PHELAN opted out of Fashion Week, instead pursuing a groundbreaking path for release of her fourth collection. Amanda reached out to New Media Ltd to create a video to showcase the line: half-live action and half-animated, at once keeping the performative aspect of her previous shows, while also pushing the boundaries of what a fashion video is. We created an animated world using 3D scans of her models, dancers, and fabrics, and juxtaposed it against a black box performance for the dance sequences. Below is some BTS for the animation.
Here's some first renders for the treatment, to pass on to Phelan. "It'll never look worse than this" was kind of the approach. We knew we wanted her textiles to inform the landscape.
It was very tricky trying to develop the character while the line was still in flux and before the models were locked. Had no idea what they would wear. It's easy to think of this stuff as a waste of time, just trying stuff out. But if you're always working, than you're always forcing out ideas, even if none of it is ever going to see the light of day.
Final look for the Huan character in World One. It was tricky to reference the clothes but not make a new costume. Tried to be accurate to the silhouette, but then tear apart the inside and remake it, so the viewer in their mind's eye would remember the real form of the outfit, but accept that this was a distortion of that.
WORLD ONE. Look dev that really shaped the whole animation side of the project. (I highly recommend looking into Amanda's process, it's very complex, very interesting how the knitwear is produced.) With some scans of the fabric patterns, I could start building out some possibilities of the world, using old assets from The Giant.
For a hot minute, thought about going really graphic, really black and white. Didn't work for a number of reasons. Put this look in my back pocket, I like it.
Look dev for Huan. This is about the millionth try, and the one that stuck.
Closing in here on the final look for Huan and the feel of the world. Ended up detailing the hell out everything a bit more.
WORLD TWO. We were going for this Michael Bay 360 shot through the trees, to make a kind of kinescope effect. The plan was to mimic this in the live action. Had some complications there, so we did a rewrite. Here's some of the look dev for the forest.
Ended up going for a much more almost Seussian landscape. Kind of thinking of this big Noguchi's sitting out in the plains, with all these little loop plants growing up. Maybe they all come out at dusk.
WORLD THREE. Thought about a valley, for a change of pace, but went against it. Hard to shoot. One direction looks good but the rest aren't so nice. Needed to be gigantic to really sell. You can see in the third image the tiny little dots of the characters.
Kicked out a quick model of Maria, the dancer: she doesn't play too much in the video, so didn't go crazy with the detail.
Pushed for the world to be both more impactful but also simpler. While it's the combination of the two previous worlds, it should also simplify, showing the root of the clothing line. The accents that Phelan uses informed their own world. If this video is essentially a journey to the inside, then the inside would be essentially the lining of the clothing: the hidden parts that pop. Was thinking a bunch about Ellsworth Kelly.
Tried out some blue. It's nice but it swallowed the characters up.
Went camping in the Badlands awhile back, and the wandering bison leave these straight, hardpacked paths in the scrubby earth. Was thinking of that, laying out the ground, the paths for the characters to walk on.