COLLABORATION ACROSS PLATFORMS
A highly experimental exploration of the creative relationship between artists working across a variety of media platforms.
This project was introduced to me by one of the founders of the En Masse Collective Jason Botkin. EN MASSE is a Montreal based, multi-artist collaborative drawing project. It draws life from the many creative individuals who take part in the project to create large-scale, highly spontaneous drawings in black and white.
Being immersed in their work all over the city of Montreal, I was super excited to take this on and come up with a creative way to showcase an intimate look at their work through video.
I was immediately drawn to the idea of building something with a blend of stop motion and live action but as the deadline was extremely tight, I knew we needed to craft a concept that would allow for something that would not call for a time intensive shoot.
Armed with my good friend and Co-Director Brian Tornay, we started to kick about some concepts and ideas. We settled on one that we knew would be a challenge assembling in post, but one we anticipated with the right amount of pre-production and planning, would be a challenge worth taking, as the result would be something completely unique!
I knew I wanted to have the En Masse crew paint their awe inspiring details on an installation, initially this was going to be a geometric object that would have had some motion to it, but with some simple tests we realized that this was not as impactful.
Back to the drawing board we realized we had access to a giant 500 pound head that was kicking about right outside my studio! Coincidentally this giant head was created as a canvas in the past for En Masse art. It was a no brainer! I knew we needed to speckle in the magic of stop-motion but the challenge was to create the illusion of stop motion as we did not have the time or budget to actually shoot stop-motion. That being said we had access to 16 feet of Kessler Crane Shuttle Pod awesomeness and a CineDrive! So I knew multiple passes would result in some perfect moves that we could then play with in post.
It was an intensive one day shoot and the plan was simple, shoot everything in layers. We started with a white canvas and then slowly built upon it. The first pass was diagonal lines. The second pass was diagonal lines running the other way, we continued to layer on and on until we got to complete black. At which point the EnMasse artists were unleashed to add their flavour!
We had multiple cameras running as we picked up a bunch of B cam footage to help with transitions and some live action inserts to show the artists in the thick of it.
My favourite part of the shoot was the EnMasse logo at the end. Jason took a picture of my screen that was linked to the overhead camera. He then mapped out how the EnMasse logo would look on the head before finally drawing it on the actual head in perspective… completely freehand!!
Working with such seasoned and talented artists is a humbling experience and one that inspires you to keep pushing your creative boundaries to strive for more!
Post-production was a beast and a half! This is where the magic and genius of Brian (Co -Director) and Vincent (Sound Composer) came into play. We knew we had to glue everything together with a crazy amount of masks and figure out the motion design which should flow with the music and vice versa.
Unlike most of my other productions where post is merely a stitching together of what was shot (as most of everything is pre planned in the animatic). This time around we had to go through every step in the book, we started with a rough edit, which evolved as we got closer and closer to a Final cut.
The delicate dance between the edit and the sound design was a creative evolution that we are all super proud of.
Really looking forward to the next project where I can work with this crazy talented team!! We hope the project left you as inspired as it left us!
Artists – Jason Botkin, Rupert Bottenberg, Jason Wasserman, Julien Deragon
Director and Visual Concept – Salman Sajun & Brian Tornay
DOP – Salman Sajun
Editor – Brian Tornay
Additional Photography – Florin Gabor
Music Composer and Sound Designer – Vincent Lagadrillière
Head Sculptors – Jason Botkin, Clement Yeh, Ian Langohr
Motion Control Equipment – Kessler Crane
Location – Nomad Nation