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Flying Machine & PURE Join Forces

Designs and produces on-air package for SKY Italia?s SKY Cinema Classics (October 06, 2004)

Visual communications and effects studio PURE and design studio Flying Machine, both of New York, joined forces to launch a new channel for European satellite broadcaster SKY Italia. The new channel, SKY Cinema Classics, will focus on Italian and American classic films from the 1930s through the 1980s. SKY Cinema Classics launched on September 3rd with a twenty-four hour programming slate.

With just over two months until the September launch, SKY Italias Creative Director Nils Hartmann turned to Flying Machine who partnered with PURE to design and produce a complete on-air package for the new channel. The key players in the project were Micha Riss, Creative Director of Flying Machine, Steve Tozzi, Creative Director of PURE and Sally Kapsalis, Executive Producer of PURE. Riss had previously worked on two packages for sister channel SKYCinema and understood SKYs style and brand philosophy. ?I have long admired Steves work as a Designer and a Director and have had great success working with Sally in the past. We felt this would be an ideal project for our companies to collaborate on, notes Riss.

Riss explains, ?the challenge in this project was to introduce a classic movie channel without relying on the obvious clichés. We wanted to give the classical subject matter a fresh look while at the same time staying true to the nature of the programming. It was equally important that we create style that can live beyond the on-air look to promotions for print and online as well.

A tremendous amount of research went into developing the concept that is centered on the premise that when people think of classic films they often recall the posters that promoted them. It was in these posters that the concept was born. Steve Tozzi notes, ?our intent was to bring representations of these famous posters to life, to physically journey into the world within each of them. Since we were not using any footage from the original films we crafted productions to capture sequences that would give us just the right action and perspective to blend seamlessly with the imagery we were creating. The look of the package is both modern and bold with a nod to the classic films that are paid homage to.

?Out of all of the creatives that we invited to present for this project, Micha and Steve demonstrated the best understanding of the SKY CINEMA brand. Their presentation expressed the concept of great classics yet in a modern way all the while maintaining the ?grandeur requested in the brief, said SKY Creative Director, Nils Hartmann. Adding, ?perhaps what surprised me the most was to see how passionate and knowledgeable they were about the great Italian directors.

Due to the monumental task of creating visual pieces that would span five decades of cinematic history, the designers incorporated a second dialect into their design language. Classic movie moments were recreated and filmed, then incorporated into a variety of settings. The integrated design solution called for two live action shoots.

In New York, Tozzi directed a live-action shoot for the bumpers, idents and the primary movie open that will be shown prior to feature presentations. Tozzi was tasked with capturing numerous actors in a green screen set environment to correspond with virtual sets that were being modeled entirely in CG. The process went smoothly in large part due to exacting previsualization work performed for Tozzi by Michael Wharton, Director of Animation at PURE. Set in an elegant theatre, the open treats us to a wealth of cinematic imagery from decades past. A World War II fighter plane glides by as a figure in a trench coat makes his way past us. A blend of typography, familiar characters, and historic moments occupy the dimensional space. As we find our seat, the curtains draw open and the screen is brought to life by the flickering light of a projector.

Concurrently, Riss directed a shoot in Italy for the packaging of Spazio Italia, a programming block that features the best of classic Italian cinema. The Spazio open takes the viewers on a journey that leaps through time venturing between the 1930s, 40s, 60s and 70s. Posters designed to look like classic advertisements are covered with a fresh coat of paint. The images, intercut with footage from classic films, are displayed in graphically rendered, stylized movie posters. In the end, the Spazio Italia logotype is revealed as if projected on the newly painted white wall.

Executive Producer, Sally Kapsalis comments, ?we have endeavored to free the elegance of these classic films and bring the creative vision of the designers to fruition. Flying Machine and PURE are already in discussions regarding another potential collaboration.

About Flying Machine
Flying Machine is a New York-based creative design and art hub. Working within a variety of media, the studio creates visual solutions for entertainment, advertising and branding. Founder and Creative Director, Micha Riss, has produced award-winning results for a broad range of international clientele. Flying Machine is located in New York City at 270 Lafayette Street.

About SKY Italia
Sky is the new Italian platform owned by News Corp. The studios are located in Milan and Rome and the customer service centers are located in Cagliari and Milan. The launch of the new service began in July 2003 with an offer never before available in Italy which now includes over 130 television, audio, interactive and pay-per-view channels ranging from sports to cinema, news, entertainment, documentaries, children, music and much more.

About PURE
Pure is a visual communications studio, an idea company, a design studio. Based in New York, PURE focuses on all facets of design, strategy and brand development for an array of clients. PURE develops uniquely tailored compelling solutions for a wide range of fields, from feature films, commercial advertising and network branding to event packaging and emerging media. PURE is located at 99 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

For more information visit PURE online at:


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Related Keywords:Flying Machine, PURE, SKY Italia, SKY Cinema Classics, Nils Hartmann, Micha Riss, Steve Tozzi, Sally Kapsalis, Michael Wharton, Animation, News Corp.,


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