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R!OT Applies Its Multiple Personalities for Cotton

Studio?s Manhattan and Santa Monica Offices Te am for New TV & Cinema Spots

Drawing talent and resources from its offices in Manhattan and Santa Monica, R!OT provided visual supervision, visual effects production and final post services for a bold new television and cinema advertising campaign for Cotton. Artists created seamless visuals for  each of the two spots in the package, including one called Multiple Personalities where a woman and five ?clones debate her choice of wardrobe. The campaign, which focuses on cottons versatility, also underscores the versatile approach to visual effects production offered by R!OT through its multiple locations, broad resources and diversely talented team of artists.

The c ampaign, breaking this week, was conceived by DDB, New York, and directed by Moxie Pictures Frank Todaro. In Multiple Personalities, a woman tries on clothes in her bedroom before venturing out on a date. She is joined in the room by several ?clones, each one dressed differently and representing a different aspect of her personality, who offer their opinions on what she should wear. The spot ends with the tagline, ?Different personalities. Endless possibilities. Cotton.

The spots extend a c ampaign begun by DDB last year. ?These spots are directed at young women and are intended to show that cotton is multifaceted, fashionable and contemporary, said DDB Executive Producer Teri Altman.

Multiple Personalities was produced by shooting several passes of the woman with a motion control rig and combining the passes in post production. Visual Effects Supervisor Andy MacDonald, from R!OT Santa Monica, and Visual Effects Artist Tom McCullough, from R!OT Manhattan, assisted Todaro and the agency team in planning the complex execution.

?We wanted to get all of the clones into the fr ame together, without having to go to a locked off shot, explained McCullough. ?A moving camera is much more interesting. Our goal was to have the girls overlap one another naturally and create the illusion of them being in the same room appear all the more believable.

Accomplishing that goal meant accounting for every detail in the fr ame. The movement of the various clones had to be precisely mapped out. Their dialogue needed to be coordinated. The shadows of the talent and other objects in the room had to be accounted for.

MacDonald supervised the shoot on a sound stage in New York and oversaw the technical aspects of the production. ?I supervised the motion control crew so that Frank could focus on the performance, he said. ?I helped to ensure that the actor had the right eye line when she was supposed to be looking at herself, and made sure that we had all the elements we needed to produce the interactive shadows. I also had them shoot elements in layers to get the best possible lighting. When you put it all together, it looks as though it was shot as live action?except that you could never find six women who look exactly alike.

McCullough was charged with the intricate task of assembling all of the pieces, which he undertook on a Discreet Inferno platform at R!OT Manhattan. ?Andy and the director did a great job of making sure that the women physically lined up and that their dialogue fit together the way it was intended, noted McCullough. ?That allowed me to focus on the nuances?making sure the colors jived, that the shadows overlapped?so that it all integrated. Its the nuances that trick the eye and make the spot seem that much more believable.

The visual effects work in Storefronts is less overt, but no less impressive. That spot appears to occur in a single take, with a woman walking along a sidewalk past several small boutiques. The stores are identified by such n ames as ?Play Clothes and ?Work Clothes. The woman, perhaps seeking some adventure, enters the end store, which is named ?Clothes that Will Get You Fired.

The spot was shot in one long take, but it was a take that required extensive tweaking by McCullough. Among other things, McCullough adjusted the height of the awnings on some of the stores to put them at a consistent level and ensure that the n ames could be read in the cinema version of the spot that will screen in theaters. He also painted out the reflections of the production crew that appeared in store windows and stabilized the shot.

Additionally, McCullough helped the production to overcome a technical hurdle related to one store whose owner didnt want it included in the spot. ?I had to composite a different store in its place, he noted.

The most subtle work, however, involved the timing of the spot. ?It was impossible to orchestrate the production so that it timed out to precisely 27 seconds; and as a result, the take we used ran over by 21 fr ames, recalled McCullough. ?I made up the difference by adjusting the timing slightly as a pair of trees wipe the frame. I also roto-ed the woman and readjusted her position at the end so that she enters the store a fraction of a second sooner.

Final post work was completed at R!OT Manhattan. For Storefronts, McCullough conformed a hi-def version of the spot for final output to film.

Having bi-coastal studios is useful for projects like Cotton that present unusual effects demands, according to MacDonald. ?Weve been working very hard on developing a unified approach between our offices, he said. ?It allows us to tap into the different expertise of our various staffs. We can come up a pipeline suited to the particular task at hand and it gives us tremendous freedom in choosing our resources.

For DDBs Altman the collaboration c ame off flawlessly. ?Both spots involved tough shoots, and if they hadnt been executed properly, it would have made post production very difficult, she said. ?R!OT worked wonderfully with Frank Todaro and the editor, Tom Scherma, Senior Editor from Cosmo Street Editorial.  They made it look easy.

 R!OT Manhattan is located at 545 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017. For more information, call (212) 907-1200.

R!OT Santa Monica is located at 702/730 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401. For more information, call (310) 434-6000.

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Related Keywords:R!OT Santa Monica, Frank Todaro, Visual Effects Supervisor Andy MacDonald


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