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The Chickening

NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR – “THE CHICKENING” !

Update: 1M views on YouTube

The Chickening

World-premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, US-premiered at Sundance this past Sunday night and Schaffer/Rogers premiering RIGHT HERE!  Fantastically sick short film from filmmakers Davy Force + Nick DenBoer.  We proudly represent Davy Force for spots + branded content at 6 POINT MEDIA

You haven’t seen “The Shining” until you’ve seen it infused with chickens!

The Chickening is the first of its kind in remixed, augmented cinema. It is a theatrical trailer for a fictional film in which Stanley Kubrick’s classic film The Shining has been artfully transformed into a new, poultry infused comedy adventure by digitally altering the film to create a new narrative. This new style of filmmaking is a hilarious collision of classic films with modern day visual effects; “Cinegraffiti” — the ultimate neonostalgic visual feast for this digital age.

The Chickening

Fun review + interview from film blogger Scott Wampler below:

The Chickening

NOTHING CAN PREPARE YOU FOR “THE CHICKENING”
Directors Nick DenBoer and Davy Force have created something you simply have to see to believe.
By Scott Wampler Jan. 26, 2016

I have attended Fantastic Fest for many years now, and lemme tell ya: during that time, I have seen a thing or two. I’ve seen courageous feats of karaoke. I’ve had unexpected run-ins with weirdo celebrities. I’ve seen food fights, I’ve seen actual fights, and I’ve had my face melted right the fuck off by the world’s greatest Satanic marching band.

I’ve also had my mind blown by more movies than I could possibly count (if there’s one thing Fantastic Fest does better than anything else, it’s that), and at Fantastic Fest 2015, the most mindblowing bit of filmmaking I encountered was a short film by the name of The Chickening.

At Fantastic Fest, this short (directed by Toronto-based filmmakers Nick DenBoer and Davy Force) was paired with Anders Thomas Jensen’s Men & Chicken, and…well, to say “it took everyone by surprise” would be a massive understatement. The crowd I saw this short with went bananas. We talked about it for months afterwards, hoping that it’d eventually make its way online, where it might be shared with the rest of the world. Today’s a big day for some of us.

It’s an especially big day for The Chickening’s creative team. I was fortunate enough to speak with Nick DenBoer over the weekend, and he agreed to answer a few of my stupid questions about his incredible short:

First question: why?

Why chicken? I grew up on a chicken farm and then worked in my dad’s poultry butcher shop until I was 17, de-boning and slingin’ chicken carcasses. You can’t shake that shit.

My co-director Davy Force and I have been talking about doing this mega, next-level film remix for years and we finally had some free time last March to bust it out. We’re both animators/vfx artists/remixers and we have collaborated on a lot of similar projects, so this came together pretty naturally. The Chickening is a proof of concept we made to pitch around to studios, namely Warner Bros (hence The Shining) in a bid to create a series where every episode is a different remixed classic film. It’s a lot of fun to do and we think it’s got a lot of viral potential, but obviously there’s a lot of red tape in acquiring and regurgitating Hollywood’s sacred cows.

How long did it take you to put this together?

Davy flew up to my studio in Toronto and we shot the shit for about a week, writing and rough editing to force our new narrative on the original film. We then parted ways and cranked on it for about 2 1/2 months; Davy from his studio in LA and me in Toronto. We collaborated remotely and I assembled it as it came together. This was intended to be a 22-minute piece, but we did this for zero budget in our spare time, so we did as much as we could until it worked as a balls-out trailer. If we made our 22-minute version as intended, the narrative would make a lot more sense, but I think it’s going to live as you see it and we are moving on to the next project.

Wait, is that Kenny Hotz of Kenny VS Spenny fame? Holy shit.

Yes, that’s K-Ho. We’ve been pals for a long time. I worked on Kenny Vs. Spenny and we’ve done a lot of messed up video stuff together.  He’s always down for taking his pants off in front of the camera. Kenny’s been a huge help in selling the idea and getting The Chickening into the film festival circuit. He’s onboard to help write and produce more of this kind of stuff wherever The Chickening takes us.

