Brickyard VFX Lend Sprint a hand to “Pass the Pixi”

Artist owned and operated, bi-coastal effects boutique Brickyard VFX recently completed compositing, color grading, and CG work on a new spot for Sprint’s webOS Palm Pixi – a smartphone that falls squarely into the ‘for fun’ camp. Titled “Pass the Pixi,” the spot was directed by the Snorri Brothers of The Cartel for agency Modernista!

Set to Passion Pit’s “Little Secrets” track, the spot sets a sunny, high-energy vibe where the Pixi is the center of the social universe. The sleek device holds center screen throughout and is shot from the user’s perspective, instantly changing its function and look to serve each hipster who grasps and shares it.

The motion is continual and perfectly beat-timed, as the Pixi rotates, orients vertically and horizontally, and flips between personalized cases, cheerfully adapting to each user’s fancy. Texting, watching video, making calls, sharing photos, navigating with a GPS – there’s no mistaking that the Pixi is a device to be enjoyed. There’s not a briefcase in sight.

To keep the action focused on the Pixi, the spot was shot with the device tethered into place by a rig, with the actors shot from the point of view of the current user, at the same time. While this approach helped the Snorri Brothers create a highly personal perspective, it also left them with some fairly complex rig removal challenges.

It was there that Brickyard lent its handiwork. Since the Pixi was at the center of every shot, so was the rig. Removing it, however, meant that parts of the hands holding the Pixi, which were shown front and center, would need to be recreated for many shots. Brickyard VFX Supervisor Geoff McAuliffe and his team used reference photos and shot HD footage of hands to re-create seamlessly.

Brickyard also created composites for each screen shown on the Pixi – a critical element which illustrated the multitude of applications and functions the device can handle. As a finishing touch, Brickyard also created a Kodachrome-like color palette to carry forth the directors’
concept of a comfortable, social environment and apply it across the spot.

Located in Boston and Santa Monica, Brickyard VFX is an independent visual effects boutique specializing in top quality visual effects from 3D characters through to compositing. Artist owned and operated, the company was founded in 1999 to bring clients a level of customer service, craftsmanship and focus difficult to find at facilities today. Brickyard’s creative expertise on set and in the studio has been applied to model, animate, light, texture, track, color correct and render seamless digital effects for Pontiac, Bud Light, T-Mobile, NBA, Visa, Sprint and many other accounts.

Client: Palm
Agency: Modernista!
Agency Producer: Chris Perry
Executive Creative Director: Gary Koepke
Creative Director: Tim Vaccarino
Art Director: Michael Tabtabai

Prod. Company: The Cartel
Director: Snorri Bros.
Line Producer: Rhonda Vernet
Executive Coordinator: Christa Miles

Editorial Company: Lost Planet Editorial
Editor: Max Koepke

Audio Company: Soundtrack Boston
Audio Engineer: Mike Secher

Visual Effects
Executive VFX Producer: Kirsten Andersen
VFX Producer: Amy Appleton
Lead VFX Artist: Geoff McAuliffe
VFX Artist: Jimi Simmons
VFX Artist: Sean McLean
VFX Artist: Jaime Fortuno-Lavin
VFX Artist: Robin Hobart
VFX Artist: Gina Downing
Lead 2D Compositing: Geoff McAuliffe
2D Compositing: Jimi Simmons, Sean McLean Lead
Rotoscope Artist: Gina Downing
Rotoscope Artists: Sean Carroll, Henrique Ghersi, Anu Liikkanen, Charles LaPage, Jessica Jacobson, Rory Fitzgerald, Jeremy Brown
Roto Factory Lead CG Artists: Robin Hobart, Rusty Ippolito
CG Artist: Vinny LaCour
Tracking: Brian Morse, Chris Kwiatkowski
Sound Design: Brian Emrich, Eben Carr, Rohan Young
Final Mix: Rohan Young
Final Music: Fly by Ludicio Eiunaudi


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