Fulltank Sweetens 'Chocolate Box' Music Video for Prince
April 27, 2009 12:14 am
Creative Production Studio Provided 190 Visual Effects Shots for CGI-Intensive Promo Directed by P.R. Brown
Santa Monica, CA (April 13, 2009)-Creative production studio Fulltank announced today that it provided visual effects, including on-set supervision, for a CGI-intensive promo for "Chocolate Box," the new single from Prince's "MPLSoUND" album released on March 29th. The video, helmed by music video director P.R. Brown, features an all-digital fantasy world inspired by the dark urban aesthetic of "Sin City." To view the music video, visit: http://www.fulltank.tv/pri/.
"When I started the process of bringing Prince's vision for the video to life, I was fortunate to have found the guys at Fulltank," said Director P.R. Brown of Bau-Da Design. "Throughout the project, their passion for the video was clear and they went well beyond what I thought could be produced given the time we had. It was a pleasure working with them, and they really helped bring to life the hyper stylized vision I had for the piece."
In the promo for "Chocolate Box," Prince is an all-seeing Orwellian figure, whose gaze looms over a shadowy cityscape as projected onto the sides of skyscrapers and a psychedelic airship. Rapper Q-Tip - who collaborated with Prince on the track - stars as a man in pursuit of a beautiful and mysterious woman. Their athletic hunter-hunted game of parcour takes them across rooftops and buildings. When they finally meet, the video goes from a black and white palette accented by occasional flashes of color, and crescendos into a technicolor explosion of surreal graphical elements. Neon jellyfish bob in mid-air, a giant fuchsia sphere pulsates with otherworldly energy (and Prince's omnipotent visage), and lightning zigzags across the sky. The video closes with "To be continued."
In addition to providing on-set visual effects supervision for the one-day shoot at the SOURCE film studio's greenscreen stage in Hollywood, Fulltank Creative Director Chris Do and Executive Producer Ben Morris and a team of nine artists oversaw 190 visual effects shots over the course of five very short weeks, using live-action material captured with the RED camera at 4K.
Because of this truncated timetable, Fulltank developed a workflow based more on a feature film, rather than commercial production pipeline. Instead of working shot by shot, Fulltank set very particular daily milestones, sending files through to the render farm every evening for testing in the morning. Said Chris Do, Creative Director, Fulltank, "This video pushed us to develop a custom production pipeline that we're using on future Fulltank projects. That's an opportunity rarely awarded to smaller creative shops, which aren't often able to allocate the time and resources for in-house R&D."
Despite the obvious challenge of this tight deadline, Fulltank was given almost 100 percent creative control over the VFX - an amazing opportunity to develop the look and feel of the video with director P.R. Brown. Added Do, "We were so fortunate to work with such an intuitive and organic director, who also has an extensive visual effects background. This enabled us collaborate very closely because he understood the process, and the vibe that Prince wanted to achieve."
Fulltank relied on a software toolkit comprising primarily of Adobe After Effects and Apple Shake for compositing, with Autodesk Maya and MAXON Cinema 4D for modeling, all running on Macintosh and Windows platforms on a 15 quad core render farm.
Fulltank was conceived by Executive Producer Ben Morris with the core idea of building a creative production studio that captures emotion through engaging visuals and narratives. Fulltank's creative team uses its diverse background in print, illustration, typography, photography, cell-animation, design, concepting, directing and storytelling to produce imagery and ideas that deliver strong creative messages. http://www.fulltank.tv.
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Wow! I enjoyed watching the video very much. Extremely impressive work! I'd be very surprised if this video wasn't nominated for an award. Congratulations to Fulltank for an excellent job with the effects, and of course to Prince for yet another awesome song!