Research – Production – Buyout
Together with my team of motion designers, cameramen and assistants I offer productions of organic visual effects, macro table tops and anything experimental which has to do with matter and light. Shooting experimental visual art requires both a professional and kind of a DIY approach. We shoot on high technical standards up to 8K Raw Resolution and state of the art gear from Arri, Panther, Dedo and Kinoflow. Practical effects need an on point preproduction, patience on set as well as the ability to modify and reinvent things on the fly. Most of the sceneries we shoot are very small. That’s why we use an arsenal of little helpers from toothpicks and syringes to wadding and hot glue to tweak our compositions to perfection. We create objects with modeling clay, 3D print logos or use cutouts of acrylic glass or metal. However, most of the time we work with glass plates, petri dishes and a variety of papers and canvases.
Every production takes its own path and direction, but general speaking the process is divided in 3 steps:
I offer artistic and visual research for several purposes. Clients may have an idea for a practical effect or method – for example the interpretation of a nature phenomenon – and want to bring it to the test. This is where our research capabilities come in play. We design organic and analog effects from scratch with a large toolset of materials and plenty of experience. This may be a video for editorial use or ready to key footage for vfx. If you hire us for a research task you’ll get insight in all our methods as well as dailies and democlips to work with in post. It’s up to you to decide if you want us to setup a production afterwards. Sometimes the requested shots were already perfectly recorded during research and you can easily buy out the clips you want.
Another use for research is if you do not need the shots itself but rather information about the characteristics of a specific substance. This might be the case if you want to digitally generate a matter from scratch and need demos of it’s natural behavior, motion, flow and consistency in order to properly rebuild it on your own. For this purpose we offer customized case studies to our clients. Further, we offer high resolution macro shoots if specific textures for 3D modeling are needed.
There are a lot of different things to consider for a practical effects shooting. First and foremost it is all about the usage of the materials and how specific the shots need to be captured for further processing. Clients are often curious about what is doable and where the limits of a method are. This is an important issue to be discussed, especially if you want to use the materials for vfx, projection mapping or 3D rendering. Further, one needs to talk about factors like resolution, color schemes, speed, motion, perspective and much more. We are going to guide you through this and are happy to assist in pre-production. The shooting itself is quite cost efficient as there usually is no need for a big team and materials like colors, fluids and pigments are affordable. The time expenses differ from method to method. Organic motion of fluids is non-linear and needs to be dynamically speed-ramped in post to get a linear behavior. Some effects work in realtime, but more often the reactions are slow and require long takes. Of course, there are exceptions – like cymatic reactions, ink drops or particles, just to name a few. Many cinema cameras offer decent frames rates to capture realtime in slow-motion. But frankly, if you really want to get the full potential out of your shots, a true slow-motion camera like the Phantom Flex 4K is the best option. It eats more of your budget but it is so much worth.
To wrap it up, shooting experimental video and practical effects is a bit different because of the nature of the subject. It might take a while to get THE perfect shot as our actors are different, but the results speak for themselves. Together with our clients, we create really new imagery. Images which trigger metaphors and carry the deeper structures of visual storytelling. Images with outstanding vibrancy, huge dynamic range and 3D-pop from the richest color palette you can imagine. Images with the never-seen-before-effect.
Usually, you can either buy out single shots or whole recoding sessions but this highly depends on the way the footage is generated. If we shoot long takes of fluids and colors, it is easier to pay a flat fee for the recording day and get all raw data to work with in post production. Then you can choose the best clips for your project according to the frame conditions of the production plan. In some cases it might be convenient to have a large B-Roll with additional shots for any kind of extended media or visuals like print, web, social media, advertisement of any kind. Browse the materials with you editor and decide in post which shots to pick. On the other hand, licensing single clips is fine as well, especially if the shoot follows a clear storyboard and there is no need for additional materials to cover a campaign. In this case we offer single licenses or license packages. Head over to our Licensing page or get in touch to work out all the details.