In order to accommodate the constraints, we decided to go with a treatment that used as much impressive in camera studio work as possible, keeping the vfx to fewer smaller sequences.
In the end we had four main setups:
- High contrast black and white shot against white and black backgrounds respectively,
- Full colour in-camera sequence utilising 'staged' lighting to generate streak effects,
- And two main vfx sequences shot against greenscreen:
- the opening violin particle sequence
- and the central light-ray sequence.
Because we had to rely on the greenscreen working well, we shot on RED, and Camberwell Studio's largest greenscreen stage 1 was ideal.
The DP, Chris Plevin, then did some great mock-handheld work to grab dynamic moments of the performers natural rhythm, which were later converted into the black and white sequences. We also tried to keep the camera rolling as much as possible when FUSE weren't performing, as I knew this is the stuff fans really want to see, and helps us connect with the band.
The vfx was a challenge; not so much of a technical nature but more from a logistics point of view. The smaller your budget, the harder it is to get to first base, especially with greenscreen you automatically add days to your schedule, but it allowed us to create some special environments otherwise not feasible.
Dan Kohn came on board and created some create custom rigs for the FUSE backgrounds. He also developed the setup and look of the lightrays - some very long shots in there.
I started matchmoving the edited shots and experimenting with some particle rigs in 3D, and doing some basic look-development in compositing. Then, with the detailed elements in place, the particle setup was shifted entirely to a compositing environment along with the tracking data, and the backgrounds added in and graded.
Finally motion graphics elements were added before the final grade to make things look cool.