Film and Video Production

Creating Hyper-Real Sports Indents for AD Sports TV.

In 2015 Dubai UAE based Les Follies Design Haus, commissioned Frame to create eight over the top idents for the re-launch of the Abu Dhabi sports channel AD Sports TV. This is a series that I somehow missed when it dropped. The look is absolutely outstanding. The first video below is the behind the scenes recap explaining how Frame pulled this off. The second is the directors cut of the indents.

In a collaboration with Obeida Sidani, Executive Creative Director at Les Folies, Director and Creative Director Anders Schroder at Frame came up with the idea of having top athletes of various sports performing in the streets with the iconic buildings of night-time Abu Dhabi as the backdrop. As they are performing the surroundings would transform into their respective playing fields.

The team at Frame creative directed, conceptualized and animated the transforming floors under the athlete and the particle systems around them.

Anders wanted a still photography HDR look that would be the polar opposite of the popular organic film look with shallow depth of field and handheld camera shake. He wanted to achieve a look that was almost synthetic and videogame-like with extreme angles and razor sharp infinite focus but all achieved in-camera. A look that would be synonymous with high performance rather than the performers themselves.

To take its a step further Anders suggested to recreating this look in live action. The technique is based on the idea of shooting with multiple exposures and then combine them in post. Furthermore, Anders wanted to shoot high-speed with zero motion blur and considering this was a night shoot which added tremendously to the difficulty.

Together with DP Zubin Mistry they asked themselves: How do we shoot fast paced action high-speed, everything in focus, no motion blur, at night, with both the buildings and the sky and athlete fully exposed?

The answer was motion control, an insane lighting package, Master Primes wide angles, Phantom Flex 4K, and lots of compositing. Using the motion control rig they filmed each shot in several passes moving the massive light rigs out of the shot each time background and buildings were being shot. The motion control rig enables the team to be able to squeeze in another cool gimmick; slow motion athletes in the foreground and time lapse cityscapes in the backgrounds – in the same shot!

The result is a spectacular and hyper-real look that feels almost CG-like even though most of it was shot in camera.

Burning Man vs The Canon 5D Mark II.

Every time I turn around these days I am seeing more and more video shot on the canon 5D that just blows me away. If someone had told me 3 years ago that you would be able to get this kind of quality out of  a DSLR I would have laughed.

This 13 minute short video was shot in 24p with the camera in full auto mode on a Canon 5D Mark II with a variety of lenses and a tripod with a Zacudo fluid mount. And yes it was in the very skilled hands of accomplished film maker Stephen Bové.There is no color correction on any of the footage. The whole thing was shot and compressed natively to H264 and edited direct with H264 master files.

One of the things that is so astounding about this is, even with all the gear, he packed into the Burning Man Festival to shoot with, it was still cheaper and easier than using traditional film or video equipment, and the finished look is just amazing. For more detailed information on the shoot read the details of the project here on Vimeo.

“Once you get the hang of shooting video with this cam its pretty amazing. Compared to shooting 35mm film by yourself (which is nearly impossible even with an Arri 235 or Aaton 353 – I’ve tried), this is a breeze – and the marginal cost from start to finish is ZERO per minute…compared to at least $100 per minute for 35mm film (raw stock, development, transfer to video). The marginal cost is a modest factor compared to the GIANT benefit of not having to schlep 800 tons of cam, batteries, film mags, etc. around – and changing a film mag every 4 minutes of run-time (1000 foot mags would have pulled the camera over in the wind!) on the playa in a dust storm would have required being tailed by a camera van – un-mounting whole cam, moving into van, dusting exterior, carefully swapping mags so as not to let dust get inside the body etc. = lots of crew and expense.

Bottom line: 35mm SLR movie making is a whole new amazing world of creative freedom just starting to be explored.” Stephen Bové