Blackberry + Alicia Keys / Hallelujah

Agency: AMV
Production Company: Nexus Productions
Directed By: Jonas Odell

It’s great to work on ambitious projects and this collaboration with Nexus required some really creative and technical thinking at every stage of production. Blackberry have gone all out to market their smart phone the Z10, collaborating with some of the world’s leading artists to promote their device. With Alicia Keys hired as Blackberry’s Creative Director, the Grammy award-winner and agency AMV’s idea was to incorporate user-generated content in the live shows at each of the 65 cities on her ‘Set the World on Fire’ global tour.

The idea sounds simple enough: local fans uploaded photos of themselves which would then be incorporated into a specially commissioned film for the track ‘Hallelujah’, projected during each concert. These photos appear in the film, swirling and landing around the singer until a city, made from thousands of fan images, is built around her.

Working closely with Jonas our team, led by Paul Simpson, created the set in 3D, including the floor and all backgrounds. To achieve the realistic flight of the photos, we modified a special flocking algorithm designed to mimic the natural flight of birds and fish and applied a physical lighting algorithm. With realistic flight and lighting applied to the images, we then created a bespoke tool that could render the stylised buildings from sheets of the digital paper. We built a generic city set-up and when the photos arrived from each city a bespoke version of the film could be made.

Head of 2D Markus Lundqvist also had his work cut out. With forty foreground and 30 background shots the images needed to be integrated from the 65 cities. A tight schedule, requiring a team consisting of two Flames and 10 Nuke seats. The result is rather epic – No doubt the fans were happy to see themselves on stage.