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Click 3x Scores Chicks on MTV

Click 3x visual effects team has another feather in its cap after its ingenious work on a series of ?chick flicks for MTV. The design, animation and visual effects studio handled post work for a series of spots conceived by MTVs in-house creative team to promote its popular series Making the Band 3. The spots put actual dialogue from the reality show, in which music superstar P. Diddy attempts to mold the next great female pop group, into the mouths, or rather beaks, of baby chickens filmed on miniature sets.

In one spot, the chicks get into a snit over a piece of choreography. In another, the chicks tell what it means to them to be on the show. (One says shes taking extra zinc.) In the third spot, a chick playing the part of P. Diddy, asks one of the female chicks if she has ?black in her family because shes able to move so well. Scolding the others birds he adds, ?I will not tolerate not being able to dance.

The aim of the spots is to distinguish this years Making the Band from the shows two previous outings which featured nascent hip hop and rap groups. ?We also wanted a concept that would stand out in the commercial and promo landscape, something people would remember, said MTVs Matt Lenski, who directed the spots and wrote the scripts with staff writer Soo-hyun Chung.

Lenski shot the spot at Atlantic Motion in New York where miniaturist Peter Wallach built chick-sized sets to match locations featured in the show. One set, representing a Soho flat, included a floor constructed from 3000 tiny, hand-grained oak planks.

The projects biggest challenge was left to post production and lay in getting the birds to talk. ?We were under a severe time crunch. We only had a couple weeks to turn the spots around, Lenski said. ?So I needed a post house that take it end to end, that had both editing facilities and visual effects.

Thats where Click 3x came in. The studios Rob Campbell edited the spots, while artist Mark Szumski spearheaded the visual effects work. Concluding there was no time for a CG solution, Szumski developed a methodology for making the birds beaks mimic the dialogue that involved Flame alone.

?We manipulated the birds eyes to create appropriate expressions and we replaced their beaks to mimic the dialogue, Szumski said. ?Or rather, we replaced the bottom half of the birds beaks with a digital element. The animation required many layers, a lot of clean up and several very long nights.

According to Lenski, Szumski was successful not only in making the birds appear to talk; he was able to invest the creatures with some of the mannerisms and personalities of their human counterparts. ?Every shot required individual attention, he said. ?There were a lot of shots, a lot of key frames, and he nailed it.

Lenski added, ?Theres nothing cuter than a baby chick.

Credits for Click 3x go to Rob Campbell, Editor; Mark Szumski, Senior Visual FX Artist; Jason Mayo, Executive Producer; and Zack Kinney, Title Design.

Credits for MTV go to Kevin Mackall, Senior Vice President MTV On-air Promotion;
 Joe Ortiz and Amy Campbell, Vice President MTV On-air Promotions; Matt Lenski, Director; Soo-hyun Chung and Matt Lenski, writers; and Seyi Peter-Thomas, Producer. Other credits include Todd Antonio Somodevilla, Director of Photography; Peter Wallach/Atlantic Motion; Miniature Builder; Nogood Corp., Title Design; Larry Bucksbaum/Now Hear This, Audio Post; Micah Kirz/Moving Images, Color Correction.

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Related Keywords:Click 3x, Making the Band 3

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