Is there anything special you’d like to note about the short? Anything we might’ve missed the first time through, or any special behind-the-scenes goings-on that were particularly compelling?

There’s lots you probably missed the first time through. Maybe the pictures of ISIS on the wall behind Jack in the office, or the box of chicken-flavored condoms, or the pile of Tommy Wiseau references. This thing is loaded with Easter eggs and designed to be watched a bunch of times, so you’ll keep seeing new details. Kubrick was like that with all the details, too, and we think – although we sort of defaced his film – that we are still paying homage to a great piece of cinema. We wanted every still of this thing to have a WTF vibe.

Behind the scenes shooting was fun. I took a whole chicken and cut off its head and feet to use as a puppet in the final shot where Wendy is getting attacked. Pretty much everything was shot on green screen and comped. It was all done pretty DIY on no budget, so all the voice actors were pals, so it was a blast shooting the mouth replacements. And the shot of the girls dancing is actually me dancing: I mapped the dresses onto my body and then built the hallway in 3D and projection-mapped a still onto it so I could do some fancy virtual camera work. That’s my favorite shot, I think.  I made the music for that too.

We’ve seen stuff along these lines before – clips from famous films reborn with added effects, bits of one title edited into another – but DenBoer and Force are playing a different game here. DenBoer says the original intention was for The Chickening to be 22 minutes long, a claim backed up by the insane plot synopsis included in the press release I received:

Jack Torrance takes a new job as senior chief night manager for “Charbay’s Chicken World” —a state­-of­-the-­art, volcano­-fried, fast-food poultry production facility and resort strategically built on an active volcano. Jack travels to the remote facility with his wife, Wendy, and 42­-year-­old man­-child son, Danny.

During orientation, Mansturd Nurlman (regional manager of Charbay’s) mentions a new experimental product that is currently under development: “The Shiny” — a brand new BBQ sauce created in the research laboratory deep within the radioactive volcano. Strange things start happening to Jack after he tries the sauce, and he slowly begins morphing into a chicken creature and becomes unstable and aggressive.

Scatmok (a hyper­dimensional alien) conspires with Danny and his little friend Tony (a snarky Italian man who happens to be Danny’s index finger) to steal the recipe for “The Shiny” but their plan is compromised when they realize the horrific side effects of the experimental BBQ sauce. Danny and Scatmok decide they must destroy the BBQ sauce pipeline in order to stop the spread of this condition that has mutated Danny’s father.

Meanwhile, Jack has learned some of the restaurant’s darkest secrets from some of the other employees, including a potential cure for his condition. In the end, the restaurant is destroyed in a spectacular exploding BBQ sauce conflagration, with Wendy, Danny, Tony, Scatmok and a now­-cured but frozen­-solid Jack, who grumpily curses his former employers as they drive off in the Beak-Machine into the sunset.

Super Bowl open

BODEGA Got the Party Started to Open Super Bowl XLIX for NBC Sports

From Editor Alan Chimenti: “It’s been a long haul since I started cutting that in NYC last July, throughout the Fall of 2014, and finally finishing it at my dining room table in San Francisco on Tuesday after receiving final player footage that was shot a few hours earlier in Phoenix. ”

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Esteemed client BODEGA’s Emmy Award-winning creative director Haley Geffen teamed up with NBC Sports Group and VP Creative Director/Director Tripp Dixon and RodeoFX to create the high-energy opening for Super Bowl XLIX.

Having collaborated on the Sunday Night Football open for three consecutive seasons, the Bodega team was well poised to intensify the energy and glitz for Super Bowl XLIX. Geffen and Dixon led a three-day shoot, months in advance of the big game, to capture Underwood’s performance that glamorized the Super Bowl. Bodega worked closely with RodeoFX to enhance the stage visuals for the stylized concert experience, with dynamic holographic letters emblazoning the Super Bowl logo on the stage. To craft the stage view looking out at the audience, a customized CG rendering of the University of Phoenix Stadium was created to transport viewers straight into the excitement of the game.

