We went back into the past and, with the help of some creative license, brought the world of 1930s travel back to life – minus smartphones, of course. The shooting and post-production process for the biggest telecommunications giant in the Middle East involved capturing the essence of the 1930s – both in terms of the atmosphere as well as the lighting and image treatment.
Jan Rybář – VFX Supervisor
Locations were the most challenging aspect of this project. Our task was to restore an airport from the 1920s, which in fact does not currently exist in the Czech Republic. We could not use any historical airports either, as none of them fit the client’s requirements. The directors, The Wolfberg Duo, then decided to shoot the main scene in Prague, in front of the Industrial Palace – a truly magnificent building. We hit a bit of a snag though, as there was a huge fair tent right in front of the palace for the duration of the shoot. At any rate, we had a solution. We took photos of the palace and used the static images for matte painting later. This allowed us to shoot at a slightly different location, which is not far from the original one.
The next task was the airplane. We used an original Bata plane from the 20th century. It is a beautiful machine, though we were not allowed to turn it on due to cold temperatures (we shot in mid- January.) As you can see in the spot, however, the propellers are in full motion. This was all done in post, along with retouching other parts of the plane such as the wheels etc. Unfortunately, we could not get the plane in the air, though it would have been fun to shoot aerial images. Instead, we used original archival footage, which we enhanced with the help of several matte paintings..
All in all, it was a straightforward collaboration with the directors and the rest of the team. Working with the Wolfbergs is great because we know each other, trust each other and help each other get the best results possible. So when I arrive at the shoot, I just got a short brief from the directors: “There are going to be cars and a plane, and some buildings in the background.” My job was to look at the frame and know what will go to VFX, what will stay and what will be thrown out. We needed to find the right angles for the camera, so we only kept what was necessary and got rid of the rest. so we didn’t waste time retouching unusable material. The magic formula is to minimize post-production costs by avoiding imperfections during the shoot. And that is exactly what we did.
Klára Petršová – Post-Production Manager
The whole job started with the illustration that appears at the beginning of the spot. We worked with talented artist Simona Dvořáková, who did a really great job and nailed the illustrations on the first try. We also created the concept for the matte paintings, which was almost immediately approved by the client. This phase took approximately one month before Christmas. In January, we started to work on the matte paintings, which we used in the spot and kept polishing after the shoot. Including the 3D and online compositing crew there was a team of roughly 10 people working on the project.
It was a perfect collaboration with the guys from City Films in Beirut and especially Joyce Hadife, who did a great job bringing everyone together. We really appreciate it. Our final thanks goes to Creative Embassy, who were, as always, a pleasure to work with. We’ve worked together many times in the past and believe that this smooth collaboration is to thank for the great, final result.
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