Well hello there!
I have no idea what’s going on in the world, because I’ve been under a rock working on this Celebrity EDGE Reveal video. It’s so shiny and new that you might need sunglasses to look it!
I could write a novel about the project and the process, but I’ll start getting into the details so you don’t need to read one. Honestly, this one was a right of passage or some kind of awful exam like medical boards or the bar exam: it tested everything we’ve all learned so far, and we had to do it on an amazingly short timeframe and really couldn’t do it without teamwork and absolute dedication.
This was an undertaking not only in creativity and concept creation, but large scale budgeting, massive-company-CEO customer management, international logistics in both France and England, domestic gigs across the country, super high production value B-roll cinematography, ambiance creation, talent management, 3D animation on a grand scale, obsessive color grading, and seriously involved sound design- all wrapped up in one head spinning project. Not to brag, but I think we did a damn good job.
I guess it’s best to look at this like a huge all-you-can-eat buffet of Artex capability, so let’s just dive in and get into some of the details.
1. Production (Isn’t travel to Europe supposed to be more enjoyable?)
**Note: we generally enjoy traveling to Europe, but it’s slightly more stressful attempting to stay awake on flights and making sure your three huge crates of film and sound equipment gets there with you, in one piece **
We started in St. Nazaire, France, at the shipyard that is producing the first of the Celebrity EDGE class ships. We were gathering B-roll of the steel cutting ceremony (like a ground breaking, only there’s no ground on a ship), shooting the town, and touring the shipbuilding facility, you know, in one day, and hired a lot of French crew to make sure everything was captured perfectly. You can check out the save-the-date video for the launch event right here:
And, same day, we had an interview with Tom Wright. You may not know his name, but you’ve probably seen his work once or twice.
So multiple crews in many locations, if you looked us up on google maps it would look like a spier sprawled over the shipyard and town in St. Nazaire, France. Oh, and it was cold and windy, did I mention that?
Very soon after, our crew was off to London to interview celebrity interior designer Kelly Hoppen. While the name may not ring a bell immediately, she was one of the dragons on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, which later would inspire the show Shark Tank. Luckily we had an awesome British crew helping us, and the shoot went off without a hitch.
And then Tom Wright invited us on his boat, which was really fun!
We had a few hours for sightseeing too: here’s proof!
Joe and Jay deserve our special thanks for going around the world tackling the impossible and making it look easy. Joe is an absolute camera ninja: he managed three camera teams and still flew the drone and ran the steady cam! Superheroes exist!
Off to cross another continent to shoot Nate Berkus, famous super designer and all around nice guy! You probably own something designed by him. Special thanks to Sherman for bringing out the beauty in our shots and making everyone look great even on a dreary day.
2. Post Production (3D animation can’t be done that fast….)
The only way to hold these interviews together would be to make the ship appear out of thin air. We did this with 5 minutes of cinema grade 3d rendering. In 6 weeks. Of a ship that didn’t exist yet. Similar projects can take six months, but we needed to do it in six weeks. Because we couldn’t postpone the launch of a ship…
Director of Animation Tonda Ros broke out the superman powers on this one. He and the 3D team led the way and blew us away with their quality and productivity. Passion (or maybe a little obsession?) is the only way to get this level in this timeline. Tonda and his team went above and beyond, from the birds flying by, to the subtle lens flares in the renderings, the quality of the water, they just really did an amazing job.
Post-production insanity ensued. James “Chipmaster” Segars did a tip-top notch color grade. The color tone was perfect- realistic yet cinematic. And not overdone. Even in sunset shots. (Which weren’t ACTUALLY shot with a sunset…)
My film production teacher once told me, bad sound can ruin anything great on screen. And Lead Sound Designer Brian Mejia must have been paying attention that day, because the presence and kick of the audio really drives the narrative. The video is just very visceral and moving.
The video dropped on March 13th, and it’s skyrocketed in popularity! (Trended #2 on twitter baby!!!!!!!) Anyway, enough of that. I need to go get engulfed by another project. Which will include Celebrity Cruises- this is only the first in a 10 part series about EDGE. And then we get to do a full half hour TV spot about it. Exciting!