“It was great to work with two very talented and collaborative teams,” said Dixon. “We were able to rely on Bodega’s creative energy and prior production experience with the Sunday Night Football open, and combine that with RodeoFX’s strong visual effects capabilities, fresh perspective, and feature film experience.”

Parlaying its extensive visual effects experience in film, TV, and advertising, Rodeo FX crafted close to 80 shots, including the CG holographic roman numerals that display behind Underwood and 60,000 simulated fans. The project, led by advertising division creative director André Ü Montambeault, tapped Rodeo FX artists from every division, bringing on concept artists, modellers, senior effects artists and digital compositors from every department to bring the vision to life.

“This is a huge project, the biggest opening in sports,” said Geffen. “When we reviewed the pitches for this project, it was immediately clear to us that we wanted to go with Rodeo FX. We could see the caliber of what they offered and we knew they could make the opening better. André is a creative leader, understand what sells in sports, the NFL and in America. But more than that, he had the imagination to make it come alive.”

The intro consists of both live action shoot footage and archival footage from NFL games, that were shot by numerous networks,, using a wide range of frame rates and cameras. This all came into play for color grading. RodeoFX aimed to make it all look like it was shot together and intended to flow in a cinematic manner.

“Working with Tripp and Haley, who both have a strong background experience on such high-profile projects was a privilege,” said Montambeault. “The flamboyant and high-energy opening is the result of everyone’s collaborative effort, as well as the significant contribution of many of our talented and passionate artists.”

Adds Geffen, “It’s been such a great experience collaborating with NBC, working together to continue aiming to push the boundaries for sports opens.”

Credits:
Client: NBC Sports

Bodega
Creative Director: Haley Geffen
Head of Production: Michael Flexner
Line Producer: Rayna Saslove
Director of Photography: Chuck Ozeas
Production Designer: Evan Rohde

Northern Lights
Editor: Alan Chimenti
Executive Producer: Robin Hall
Assistant Editor: Tim Avery

Rodeo VFX
VFX Company: Rodeo FX, Montréal, Québec
President: Sébastien Moreau
Creative Director: André Ü Montambeault
Producer: Ashlee Wismach
Lead Compositor: Pierre Blain
Lead Motion Designer: Jocelyn Tremblay
CG Supervisor: Sébastien Francoeur

NBC Sports
Coordinating Producer: Fred Gaudelli
SVP Creative: Mark Levy
VP Creative Director/Director: Tripp Dixon
Senior Associate Director: Charlie Vanacore

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MindOverEye profiled in SourceEcreative Rastermasters Special Feature

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From its home base in automotive work, the fast-growing company is expanding boldly into new product, content and media categories.

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The Mars Rover doesn’t have a lot in common with the Jaguar F-Type or the latest pulse-throbbing iteration of Chevy’s Corvette Stingray Coupe. The Rover, for example, has six wheels, and runs on what’s probably a little nuclear reactor. It also can’t go from zero to sixty in under five seconds. But don’t tell that to the folks at MindOverEye. For them, if it moves, reflects light, has curves and can shine, then they’ve got it covered.

Of course, that description fits a lot of things besides Martian land craft and muscle cars. Just about any consumer electronic gadget would fit nicely, as would any manner of recreational gizmo that has a modern, high-tech and ultra-sleek look to it. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what your hero product might be. When it comes to finding new ways to make it look simply awesome, MindOverEye and its cadre of artists, programmers, producers and directors are up to the task.

They’ve done it for the aforementioned Rover (as part of their work for TV’s “Cosmos” series, an image from which appears above), as well as for just about every automotive model you’ve ever lusted after while sitting at a stop light. But they’ve handled more than just sheet metal, shooting VFX-infused, integrated live action work for a range of brands.

