Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to combine illustration and photography for a unique title sequence

BritneyDraftA from Chris Park on Vimeo.

Making this 3 second animated title sequence took a lot of steps, but was the funnest thing ever to collaborate on!

First, Tim Mantoani and I did a 2 set up photo and video shoot with America's hottest hammer thrower, Miss Britney Henry. One set up for a glamor studio shoot, indoors; and another action shoot, outside at the Olympic Training Center, where Britney throws her hammer.

Second, the photos were edited, and 24 action stills were selected.

Third, the stills were outsourced to India, to remove the backgrounds, and drop them out to white.

And fourth, one set was printed at a 1 hour photo processor.

I showed up at Tim's photo studio around lunch time. The plan was to draw something on the photos while filming the process, and then to make something with the footage we shot. I didn't really know much beyond that. We were going to wing it.

Tim set up a giant piece of foam core as a table, and I sat on an apple crate with my random selection of art supplies brought from my studio. I suggested Tim move his giant expensive looking softbox back a bit, because I felt the need to fling some ink coming on. He switched the light to a 500 watt halogen, diffused by a sheet of plastic, and he was ready to film. I still hadn't thought of an idea.

The Canon 5D fired a shot every second, and sounded like a clock ticking. I grabbed a brayer, some tracing paper, ink and acrylic paint and started to go for it. 6 hours, and thousands of frames later, I finished painting on the 24 photos for the title sequence, and film maker Chris Park's work had just begun.

Thousands of jpeg stills were imported into Adobe Motion, and saved out to a movie file, where Chris edited the assets into the dreamy interview, hammer throwing showcase above, using Final Cut Pro.

To get the arial shot of the hammer flying through the air, film maker Chris Park taped a Go-Pro camera to Britney's 8 pound steel hammer. She threw the whole rig 200 feet downrange three times - and the camera survived.

Here are some behind the scenes shots of the production. Peek at BHP photographer Teresa Heath's Behind the scenes photos, too.

Hand painted frame #18 of 24 of Britney Henry by Tim Mantoani and Graham Smith

Britney "the Hammer" Henry by Tim Mantoani

Britney "the Hammer" Henry on white, by Tim Mantoani

Chris Park tapes a Go-Pro camera to the hammer

Photographer Tim Mantoani at work inside the weight room at the Olympic Training Center

Getting the shot

Chimping for Britney

The assistant - Austin Sosa

Britney Henry from athlete to model in a day.

Britney Henry working the photoshoot

 At the hammer ring

The hand lettered credits were chucked in the bin still wet. We got a schedule to keep people!

24 hand painted photos drying in the photo bay.

Ok,  here is the set up - go ahead and make something!


Athlete                                       - Britney "The Hammer" Henry
Photography primary                 - Tim Mantoani
Photography documentary 1      - Teresa Heath
Photography documentary 2      - Graham Smith
Video / editing                           - Chris Park
Illustration                                  - Graham Smith
Make Up                                    - Momi Gonzales
Grip                                            - Austin Sosa
Location                                     - The Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista , CA
Music                                          - Cracks - Freestylers feat. Belle Humble

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