Client: VIMN MTV World Design Studio
Director: Mate Steinforth
Animation/VFX: Sehsucht Berlin
Mate Steinforth, creative director/partner at Sehsucht, Berlin: “MTV approached us with a very open brief for the European Music Awards 2012 broadcast package. The main part of it was basically just the idea of ‘visual overload’. It was up to us to transform that idea into a tangible film.
“This is the kind of situation where we can really flex our muscles. We’re not a classical post-production studio, but really more a design studio, which specializes in the art and craft of telling stories through film.
“We thought up a wide range of initial concepts to discuss with the guys from MTV. We like working closely with our clients, which are mostly agencies, and include them in all steps of the process. This way of working ensures quick feedback so we don’t waste time on routes which might not be promising.
“We delivered about 10 rough concepts, from which the idea of a zoetrope using animation loops clearly stood out. Now the real work began, as we had to flesh out the huge sculpture of the zoetrope itself, with all its intricate details and shapes.
“In animation, usually it’s pretty easy to get away with murder: Stuff only needs to work for this one camera position or just for that one shot. Not this time! We wanted to build the thing for real – virtually, that is. Which meant our animators had to develop animations which were not only loopable, but which would also fit in the overall design and layout of the zeotrope – a mind-bending challenge.
“In this main development phase we again worked very closely with the client to bounce back and forth ideas. All the images in the zoetrope are related to messages and values that the MTV brand contains. As the social media interaction in the EMAs went up significantly in the last year, we wanted to include popular social media services in the mix. So we used a blue bird flying and a laptop to symbolize those ideas.
“When we were done with the concept phase, the detailing started. We wanted to elicit the illusion of a real structure, so we modeled everything to scale and with as much detail as possible. To bring our virtual zoetrope on the screen, we used state-of-the-art render technology which simulates the physically accurate way light behaves. With this, we had all the little reflections and colors bouncing off each other in our images which makes them so rich and mesmerizing.
“Apart from the technological and design challenges the project contains, it also had a plethora of different deliverables, which made very tight producing necessary. We had three flights of a lot of different elements, which needed to be at the TV station at the right time and in the right formats. The designs were also used for all the interactive elements of the event as well as for the printed matter. It was a truly a 360 degree effort.
“But wait, there’s more…we also created an interactive version of the zoetrope, which lets the viewer move around the structure in realtime, in the browser, without any plugins. The feat becomes feasable through avantgarde technologies such as WebGL, which is supported by all modern browsers. There’s even a musical game to play online! Visit http://lab.sehsucht.de to check it out.”
For VIMN MTV World Design Studio, Milan/Italy
Creative director: Roberto Bagatti
Associate CD: Anna Caregnato
AD: James Walpole, Carlos Carrasco
Senior producer: Cristina Mazzocca
Senior designer: Giorgio Schwarz
Coordinator: Beatrice Cardile
For Sehsucht Berlin
Director: Mate Steinforth
Artists: Remo Gambacciani, Helge Kiehl, Florian Panzer, David Weidemann, Christian Zschunke
Producer: Christina Geller, Christian Jacks
Music: Von Sallwitz Sound Architecture (Nikolai von Sallwitz)