When last we checked in with MindOverEye back in the fall of 2013 (you can see that story here), the studio was riding high on a number of interesting projects for brands such as Jaguar and Microsoft. In the case of the former, the studio was asked to shoot a few effects-oriented inserts. In the process of capturing live action footage for the assignment, they shot added content and transformed it, on their own, into a fast-paced, design-driven standalone commercial. They showed it to the client and its agency, Spark 44, and it was met with open arms (not to mention the smell of burning rubber). The spot has gone on to run around the world, with the client recently re-upping to use it for a second year.

Since then, MOE Founder and ECD Bill Wadsworth says the studio has simply exploded. They’ve experienced growth in the area of 60 percent since moving into their current complex in El Segundo back in December of 2012, where they operate out of a 15,000 square-foot nest of shooting stages, edit rooms and workstations.

MindOverEye is still an integral part of parent company Source Interlink, publishers of iconic titles like Motor Trend. Earlier this year Source Interlink rebranded its media division as The Enthusiast Network (TEN), home to a range of online video content sites that cater to everyone from car buffs to the burgeoning action/sports market.

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From the initial success of its Jaguar spot, MOE has been commissioned to produce a half-dozen more long-form pieces, including a series that puts the F-Type through moves and settings straight out of an action thriller.

Wadsworth and MOE’s Director of Integrated Production Paul Babb – who first worked together at Ogilvy & Mather in Los Angeles, along with MOE Executive Producer Dave Wein, back in the 1990s – report that the studio has worked for close to a dozen major automotive brands in the past two years, including Ford, Lincoln, Hyundai, Dodge and others.

The company was tapped by Infiniti to produce a dark and foreboding short film titled “The Beast Within,” to introduce its sexy Q50 Eau Rouge concept car (which was created completely in CG), and created an experiential event for the model that was mounted at this year’s Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, the preeminent luxury car show in the US.

And they were brought in by the VFX supervisor on the aforementioned Fox/National Geographic series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” to produce a number of shots for this critically-acclaimed series. What started as a small assignment quickly ballooned to over 150 effects shots, says Babb, with a number of them being part of the work that earned “Cosmos” an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects.

Much of MindOverEye’s automotive work, Wadsworth says, arises out of the studio’s connection with TEN, whose automotive channel on YouTube has over 2.6 million subscribers. In fact, MOE produced a live installment of TEN’s popular YouTube show “Wide Open Throttle” during the Pebble Beach show. If anything, these kinds of projects represent the future of where MOE is headed. Wadsworth and Babb report that the company’s volume of live action production has taken off in the past year. “We’ve shot in 15 different countries, creating over 100 hours of original content working with just about every kind of image capture device out there,” says Wadsworth.

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This explosion of work is being fed into a slew of media projects MOE has undertaken, and the list is dizzying. They’re creating commercials, branded content, original programming, apps and games and for some of the top users of design and effects-laden imagery out there.

Get Wadsworth talking about these gigs and it’s hard to get him to stop. [/column]

He’ll tell you, for example, about the work they’ve done with Dodge, drifting a rare Viper sports car across the desert flats near Barstow or racing it through the closed-off streets of downtown Detroit. (And if you’re up for it, check out MOE’s Dodge “Revolution” driving app, which you can download off the iTunes store.)

And then there’s the Augmented Reality work they’re doing for both racing games and other digital entertainment genres. Again, if you get Wadsworth rolling on this I advise you to start taking notes. He’ll explain mobile shading algorithms, physics-based user interfaces, extended tracking systems and lot of other technical jargon, but keep in mind that all these terms usually add up to one thing: awesomeness.

“It’s kind of like the nerds have been left to their own devices, and they’ve simultaneously generated all this cool stuff,” he says with a laugh about his studio’s diverse output. And it’s easy to share his enthusiasm.

So what’s driving all of this work, we asked? “It’s because we have the talent and we’ve shown we can do really outstanding stuff,” says Babb. “On top of that, we deliver what we say we’re going to deliver.” More importantly for ad agencies is their ability to take macro views of a brand’s content needs and figure out smart ways to satisfy them, says Wadsworth. MindOverEye has been investing heavily in building up its storage and render capability, bulking up its pipeline and adding to its fiber backbone, all geared to handle the multi-genre, multi-platform, multi-media needs of advertisers. “When you need to get as much of your production budgets as you can, then it’s all about harvesting data,” Wadsworth says. “It’s important to capture as much as you can going in, and it’s how we’ve always worked.”

