MAKING OF: Motion Showreel

The motion team pretty much thrives on gallons of the hot brown (i.e. coffee). When a question comes up over Chemex in a coffee shop – How can we frame our reel differently – ideas bubble up with caffeinated tenacity: let’s get a musician to do a live track, it should be a bassoonist – no – a drummer. And so without further ado, we present the results of that coffee-fueled collaboration:

Sound Design

Sound Engineer Steve Horne flew up to Chicago to record with Nate Bauman, drummer from The Band Royale. They hooked up with Noam Wallenberg, the Sound Engineer at Raxtrax studio for the recording session. After throwing together a frankenstein of drums / cymbals that sounded good together, Steve directed Nate to play several ideas. With over an hour of drum beats, Steve returned home and cut together the best 2 minute track from it all, adding musical layers to add interest and direction to the whole piece. The final sound design in the edit pulls from actual sound from the spots as well as new embellishments to add some texture and energy to the edit.

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Set Build

DP James McKenzie designed an all-custom rig made from Kino flo tubes. The idea was to create a frame-in-frame look by building a rectangular with a similar aspect ratio to the lens – a 2:1 rectangle within a 2.4:1 anamorphic frame.

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IMG_0832Using a Arri Skypanel with a skirted space light attachment, we created a color-changing background to give an edge to the drummer. From above we had a Joker 800 in a Joleko adapter spotting tightly onto the drum set.

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Drummer BTS

All of the lighting was run back to a dimmer board so that we could individually control each source and run through the color gamut on the RGBW Skypanel. We rehearsed the intro a ton so we could really time the color changing with each critical hit. Steve Horne was on set running live playback of the recorded drum solo so Nate could get his timing dialed in as well. It probably took 50-60 takes to get the drum intro tight enough to the recording and with the lighting to get the shots we needed.

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Microphone

We also used some of our custom camera rigs that were showcased in the reel pieces themselves in the drummer scene, which was kind of a fun way to tie the drummer bit to the rest of our reel. Similarly, we used a projector gag to actually beam our reel onto Nate as he was playing to give us some of those transitional pieces in between drummer scene and reel clips.

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