Absolut / Transform Today

Agency: Sid Lee
Production Company: Sonny
Directed By: Ryan Hope

Hot as any young Director we have worked with, Ryan Hope is constantly in demand to bring his flare for visually amazing direction to promos, commercials and brand based documentary work. With this latest series of films for Absolut Vodka we had the opportunity to showcase a variety of visual effects in distinctive and bespoke style for each of the four films.

Shot on location in France, Berlin, Sao Paolo and the Tate Modern London, Ryan takes us into the world of four iconic modern artists, exploring their individual crafts. The films are set against the backdrop of truly beautiful locations which were selected for each artist. They are voiced by the artist themselves to tell us their story and how they came about developing their individual style. Their story is then played out visually through their environment or intercut with flashes of their work, edited deftly by Marshall Street’s Ryan Boucher.

Visual effects are used throughout in aid of the narrative and as a tool to enhance the environment of the artist. Led by Creative Director Jordi Bares, Flame Artist Markus Lundqvist and Smoke Artist Ross Macpherson the team took on tasks ranging from sky replacements to wall transitions, from talking CG skeletons to zoetrope subway trains, even bringing to life a series of bespoke illustrations by Raphael Grampa. A real smorgasbord of visual effects.

Aaron Koblin uses data visualization and crowdsourcing to produce innovative digital media art. He recently collaborated with Chris Milk and Google to exhibit “This Exquisite Forest” at the Tate Modern. The Tate was also the setting for Ryan’s filming. For this film we had the unique task of obscuring the artwork in the museum in a visually interesting way while not making it look as though we had replaced the art with other works. The team opted for an evolving pixelation penning into frames as a nod to Koblin’s own work in digital signals. Graphical elements such as a sound wave and data based motion graphics tracking with a handful of rolling marbles added graphical texture to the film. We used a cgi build to aid transitions through the scenes as the camera passes through the walls and floor.

Raphael Grampa is a cartoon artist from brazil. His illustrations are somewhat reminiscent of the Gonzo style and his notable works include “5” and “Mesmo Delivery”. For the film we follow him around the streets of Sao Paolo to his home where his own creations come knocking. Our team”s main task here was to help bring to life the illustrative art of Grampa. Working with the artist, we devised a series of illustrations that could be layered over shots and brought to life with 2D augmentations and comped over the live action. Finally we built a shadow character creeping up on the artist in his studio.

YiQing Yin the Chinese-born French designer is a rising star in the world of haute couture. She uses layered fabric to build striking collages folded in light and shadow. This film was striking in camera and our real goal in post was to enhance through clean up work and adding a more textured sky into the shots.

Woodkid aka Yoann Lemoine hails from Lyon and has become an established music video director, graphic designer and singer-songwriter. Obviously an exceptionally talented multi-disciplinary artist Woodkid’s visual designs pop up throughout Hope’s film. Apart from comping in Woodkid’s own art, we were tasked with making a CG skeleton lip sync to Woodkid’s voice over. Our Houdini software came into its own in the building of a zoetrope subway train which was built up in a procedural way and animated to create the visual trick of the eye.

Visually distinctive, tied together by the theme of transformation Ryan has created a series of exceptional short Documentary films which we are proud to have been involved in.

Jordi our CD rates Ryan as moving quickly to join the collection of elite Directors who are regarded as the best in the industry. Judging his body of work so far we couldn’t agree more.