July 1, 2009
The Skinny In order to communicate the claim “Experience Europe with DW-TV Asia plus”, Deutsche Welle produced four TV spots for the Asian audience by featuring four different professionals, representing four different fields and countries. The four talents are; Kanchan Panjabi, fashion designer, Hong Kong; Leonard Theosabrata, furniture designer, Jakarta, Indonesia; San Chau, executive search director for Odgers Ray & Berndtson, Ho Chi Minh City; and a renowned family physician in Hong Kong. Each of them are young, dynamic, talented and accomplished in their respective fields; architecture, fashion, medicine and business. They have all drawn their experience, training and inspiration from Europe. The charismatic individuals whose lives have been touched by Europe, yet are based in Asia, also had international appeal. DW-TV Asia plus hopes to harness their attributes to connect and represent the hopes, dreams and inspirations of individual Asian viewers touched by their European experience through these four testimonial TV spots aired across Asia. The spot starts off with a featured presenter against a background of flat, one-dimensional line drawings of iconic European buildings. After relating their personal experiences, influences and inspirations, the presenters step into a Velo Taxi which heads for the horizon. As this happens the line drawings of the buildings together with the background becomes real, visually communicating DW-TV Asia plus intended role. The Production The shoot was conducted at The Shooting Valley, against a 30ft wide x 20ft high limbo, with an extended L of another 30 feet which was painted, walls and floor, with green matte paint. A rickshaw was constructed using a metal frame, styrofoam, fibre glass and finished with spray paint. To deliver HD 16:9, the team decided on a Red Camera, which offers the option of using proper film lenses while maintaining a completely digital path. The spot was shot on 4K resolution which gave better control in post for keying and tracking. This was essential since the entire promo was shot against green matte. The Post While the offline edit was being cut, the team at 111 Eye brainstormed and researched to gather all the buildings and other elements which would make up the final picture. All these elements were shortlisted according to camera angles and movements, which were then used to create style frames for several key scenes. 3D camera tracking was done in order to create a seamless composite of live action and graphic elements with camera movements. One of the biggest challenges was to create the seamless transitions for the end scenes where the illustrations of the buildings and environment transform into a hyper-realistic environment. Special attention was given in the early planning stages to ensure that the illustrations were crafted from specific photography references of the actual buildings which would be used in the final composite. It was necessary to work out a transition style that could be applied successfully for all the four versions of the commercial. This resulted in the decision to use high-speed footage of ink smearing on paper as a transition effect to reveal the hyper-realistic scene from its illustrated version. The promo took around a month of post, using Autodesk Flint 2009, Shake, Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects and other propriety software. The resulting team effort pushed the benchmark in both shoot and post-production in terms of style and technique, creating something different from the ordinary chromakey shoots.