“The Change begins within me”, DM Austria 2019

Milo goes into a car, close to the faces and we gain emotional insights.

Although this project is a bit older, its relevance remains significant, demonstrating the immense value of integrating motion control camera work with a dedicated 3D workflow. It exemplifies how leveraging robotic technology can substantially enhance the creation of impactful moments in advertising clips. Indeed, executing complex camera movements becomes markedly more manageable when guided by a machine—ambitious, swift, and consistently reproducible. In this particular case, employing a motion control (MoCo) system was indispensable, given the need to multiply the main actress and capture shots at varying speeds.

The meticulous preparation within the 3D workflow commenced with the creation of a detailed previsualization, collaboratively crafted with DP Wouter Westendorp. Our objective was to seamlessly blend an ambitious acting scene with a dynamically unfolding narrative, intertwining multiple iterations of the main actress, subtle reactions, and strategically placed product shots within a brief sequence. These elements were choreographed within a horizontal rotation of approximately 180° and a vertical rotation of approximately 90°, necessitating fluid transitions. All this action was set within the confines of a car, with entry through the windshield—an intricate feat to orchestrate.

With only a single day allotted for shooting the entire clip, including cutaway shots and driving scenes, the schedule was tight. Complicating matters further, the shoot was contingent upon natural daylight, a fleeting resource in Vienna during the spring season. It became evident early on that this endeavor would pose numerous challenges, underscoring the critical importance of meticulous preparation.Through multiple online sessions with Wouter, we meticulously honed our concept into a fluid realization. Utilizing 3D characters within a humster3D vehicle—precisely what the production had decided to use. I painstakingly animated the characters, since the importance of authenticity in their movements was paramount, given the prominence of portrait and close-up shots. At the time, with MRMC’s simul8 not yet available, I used a virtual Milo modeled and rigged on my own, enabling us to achieve realistic simulations, including Extend and Angle compensation, crucial for all Milo operations in praxis.

This comprehensive approach—incorporating a “genuine” vehicle, a virtual Milo, and intricately animated characters—ensured our previsualization remained grounded in reality, preventing unrealistic expectations and guaranteeing a seamless transition to the actual shoot.

Ultimately, I crafted a 3D movement sequence, providing the real Milo with the essential keyframes for testing in Berlin’s mastermoves studio, allowing us to iron out any theoretical weaknesses beforehand. We meticulously simulated various frame rates and focus pulls, offering the creative team realistic feedback and prepare best way for the shooting day.

During testing, we meticulously examined the “roof cut” defined in 3D, a crucial aspect of previsualization as well. By executing a minimally invasive cut, preserving the vehicle’s structural integrity while facilitating swift and safe access, we significantly streamlined the art department’s workflow.

In essence, this project epitomized the fusion of a brief yet impactful sequence, seamlessly blending human emotion with subtle product placement. The innovative approach of centering the advertisement around the drugstore’s customers’ personalities, conveyed through nuanced actment and camerawork, was executed masterfully. I’m immensely gratified I got the chance to play a dedicated role in bringing this vision to fruition, from previsualization to the final shoot.

Director: Job van As
Dop: Wouter Westendorp
1. AD: Ina Springstub
Motion Control Op/ 3D Prep: Heiko Matting
MoCo Ass.: Pascal Rossow
MoCo Rental: mastermoves Berlin
production: Ela productions
client: DM Austria