This methodology has particular value for automotive brands, he points out, given their voracious needs, “but our process can benefit almost anyone,” he points out. “And we’ve been on a tear getting people to see what they can get out of their production budgets for just a little added effort or money, and how much value that adds. It really drives the cost of everything down when you look at the economy of scale.

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The work the studio did on “Cosmos” has opened doors for them outside the automotive category, says Babb, which the studio has welcomed as a balance for its automotive work. One area they feel particularly well-suited for is the growing action/sports genre, an important category for The Enthusiast Network. MOE is positioning itself to work on brand integration content for advertisers that are interested in connecting with this audience, which skews younger and more upscale, and they’ve already produced online videos for both Ford and Subaru tied to activities like surfing and kite sailing.

Lots of things are on the horizon for the studio, Wadsworth adds. They’re actively negotiating for more space in their current campus, where the 80-or so people who work there every day are busting at the seams. This, of course, will give them an opportunity to retrofit their existing studio space and build out new space, which is something of a specialty for Wadsworth. MindOverEye has been his baby since he began to devote himself to it full time after leaving his position running the graphics and design studio at O&M in 2004. (Up until then it had been his agency-sanctioned sideline, a place for him to experiment with new graphics and effects technologies, many of which he brought back to Ogilvy.)

“We have such a good, solid, strong company now, and it’s so different than the one that moved into this space almost two years ago,” he says with pride. “There’s an eclectic array of things going on here every day, and we’ve taken our strengths and stretched them really wide. We have an actively curious community of people here, and one of their favorite things to do is share, so there’s a lot of cross-pollination,” not just among the MOE staff but between them and other elements of the TEN media team.

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It’s all paying off big-time for Wadsworth, Babb, Wein and other senior members of the MOE management team. That they’re having this much fun at this stage of their careers isn’t lost on them, either. “We’ve got great support from our corporate parent, and lots of latitude to pursue some unorthodox things for a visual effects and CG studio, but we feel it’s reaping huge dividends for us,” Wadsworth says.

For now, they feel as though they’re sitting on a goldmine. They’re being tasked with new challenges, broadening their client base and producing more original programming – all part of their long terms plans. More immediately, the joint promises to stay super busy: “Over the short term I can see us doubling in size,” Wadsworth sums up. “We’re out to build a one-of-a-kind facility here, one that will function as a unique content engine. We can’t wait to turn it loose.”

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Bodega brings the house down again for NBC Sports and Sunday Night Football

New York/San Francisco-based content creation/production company Bodega creative director Haley Geffen and Northern Lights editor Alan Chimenti team up with NBC Sports Group and NBC Sports VP Creative Director/Director Tripp Dixon for the third season running to deliver full-throttle football excitement in the 1:50 open for NBC’s Sunday Night Football (SNF).

The open, featuring Carrie Underwood and many NFL stars including Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning, LeSean McCoy and Colin Kaepernick, debuted September 7th on Sunday Night Football’s Colts vs. Broncos broadcast, which was watched by nearly 24 million viewers. The piece will continue to air throughout the NFL season.

Click HERE for a behind-the-scenes look on set.

Notes Tripp Dixon “This year, NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Fred Gaudelli wanted the NBC Sunday Night Football Open to be more interactive and more fun so that the NFL players, Carrie and the fans could enjoy more of a shared experience. Whether it was Carrie getting Green Bay’s Clay Matthews to stage dive, or Seattle’s Russell Wilson firing up his fans.” Continues Dixon, “It was great to be able to rely on Bodega’s energy and prior experience with the SNF open, and combine that with Rodeo’s strong VFX capabilities and fresh perspective. The most gratifying aspect of this project was less about a specific production technique or visual effect, it was how each key member of the team elevated the idea during the process.”

