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RingSide Creative Posts Dreamy Carrie Underwood Concert VideoStudio Provides Motion Design, VFX, Editorial, Color, Sound Design and Music for Show Opener (March 10, 2008)
The video is set in a surreal desert environment filled with rugged rock formations and framed by a sky set ablaze by the rising sun and washed by roiling, time-lapse cloud formations. A moody score accompanies brief glimpses of a woman strolling toward camera. It’s Underwood, of course, her eyes radiating loops of light. The video reaches its climax just as the real Underwood takes the stage.
RingSide’s role included creating the CG backgrounds, editorial, color correction, motion design, compositing, sound design and original music. “We are best known for our car work, so this was a breakthrough for us,” said Ringside producer Laura Hochthanner. “It was fun not only to contribute to this project, but to do so in so many ways. It touched on all of our creative resources and our team put its heart and soul into it.”
Motion Designer Nick Forshee created the CG background and sky elements. He also acted as visual effects supervisor during the live action shoot with Underwood. That occurred on a special effects stage, where Garth had a 14,000 square foot desert environment built, complete with live snakes and a hawk. “We brought the backgrounds to the set and were able to impose them on the monitors so that Anthony could see how it was all working,” Forshee said. “We wanted the environment to seem half-real, half-surreal—a kind of heavenly desert.”
The video’s ethereal score, mixing percussion with sound design elements, was created by RingSide’s John Garstecki. An initial version was produced by Garstecki during pre-production so that it would also be available to Garth for the purposes of pace and timing. “We were given very specific directions for the first 20 to 30 seconds of the piece,” he recalled. “There were points where we needed to hear footsteps in the sand and rocks falling. Part of the challenge was not to let it get in the way of Carrie’s band as the piece is designed to make a seamless transition into her first song. It’s composed to end in the same key in which the song begins.”
Editorial was handled by Steve Sweik, who said the piece was all about building anticipation for Underwood’s arrival. “The edit mirrored the music; every time there was a big, dramatic hit, we wanted to have something happening visually that was equally exciting,” he said. “The cuts come quicker as the intensity rises.”
Adolfo Martinelli added the final touch, fine-tuning the color balance in the studio’s telecine bay. “The setting is meant to be just before dawn and so we went with a very vibrant, orange look,” he explained. “But it is stylized, so we pushed everything just a bit further.”
All of the work at RingSide was done in a digital environment. Once the film elements were scanned, everything remained in a data format through delivery, which was done in the form of an uncompressed QuickTime file. A copy was ultimately laid off to high definition video for archival purposes.
“This project presented creative challenges to every member of our team,” said Hochthanner. “They had to find a way to incorporate Carrie, without revealing her identity too soon. It needed to build organically. The effects and the color work all had to come together, and they hit it.”
RingSide Creative is located at 13320 Northend, Oak Park, MI 48237. For more information call Steve Tocco (248) 548-2500 or visit www.ringsidecreative.com .
Concept: Technical Productions, Inc. Olivette, Missouri. Elizabeth O’Keefe, creative director.
Production: Avalon Films, Detroit. Anthony Garth, director; Kevin Smith and Audrey Pask, sales.
Post: RingSide Creative, Detroit. Nick Forshee, motion designer/animator; Steve Sweik, editor; Adolfo Martinelli, colorist, Jerome Cloutier, rotoscoping/matte cutting, Laura Hochthanner, producer
Audio: RingSide Creative, Detroit. John Garstecki, sound designer/composer; Robert Aceto, guitarist.
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