Makina Creative Post premiers Milo in Turkey
Turkish company Makina Creative Post started their motion control journey with an extraordinary shoot. Having taken delivery of a brand new Milo they were challenged with shooting “Dream in Efes” which was the first big budget international commercial for Efes, a leading Turkish beer brand. The commercial illustrates the taste of Efes in a series of dream like sequences weaving through dolphins, mermaids, dancers, trapeze artists and fire blowers. An ambitious project at the best of times but shot during one of the coldest weeks in Istanbul for years where the crew and artists endured freezing conditions with melting snow dripping onto the set and equipment.
The film was shot by director Steve Hiam who has an MTV Award for his effects work on the Madonna video clip “Frozen” (ironically enough). Production company Complete Works built a pool, ice steps, a full moon and the trapeze set-up inside a huge tent outside Turkey’s largest studios. The shots had been pre-visualized by 3D artist Andres Eguiguren and after only one day of pre-work on CG data export and import the Milo was brought in. Tents were then built inside the ‘ tent’ to keep electronics dry! “It was rough but no other job could be more educational for us,” admits Merih Öztaylan – partner of Makina Creative Post.
The freezing conditions inside and outside of the tent.
The first challenge was to place the rig on a raised one metre high platform without a ramp. After unsuccessfully trying to lift up the Milo with a truck lift it was clear that an alternative was needed and with the help of an hydraulic winch the Milo was placed on the platform. Three sets of additional rails were rented to be able to give the length of track required. The rig was then pushed to its limits in terms of height and speed for the shots needed.
Our very own Chief Service Engineer from Mark Roberts Motion Control, Peter Rush, assisted the camera crew on set. Particular shots required the camera to be underwater (with an underwater housing) and extremely close to it without it, which was challenging position for a crew who were performing their first motion control shoot!
Chief Service Engineer Peter Rush modeling the goggles with the Special Effects Director
This particular shot required the camera to come out of the pool pulling back as high as it could go. The sequence was shot with and without the housing so the water line could be used as a transition. At the same time the dancers, lights and music needed to be synced with the camera so a digital video mixer triggered the music, the Flair software and a light control deck by which all the light animation was saved. With that trigger from the timecode Flair ran the move each time at a certain frame as the bloop lights flashed. In order to make it be seen from underwater, regular photographer flashes were used instead of a Milo bloop light.
Another shot required the rig to film divers falling through space. This was rotated so the rig pulled out past a diver on wires with some of the lights being rig mounted to give the impression of the divers falling past frame.
Also required was a very high speed shot of beer pouring into a glass from a bottle. The camera was a 2000 fps compact HD, storing 1.6 seconds of move direct to Hard Disk. Peter set the camera looking back through the roll of the modified head and a superfast Pan move was used, triggering the beer flow from Flair. With three 18 kilowatt lamps to light the glass special googles were issued to protect the crew’s eyes. This may be the first use of Flair to run Bar optics!
The 2000 fps HD camera mounted on the Milo shooting the specially adapted bottle and glass.
Makina Creative Post, based in Istanbul, is a visual effects studio that aims to create a difference with its creativity, collaboration and technical knowhow. Merih’s partner, Emre Aypar, states “Our main goal is to increase the efficiency of compositing and vfx processes in the commercial and motion picture sector simply by advising in pre-production design phase. We believe in a lot of research, a good deal of knowhow, excellent collaboration, some fun and some luck. We try to develop a two-fold vfx business using both digital competencies – compositing, motion graphics, animation and also production capabilities – such as on set vfx supervision previsualization and management of Motion Control (Milo) and the studio where Milo is kept. Plus we aim to introduce our vfx artists with the new contemporary technology and workflows using desktop softwares rather than the conventional products. We position ourselves not only as operators but also as creative vfx consultants with shooting facilities suitable for vfx. Thus we aim to decrease the cost of time sunk in post production operations in order to increase efficiency both in terms of value-added to the client and profitability for the production companies & post-production studios.”
Makina’s new studio in Istanbul