Over a weekend towards the end of July, I was brought on to work with visual artist and director Marco Brambilla to create a film for Fashion Week NYC that would show off a new look for Hugo Boss women’s wear – as created by designer Jason Wu. We shot over the course of two nights in a conservation area in Dundas, Ontario.
Marco showed me an incredible previz animation of what the intent was with the piece. Essentially the camera is rotating around super model Suvi Koponen, and gets faster and faster as multiples of herself split off and fragment into the background. This film expresses a marriage of nature and technology, classical versus hi-tech – as said by designer Jason Wu.
We brought in a specialized motion control system called The Cyclone from Pacific Digital in LA. The camera would be able to do a revolution around an 8′ radius of the nodal centre of the turntable platform in under 4 seconds. We used the Red Dragon camera, shooting at 1000 ISO and 60 fps, at 5K, using Cooke S4/i and S5/i lenses.
This system allowed us to position Suvi in various areas of the shot so she could be repeated, it also allowed us to shoot passes of different light and smoke levels. In fact we actually shot some passes at dusk to capture the last light of the day on the forest foliage.
Marco was really interested in the idea of having a heavenly shaft of light shooting straight down above Suvi in the central platform position. To achieve this, we went to John Moriarity at PRG Toronto to test various combos of Varilights to find the right look. It ended up being a mix of 3x VL3500 Varilights and a Clay Paky Sharpy Beam. The next challenge then was how to get these lights 50′ in the air in the middle of a forest where no lifts would be able to get anywhere near.
My key grip Ryan Acker and his aerial rigger Jayson Sissons came up with a way to span 40′ of truss between two trees, which was hoisted up via pulleys. This allowed us to hang the four robotic lights over 50′ in the air. Very cool indeed. The final touch was adding a 10′ cube SourceMaker HMI helium balloon above Suvi to give her and the dress a soft glow.
Here are the behind the scenes photos I took: