welcome license for us to make bold, creative choices that the network can own,” says PJ Richardson, partner/executive creative director of Laundry. “All seven Flanker identities reveal something distinct and unexpected, yet holistically fit within the larger brand ecosystem of the MTV family of channels.”

Laundry developed a graphics system for the rebrand based on “Wireframe + Skin,” MTV’s visual framework to branding. This conceptual and modular design approach dictated how they composed and arranged graphic content to interact. Assets included IDs, bumpers, key art, on-screen graphics, end boards, background animations, invaders (loopable animated elements), 3D logos (on-air and online), container boxes and crawls for each Flanker Channel.

They called on Maxon Cinema 4D and Adobe’s Creative Suite.

“We pictured MTV as a virtual reality planet where each sub-channel is a genre-specific continent — inhabited by party animals,” says Anthony Liu, partner/executive creative director of Laundry. “They’re the perfect visual metaphor for the diverse music genres and fans of the world; different in their influence and location, but the same in their fandom and human spirit.”

The party animals are 3D characters rendered to look graphic. Each one distantly references a real animal representing the music styles of the specific channel: an eel reflects the smoothness of electronic music like a glow stick, and a crab with a speaker-like shell is a nod to Jamaican dance-party vans. The creatures were designed to provide a lot of latitude across different moments in animation. For MTV Rocks, a 24-hour alternative music channel, Laundry built a frenetic mosh pit-inspired character made of drumsticks and guitar picks. While the animation is not specific to any one band or type of rock music, it captures the overall wild energy of the genre.

In total, Laundry created more than 300 elements for the MTV International Flanker Channels. The team also developed insanely vibrant layouts that reinforce MTV’s “Kill Boring” mission statement by combining the invader graphics with off-the-wall logo treatments and color palettes. Once the entire rebrand was brought to life, Laundry created a style guide with templates, so MTV teams across the world could use the assets consistently, but with enough flexibility as to not be repetitive.

“The MTV World Creative group really understood viewers’ shortening attention span, but increased appreciation of creativity, which was a vision we shared,” concludes Richardson. “Challenging in all the right ways, what made the collaboration so spectacular was the process of evolving the look and feel of the rebrand to nail both of those things and make a final package we’re all super stoked about.”

Qwire’s tool for managing scoring, music licensing upped to v.2.0

Qwire, a maker of cloud-based tools for managing scoring and licensing music to picture, has launched QwireMusic 2.0, which expands the collaboration, licensing and cue sheet capabilities of QwireMusic. The tool also features a new and intuitive user interface as well as support for the Windows OS. User feedback played a role in many of the new updates, including marker import of scenes from Avid for post, Excel export functions for all forms and reports and expanded file sharing options.

QwireMusic is a suite of integrated modules that consolidates and streamlines a wide range of tasks and interactions for pros involved with music and picture across all stages of post, as well as music clearance and administration. QwireMusic was created to help facilitate collaboration among picture editors and post producers, music supervisors and clearance, composers, music editors and production studios.

Here are some highlights of the new version:
Presentations — Presentations allow music cues and songs to be shared between music providers (supervisors and composers) and their clients (picture editors, studio music departments, directors and producers. With Presentations, selected music is synced to video, where viewers can independently adjust the balance between music and dialogue, adding comments on each track. The time-saving efficiency of this tool centralizes the music sharing and review process, eliminating the need for the confusing array of QuickTimes, Web links, emails and unsecured FTP sites that sometimes accompany post production.

Real-time licensing status — QwireMusic 2.0 allows music supervisors to easily audition music, generate request letters, and share potential songs with anyone who needs to review them. When the music supervisor receives a quote approval, the picture editor and music editor are notified, and the studio music budget is updated instantly and seamlessly. In addition, problem songs can be instantly flagged. As with the original version of QwireMusic, request letters can be generated and emailed in one step with project-specific letterhead and signatures.

Electronic Cue Sheets — QwireMusic’s “visual cue sheet,” allows users to review all of the information in a cue sheet displayed alongside the final picture lock.  The cue sheet is automatically populated from data already entered in qwireMusic by the composer, music supervisor and music editor. Any errors or missing information are flagged. When the review is complete, a single button submits the cue sheet electronically to ASCAP and BMI.

QwireMusic has been used by music supervisors, composers, picture editors and music editors on over 40 productions in 2016, including Animals (HBO); Casual (Hulu); Fargo (FX); Guilt (Freeform); Harley and the Davidsons (Discovery); How to Get Away With Murder (ABC); Pitch (Fox); Shameless (Showtime); Teen Wolf (MTV); This Is Us (NBC); and Z: The Beginning of Everything (Amazon).

“Having everyone in the know on every cue ever put in a show saves a huge amount of time,” says Patrick Ward, a post producer for the shows Parenthood, The West Wing and Pure Genius. “With QwireMusic I spend about a tenth of the time that I used to disseminating cue information to different places and entities.”

Tips from BCPC’s ‘Best Practices’ event

By Chelsea Taylor

A couple of years ago I was in an edit putting the finishing touches on the first episode of a short web series with the producer. While we were waiting for it to export, we discussed the problems we ran into so the producer could adjust for her next shoot.

