As dawn breaks on the City of Light, raindrops begin to fall. We watch them in slow motion as the camera, high in the sky, pans over to a towering cathedral. So begins a lyrical Billion Color Film created by R/GA for Samsung and directed by Believe Media’s Bruno Aveillan, with VFX crafted by MPC New York and color grading done by Jean Clement-Soret.
As our camera settles on the cathedral, it zooms in on its large stained glass window, passing through the panes in a kaleidoscope of color. It continues to a tight close-up of a woman standing before the altar, cutting away for quick shots of light dancing across parts of the nave as it goes. As we come in on a tight shot of her eyeglass lens, the camera pivots 180 degrees and we’re headed out the door. The audience goes on a journey through a boxing gym, a small outdoor market and more everyday moments frozen in time.
MPC New York VFX Supervisor Ashley Bernes worked closely with the director during the lead up to the shoot in Paris, scouting locations and planning the technical side of how to achieve the look of the film. Bernes explains: “The scope of work encompassed two defined disciplines running in parallel, the technical which surrounded all the usual (and some not so usual) challenges that come with a live action shoot and the creative which had us relighting locations, introducing color and interactive light transitions and compositing CG into sequences. We collaborated closely with Bruno to add layers of textural detail throughout each sequence, layers that would become visible upon repeat viewing and help guide the viewer through the visual narrative.”
Most of these transitions required some form of camera stitching and plate combination, where the stitching was independent from the transition that carried the viewer to the next vignette or sequence. Adds Ashley: “This work, along with extensive clean up and rig removal, represented a large portion of the technical requirements of the job, almost before we were able to open up into the creative.”
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