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Encore Hollywood Takes Backstreet Boys back the the '80s

Facility Replicates the Look of a 1980s Rock Doc for ?Just Want You to Know? Video (September 19, 2005)

When Director Marc Klasfeld approached Encore Hollywood for help in posting the new Backstreet Boys video Just Want You to Know, he asked the facilitys visual effects team to do their worst?and they obliged. Aiming to replicate the look of a low budget rock documentary of the 1980s, artists devised a number of clever digital tricks to artfully degrade, corrupt and decay the look of the video, the second release from the groups platinum-selling album, Never Gone.

Conceived by Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, the video is an homage to Heavy Metal Parking Lot, John Heyns classic 1986 documentary about fans attending a Judas Priest concert. In Just Want You to Know, the Backstreet Boys are cast in dual roles, as members of the heavy metal band Sphynkter, and as a quintet of the bands hardcore fans.

Encores role was to replicate the look of the 20-year-old documentary, which meant transforming Klasfelds pristine 35mm film footage into something that was, to say the least, rough around the edges. It was, according to Encore Hollywood Visual Effects Producer Cliff Gordon, an unusual request. ?Generally our artists are asked to create beautiful, intricate effects, Gordon recalled, ?but they soon got into the spirit of the piece and did a remarkable job in simulating the look of an antiquated production.

Compositor Dan Aguilar headed the effort, using a Discreet Inferno system to affect the imagery in a variety of subtle ways. ?Dan made it look old, flat and washed out, Gordon explained. ?The only thing that gives it away is the sharpness of the camera.

Aguilar achieved the look by routing the video through a series of signal processing machines to add noise, and by rerecording the material in several different video formats to degrade the imagery. He also used color correction tools to moot the tone. ?The challenge was not in degrading the image; it was to degrade it in a consistent manner, explained Aguilar. ?The video had to look bad in the same way from cut to cut.

?It was impossible to match the drop-in shots if they werent done on the same day through the same route with the same tape stock, Aguilar added. ?As a result, we had to lay off the video in its entirety to get a consistent look.

Encores Mac artists created several kooky effects for the video, including one where the band members shoot lightning bolts from the guitar into the audience, destroying a womans blouse. ?Combustion Artist Johnnie Wilson created lightning bolts that would have been close to state-of-the-art in the 80s, but to contemporary eyes, appear comical, Gordon said. ?We also used the familiar blob effects of the era to cover up the woman to prevent her from being exposed.

Encore Hollywood is located at 6344 Fountain Avenue, Hollywood, California 90028. For more information, call (323) 466-7663 or visit


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