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R!OT Sends Stone Temple Pilots into Space

Studio Provides EFX and Post Services for Band’s New Video (August 30, 2001)
R!OT provided visual effects and post production services for "Days of the Week," the latest music video from the Stone Temple Pilots. The studio provided on-set visual effects supervision, telecine, digital matte painting, visual effects production and compositing services for the video. Directed by Kevin Kerslake of Satellite Films, "Days of the Week" is the first release from the band’s fifth album, Shangri-La Dee Da, released on Atlantic Records this month.

In the video, Scott Weiland and his bandmates play identically dressed, door-to-door salesmen who escape their mundane lives when their car morphs into a space shuttle. In a flash, they are travelling through the solar system, past the sun and toward a planet in a distant galaxy.

The outer space sequences were created by shooting the musicians against green screen and compositing them into a variety of otherworldly environments created by the artists at R!OT. The studio’s Eric Mises-Rosenfeld supervised visual effects production on the set and matte painter Michele Moen created a series of 3D digital paintings used as backgrounds. The latter includes a spectacular image of a spiral galaxy that appears outside the space shuttle window and surrounds Weiland when he leaves the craft for a space walk.

Satellite Films brought the project to R!OT because it required high production value and a quick turnaround. “The space visuals needed to suggest a reality, but even more, they needed to set a style,” said producer Tim Lynch of Satellite Films. “They needed to strike a real contrast with the ‘reality’ scenes involving the salesmen.”

Colorist Beau Leon helped to sharpen that contrast through the way he manipulated the imagery in telecine. He diluted the colors in the salesmen scenes, so that their world appears bland, almost ashen. The colors in the space sequences, on the other hand, are pushed almost to the point of unreality.

Inferno artist Claus Hansen integrated the band members with the artificial environments. That included hand-tracking the performers to the backgrounds, matching the interactive lighting from the production footage, and adding reflected imagery to the visors of the spacesuits. Hansen also composited performance footage over digital matte paintings depicting a close-up view of the sun.

The video’s end shot is a pullback from a planet that looks not unlike the Earth. Sitting atop the globe—in impossibly large form—is the salesmen’s car, at the other pole is the band, also enormously oversized. (The image is a reference to Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s "The Little Prince.") Hansen generated and placed a starfield behind the planet, put the car and band in place, and surrounded the surface of the orb with a thin veil of atmosphere.

The car, Hansen noted, was shot while traveling on an ordinary road. “I had to roto the car out of its environment, place it onto the planet and make it look as though it belonged there,” he explained.

Lynch conceded it was a difficult illusion to pull off. “It’s obviously unreal, but it couldn’t look artificial,” he said. “Claus did an amazing job of making the shot look like one piece.”

R!OT is located at 702/730 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401. For more information, contact Richard Cormier at (310) 656-7663.

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Related Keywords:visual effects, Stone Temple Pilots, matte, compositing, 3D


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