Method Journeys to Solar System for Black Eyed Peas
Visual effects studio Method recently collaborated with Little Minx director Ben Mor on the music video for the Black Eyed Peas Billboard Top 10 hit, Meet Me Halfway. The video dispatches the four members of the Black Eyed Peas to different corners of the solar system: Fergie languors in a lush jungle, willi.i.am rides an elephant on a moon of Jupiter, apl.de.ap levitates above the ground of a desert planet, and Taboo hovers at the surface of the sun, wearing an astronaut suit.
As they sing longingly about their desire to be together again, will.i.am unlocks a portal that appears in each location. The Peas step through the portal and the video ends with a shot of four comets careening through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Mor shot the footage on partial sets built on blue screen and left it up to Method to extend the environments, from the desolate moonscape to the verdant jungle to the looming sun. “Ben provided us with a spread of pictures and photos, then our matte painters took those concepts and fleshed it out to create these environments,” explains Method’s Creative Director Aron Hjartarson. Method relied on matte painting and CG set extensions to create four dramatically immersive environments, and the transition from set to set extensions is seamless.
“The word epic was in my mind from the beginning”, explains Mor. “I wanted to make it feel like once you’re done watching the video, you’d wanna see the movie.”
Method also granulated the footage to create a low-tech visual texture versus an overly sharp and crisp finish. “We tried to achieve the vintage prime lens look, which ends up giving you that Penthouse porn shoot softness,” explains Mor. In effect, the video conveys a surreal hybrid of futuristic and ancient aesthetics.
A centerpiece of the video is the sun sequence. Taboo floats at the surface of the sun, bathed in a hot orange glare. The sun’s surface roils with flames and casts golden rays onto Taboo’s visor. “It’s tricky to pull off that really hot-texture look and keep it convincing,” says Hjartarson. “We dove into look development and came up with a superb, white-hot aesthetic.”
“Method really came through for me, and I couldn’t be any happier with their creative strength and collaborative approach,” comments Mor. “Method was able to pull a substantial look and environment extension in an obscenely short amount of time and I’m proud of the results.”
About Method Studios:
Based in Santa Monica, California with offices in New York, Method is a visual effects artists’ studio specialized in the production of digital imagery for commercials, feature films and music videos.
Cient: Black Eyed Peas
Title: Meet Me Halfway
VFX Studio: Method Studios
Production Company: Little Mix and Black Dog Films
Director: Ben Mor
Lead Flame: Peter Marin
Additional Flame: Martin Lazaro, David Munoz Forcada, Yoshiko Hirata, John Ciampa
Flame Asst: Chris Hunt
Nuke: Alex Jacquet, Alex Djordjevic
Roto/Paint: Christopher Riemann
CG Technical Director: Pink