Last year we got to produce a vignette and three “between-acts” films to Robert Bronett's Magic Xmas show in Stockholm. The show was inspired by Las Vegas, glamor and the happy 70's. And the vignette should go in the same theme.
Looking at the vignettes and film intros produced in the 70’s, they were often simple with silhouettes or pictures in pictures. Mostly because it was the technically -best looking- images they could achieve at the time. So, the first ideas for the vignette were silhouettes or shadows of dancers and magicians. A rather simple movie in retro style. However, it turned out a bit to impersonal when we started testing and we would have liked more feeling of the place and settings. But without moving images from Las Vegas and Nevada that would make an edit.
An idea we had from the beginning was double exposure (known from ex. True Detective). You expose one image through another and can get a silhouette and an image in the silhouette. Darker areas expose more of the original image. That way, we would get to see a little more of the people behind the show and at the same time get some scenery from Las Vegas and the Nevada.
Filming in Stockholm
The Shooting was quite simple. We set everyone up against a white wall and filmed a few different angels. We were actually filming in the entrance at the Sweden/Stockholm Fair in Älvsjö. Right next to us there was construction workers building a new entrance so we could barly hear the speakers and lot of people working next to the camera. But since we would do most work in post-production it didn´t matter and we pulled of everything in a day.
Back in the office we put everything together and started cutting. First offline rough-cut in Premiere Pro, cut to the music and dance performance. Then we took it into After Effects to try out the effects. Erased objects to get a clean white background, do the double exposure with different backgrounds. Some shots worked better than others, so we made two more rough cuts before the online. When we were done with the backgrounds we started adding smoke, particle and light effects. Then graphics and overlays before we moved to Davinci Resolve for the color grade. Last step back to Adobe platform for delivery. All in all, it took us about two weeks to finish, from project launch to shooting, editing and completion.
We’re thrilled with the results, even thou you’re always thinking what more you could have done if you got another day. The Show is now over and a summery of it with our vignette was shown at prime time New Years eve, and are now live at Swedish national television SVT.