Right off the acclaim of his latest film, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Dave Chappelle Block Party’s, Michel Gondry once again sought The Mill invaluable skills for Cody ChesnuTT video, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§King of the Game’s. After working with Cody during the filming of ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Block Party’s, Michel wanted to collaborate with the soulful singer for the video of his next track.
The lyrics and melody inspired Michael to create the illustrations. With the individual segments of the animations in hand, Michael solicited Mill New York’s Creative Director Angus Kneale to develop a technique of making the paper drawings 3-dimensional. Using a single sheet of paper and a bolex camera, Micheal drew images a line at a time and photographed the progression so that when played back, the images looked like they were drawing themselves.
Angus then took these images and built layers to create a dimensional quality, so the drawings could be rotated and shifted, accentuating and echoing the original image spatially and temporally. Once Michael was satisfied with The Mill’s tests he continued to draw more graphics that reflected the music’s themes of brotherhood, such as abstract images, interesting features and captivating street scenes.
The project was then turned over to lead Flame Operator Westley Sarokin who adapted the pipeline on a shot by shot basis, composing camera moves and adding a striking color correction that enhanced and sculpted the dimensional quality and composition of the images.
In a similar, but more complex version of adjusting the negative in standard film, Westley turned the positive aspects of the images into negative and then isolating particular colors, he mixed the texture back through from original passes. The joy was in the development, as Westley and Michel would play with the film until they found the right look.
In a true collaborative effort, the artists created a pipeline that evolved each time a new piece of material came into The Mill. First Michel shot and developed the film each night. By morning, The Mill team had a tape in hand and would be dimensionalizing Michel drawings, handing it off to Jeff Buchanan, the editor, who was working in The Mill facility for the conclusion of the project.
‘Michel is known for taking a simple, straightforward idea and bringing a fresh twist to that vision,’ said Westley. It was a strong group effort that led The Mill creative team to bring that vision to reality.
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