Hello! Typical internet greeting,
What’s that rumble you hear? Coming deep from within the Earth?
Why, it’s the arrival of our Celebrity EDGE Reveal video, so fresh-hot from our video oven that I’m typing this with my hands covered in bandages and slathered in aloe. Behold! (above.)
There’s so much to say about this project that this is the only wasted sentence in this entire blog, right here. It was much like a final exam or rite-of-passage ritual for us, as it forced us to flex nearly every skill we’ve managed to develop to date.
There was creative direction and concept, big-scale scope budgeting, CEO-facing client management, international logistics (in France and England), domestic travel shoots, high-end B-roll cinematography, mood creation, celebrity talent management, full-scale 3D animation, serious color-grading, and epic sound design- all in one package! And we crushed it hard (humbly, if one can say such a thing humbly, but those aren’t my words so I can get away with it.)
It’s a smorgasbord of our capabilities, a twelve-course tasting menu of Artex’s most succulent offerings.
I. Production (or, Travel to Europe is Supposed to Be Fun**)
**Note: travel in Europe is less fun if you are falling sleeplessly out of your commercial red-eye with three carts of film equipment.
The first leg sent us to the shipyard, in beautiful St. Nazaire, France. Here, we were to gather town-and-ship related b-roll, plus capture the Steel-cutting ceremony and executive tours of mockups in a high-end, cinematic way (not unlike a ground-breaking ceremony in building construction- it marks the real beginning of labor on the project). As this event happened in several places over a windy shipyard at all once, we had to hire a pretty large French crew to meet the ask.
Here’s a video they used as the Save the Date for the launch event, comprising of my edit and a lot of Ricky’s best work on our reel:
On top of that, we had to capture a sweet-looking interview with internationally-renowned architect Tom Wright on the same day. (You may not know his name but you have seen his most famous work before, no doubt:)
So this was a crazy octopus-style day, with splinter crews needing coordination across a town-sized French shipyard on a cold and windy few days.
Not long after, we were called to London to interview world-famous interior designer Kelly Hoppen (familiar with Shark Tank? It was first a BBC show called Dragon’s Den, and Kelly is one of said Dragons.) Again, a very busy day across several locations, so had a great big British crew that helped us out, and they were swell across the board.
Plus! We met up with Tom to go on his boat. If you’ve seen the video, you know this had a purpose besides leisure and gawking.
And we still had time for about four hours of sightseeing, see below:
Praise be to Joe and Jay for willing to fly around the world for us- Jay partnering with Ricky to create the incredible look of our footage, and Joe being a literal swiss-army knife of cameras, being our Captain of Camera for multiple three-camera teams while still having time left for being our drone op and Ronin op.
Finally, we had a lovely day shooting with super-designer Nate Berkus. Half of you probably own one of his household products. Kudos to Sherman for making him look great regardless of the weather situation.
II. Post-Production (or, 3D Animation is Supposed to Take More than 6 weeks, Right?)
So what was the glue that held these disparate parts together? If you guessed “five minutes of full-3D animation” then, yes, that.
As none of the spaces they wanted to announce on the ship actually, ya know, exist in any physical form, we were tasked with turning their renderings into a full-3D tour of the spaces. Kicker: we had six weeks from the renderings were finalized to when the ship was being launched at an event that certainly couldn’t be rescheduled. A project of this size can easily take three to four full months on a comfortable pace.
But comfortable? Not us! (Not ever. Help?) Our shining star, Director of Animation Tonda Ros, and the 3D team led the way and blew away the expected productivity and level of quality.
Such work doesn’t come from just having the right skills- it takes passion for a project and insistence that the work you put your name on speaks volumes about yourself. Tonda and team had that in spades. We couldn’t be happier or more grateful.
Just the amount of polish- birds flying by, flares kissing the lens, the quality of the water- is astounding for this timeline.
We’re proud to be a vehicle for your work, team. Artex strong!
And this goes without mentioning the insane amount of post-production involved in bringing all the elements together.
Big props to colorist James “Chipmaster” Segars for a top-notch color grade, getting the perfect tone for our cinematic footage sections and doing bang-up blend on that sunset shot at the end (was NOT shot in sunset.)
And always, an unsung-yet-crucial part of the process is the KICK and OOMPH gained from our Lead Sound Designer Brian Mejia’s work on sound. Really helps you feel the video in a visceral way.
Since the release of the video on March 13, it has exploded onto the Internet, directly serving people to the face with our pretty ship images. Statistics!
Welp, looks like I’m being swallowed whole by whatever is coming next, which will certainly include more Celebrity Cruises work- this is the first of a 10-video series that we’re making about Edge, leading up to it’s final completion! And then we get to make a half-hour of TV based on all of this stuff. Very exciting!
Till next time.