My suggestions? “Next time, get more b-roll of the location, don’t let the talent ramble off topic and watch their eye line after a response.”

The producer made these small adjustments and saw the difference it made in time and efficiency. She began to spend more time in the edit understanding what I do and why, and she began consulting with me during pre-production. As a result, our workflow got smoother, we were able to get ahead of most problems and she became a better producer.

This past July, I posted a question on Facebook, asking post pros, “What’s the one thing you wish more producers knew”? It drew over 100 responses. The Blue Collar Post Collective (@BCPCollective) — a grassroots initiative supporting emerging talent in post production — decided to help me take the discussion offline, and turn it into an educational, town-hall style panel discussion in New York City featuring working pros from various areas of post.

The goal of the event was to demystify post workflow and, more importantly, to start a conversation with other departments about how they can save time and money if they think of post early on in the process. We called the event “Fix it in Post: Essential Knowledge and Best Practices,” and The Studio-B&H came on board to support us.


I moderated the discussion, and our panel featured workflow specialist Boon Shin Ng, editor Julia Bloch, finishing artist/colorist Michael Hernandez and post producer Sabina-Elease Utley.

Valuable Take-Aways
1. Do a test! Test your whole workflow! Is your drive fast enough? Test it out! Run through your whole workflow both picture and sound.

2. Communicate with your entire team on workflow and creative. Communication is key to staying on the same page and executing the vision on time and within budget. Communicating well and working hard builds trust and strengthens your team. One person’s standard way of doing something might be different than the next, so a short conversation can always save you in the long run.

3. Don’t try to save on necessary positions. An assistant editor and a script supervisor are essential roles that can help speed up post workflow. Unfortunately, often times these are positions that some productions think they can eliminate to cut costs. Don’t try to save money by not hiring one or you will be spending more on your editor’s rate!

4. Plan everything you can! The more you plan the more you can try to solve problems before they happen. This will save time and money in the long run. Unspecific deadlines don’t work — be clear and work out a realistic schedule.

5. Manage your expectations. Camera and frame rate matter! Don’t expect your image to be crisp if you are doing a lot of conversion. What are your deliverables?! Specs are important to know from the beginning. It’s okay if you aren’t completely sure where your project will end up; consulting a workflow specialist or experienced post producer will help you make decisions about what deliverables to expect.

6. Know when to say no! We think we can never say “no” in this business. There are lots of diplomatic ways to say “no,” and don’t be afraid to do it when needed. Clients will ask a lot of you sometimes, so be upfront and honest about what you are capable of within a given budget and timeframe.

7. Clients choose you, but you are also allowed to choose your client. Clients are like personal relationships; you have to know when to give up if it’s not working. Even in an interview, make sure you ask the right questions so you can determine if it will be a partnership and environment for you to succeed in.

8. Stick with your team. There is nothing worse than staying all night and watching everyone leave. Good producers protect the talent. We are a team. Producers should check with talent (editors, machine operators, finishing artists) to make sure to give accurate timeframes. Trust your team to do their jobs.

9. What makes a “kick ass” producer? Managing expectations, communicating, being understanding/ realistic, looking out for your team, enforcing deadlines and making your team feel appreciated.

10. What makes a great AE? An assistant editor is the editor’s second set of eyes, so they want someone who is great at prepping projects, is organized, who takes charge and asks questions. Other qualities our panel of experts mentioned were: being a great problem solver, being logistically sound and being a great communicator.

The Bottom Line
The panelists agreed that communication with your team is the single most important way to save time and money in post. Being up front about creative, budget, schedule and final deliverables ensures that everyone is on the same page and that there are fewer surprises later on. Of course, the unexpected happens but the more you prepare for what can go wrong the more ready you are to deal with problems and solve them

This was the first educational event that the Blue Collar Post Collective produced, and they plan to do many more in 2016 based on significant online discussions amongst the wider post community.

Chelsea Taylor (pictured in our main shot, far right) is a New York based editor and story producer who currently works in-house at Viacom creating a wide range of content for MTV, VH1 and LogoTV. including branded content, promos and TV specials.

Acne adds director/producer Scott Weintrob

Acne, an integrated production company with offices in Stockholm, LA, Berlin and London, has added director/producer Scott Weintrob to its live-action roster of filmmakers.

Weintrob joins the team from media production company Untitled. His recent commercial work includes spots for major brands including Mazda, Hyundai, Volvo and Cadillac, among others. In addition, he received several awards for his short film Two-Legged Rat Bastards, written by Daniel Wallace (Big Fish) and starring Derek Waters (Drunk History). He will be shooting a feature film of the same name later this year.

On the TV side, Weintrob directed the BAFTA and International Emmy Award-winning show Top Gear for BBC. He also created and currently serves as executive producer for MTV2’s The DUB Magazine Project. In its second season, the show features well-known artists like Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Macklemore, Wiz Khalifa and others.

“I’ve had my eyes on Scott for a while,” says Acne CEO of US operations Jesper Palsson. “He has an interesting combination of cars, stunts, and experiential stuff on his reel, and on top of that he’s done some very cool work with Top Gear and MTV. He has a strong sense of cinematic storytelling and definitely has many tricks up his sleeve. In short, Scott will add a lot to the Acne roster.”