Says Haley Geffen, “We took the opener out of the stadium this year, capturing way more interaction between these superstars and their fans. The playfully interactive atmosphere on set was fun and relaxed, which translated to the screen.” ”

Our goal was to create a stylized concert. A huge party that also carried the drama of a mega rock show fit to open SNF,” adds Bodega Head of Production Michael Flexner.

Kinetic, circular CG structures were placed on both sides of the stage where you can see Peyton Manning and others battling on the gridiron. The images integrate seamlessly with the live-action on stage and in the crowd, further elevating the interactive atmosphere. The CG elements are also a stylish nod to last year’s Bodega-produced open, which won a Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction. Given this considerable win, the bar for this year’s open was set high. The team’s inspired update delivers electrifying drama and superstar glitz in one large-scale, thrilling package.

Bodega
Creative Director: Haley Geffen
Head of Production: Michael Flexner
Line Producer: Rayna Saslove
Director of Photography: Chuck Ozeas
Production Designer: Evan Rohde

Northern Lights
Editor: Alan Chimenti
Executive Producer: Robin Hall

NBC Sports
Coordinating Producer: Fred Gaudelli
SVP Creative: Mark Levy
VP Creative Director/Director: Tripp Dixon
Senior Associate Director: Charlie Vanacore

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Integrated one-stop shop MindOverEye smokes it up for Jaguar

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Mr. Wonderful Transforms Carnegie Hall with a Modern Flair for CBS 2014 Upfront

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New York-based design/animation boutique Mr. Wonderful transformed historic Carnegie Hall into a theatrical CBS spectacular for the network’s 2013/2014 season upfront. Consultants on the event’s animation design for the last two years, the Mr. Wonderful team was called upon once again to elevate the presentation to a new level by entirely engulfing the audience in CBS imagery from the moment they set foot in the iconic theater.

Click HERE to see the 2013/2014 CBS upfront cut down.

Collaborating closely with the CBS Creative Team, the event Set Designer, Lighting Designer, Watchout Programmer Keith Tromer and the World Stage/Video Applications projection team, Mr. Wonderful utilized trompe l’oeil style projection on screens covering the Carnegie Hall proscenium in order to design graphic transitions that would change the whole space and create a variety of moods and theatrical stages throughout the presentation. The massive projection operation required 18 overlapping projectors and took 2 ½ days to set up. Notes Mr. Wonderful’s Executive Producer Damien Henderson, “Until you actually see the animations projected, you really cannot fully visualize the experience. When we first saw them, it was unbelievable—so enormous and transformative.”

Mr. Wonderful worked with CBS Executive Producer Jane Gottlieb and CBS Creative Director Lacy Daigle to incorporate the CBS branding into the historic venue, utilizing CG projections to depict transformative moments in the show, essentially delivering scenic changes through shifts in the graphic animations.

For this year’s Broadway theme, Mr. Wonderful transformed the space into a virtual Broadway set in carefully timed sequences. For example, the entire cast of “How I Met Your Mother” performed a theatrical musical spoof with rising, animated cityscapes towering behind them. When David Letterman took the stage, Mr. Wonderful transformed it into The Ed Sullivan Theater where “Late Show with David Letterman” is famously taped. The casts of “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory” and actor Robin Williams also made appearances.

Notes Mr. Wonderful’s Creative Director Beirne Lowry, “Bringing the CBS branding into the entire space highlights the power of the network’s current #1 ranking. And the imagery came to life in a multidimensional way. This wasn’t like watching a movie projected on a flat screen—it had real depth and appeared amorphous. It was a joy to see how the graphics truly transformed Carnegie Hall into a home for CBS.”

About Mr. Wonderful
Mr. Wonderful is a creative-production studio specializing in concept-driven motion design, branding and effects for television, film, interactive and environmental media. The studio was founded in 2005 on the simple principle that everything can be enhanced with good design. Our backgrounds are diverse, as are our clients. We are illustrators, animators, writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, wood carvers, photographers and directors. We love the creative process. We hate boilerplate. And we look forward to making something wonderful with you. www.mrwonderful.tv