In a joint effort between the two facilities, The Mill and The Mill New York recently collaborated with Director Brian Beletic on the recent Lady Sovereign promo. ‘Love Me or Hate Me’ is considered by many to be Lady Sovereign breakthrough video for the US market, as she has just signed to the major label, Island Def Jam.
In a communal effort, The Mill’s London team set the project in motion with the development and creative base plate of the piece and then passed it off to the New York team for final execution. In a departure from the slick, polished feel of a traditional hip hop promo, Brian turned to The Mill for a raw and innovative creation.
Mill VFX Supervisor and Flame Artist Phil Crowe, who has a long standing creative relationship with Brian, worked with the director to find alternative methods to standard camera techniques. For example, time constraints made it impractical to use motion control to achieve repeated camera movements.
So Phil and Brian created their own version of motion control to still achieve the ‘peeling’ effect they desired. Along with the production grip, they timed the music points and chalked movements on the floor to roughly match the plates, which were then locked together in post.
Mill New York Flame Artist Richard de Carteret created many of the transitional shots that give humour to the piece. In one scene, Lady Sovereign evolves from an overweight version of herself to her normal size. Because the two versions of Lady Sovereign did not match each other, Richard rebuilt part of her arm and manipulated her face and head to perform a rip-off effect.
From there, he morphed the two bodies together for a smooth transition. Furthermore, he changed the exit point and tightened up the composition as Lady Sovereign shirt pops open to reveal a giant fur-ball body.
The monkey section also posed some interesting challenges. The monkeys jump on a loaned Rolls-Royce. Thus liability concerns posed a problem for the characters to leap on the vehicle. Phil and the production team created a mock car, made up of tables measured to the exact position of the real Rolls-Royce.
Brian then shot children, dressed in monkey costumes, hopping on the tables against a green screen. Mill Animator Rob Petrie subsequently produced monkey faces with various expressions, which were tracked on, as the green screen shots were merged with the Rolls-Royce shots. The New York team embellished the characters’s hands and feet, as well, for a complete monkey impression.
‘Love Me or Hate Me’ off Lady Sovereign debut album ‘Public Warning’, is the first song by a British rap artist ever to reach #1 on MTV’s TRL.
The Mill, London
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New York NY 10013
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