This article was written by Zoë Bishop
Creative @ FOTW
A Reel Show off!
When it comes to showreels there’s definitely a tried and tested formula – a series of awesome work, quick cuts, and a ridiculously cool music track. A visually explosive collation to inspire and intrigue potential clients. But with 2021 being so far from a tried and tested formula, we figured we’d mix it up and create something a bit more ‘Fall off the Wall’.
Our very own Creative Director Marlon was at the helm of this year’s concept. When asked where the idea came from? he said…
“I thought it would be nice for us to do something a bit different this year. With us all having been in lockdown for so long, it just felt like a breath of fresh air to do something that would actually take place outside on the streets. We’re now all looking towards the summer and the easing of restrictions, so it seemed like a showreel that was culturally relevant and channelled positive energy was the right space to be in – A celebration of the brighter days on the horizon and being with friends again.
Our name is ‘Fall Off The Wall’, so as the idea developed, the coin dropped that using a ‘Wall’ of graffiti that was themed with our work could be a great way to drive the narrative, giving us justified in & out points to cut between full bleed content to showcase our work…and of course look cool to boot!”
This bold creative approach gave us the opportunity to pull on the different talents and skillsets of our team, as we combined live-action with typographic design & animation, illustration and compositing. This collaboration of format and execution has in itself created a truly unique and holistic showcase of what we can do.
The text within the scenes act as a visual narrative for the viewer with key words and statements selected to express who FOTW are, what we do and what we believe makes effective DRTV. It was also important for us to embody the feeling of what working with us is all about; a friendly and collaborative approach to client projects, which makes for a super constructive creative environment. The backing track reiterates this with its catchy beat, combined with the repetition of the lyrics ‘playing with my friends’. This is how we see our clients, and the fun journey we always take together to create great work.
I personally was excited to get involved with this one from an illustrative perspective with the graffiti visuals. I naturally lean towards pen and paper in my out of hours arty endeavours, but for this it was far more efficient and practical to work with 100% vector, updatable drawings, so it was a no-brainer to get on Adobe Illustrator. Plus, the range of digital brushes came in super handy for the more stylistic street-art strokes. I took the opening and closing frames from the edit sections and drew up the main component in a layered approach. You never know quite what the feedback will be, so it’s crucial that different aspects are easy to remove, scale or recolour. Here’s a few of the Illustrations that made the final cut.
Once the edit and illustrations were all signed off, it was then time for our Nuke Compositing wizard Jason to pull it all together! He composited all of the illustrations into the scenes and animated the text enabling our guy to seemingly dance in and around the titles. Hold on tight – it’s about to get a bit technical…I’ve thrown in some definitions if -like me- you find them useful!
The guys told me they used Nuke, as its node-based workflow is ideal for this type of job. Nuke is a digital compositing and visual effects software, and a node is basically a building block for the list of operations you want to be completed – like a to-do list for the visual assets.) Using Nuke meant they could quickly change the graffiti illustrations and title cards and set different in and out points for the separate shots that were selected.
Nuke also has a built-in 3D camera tracker, which simulates the filming journey. This was used to track the clips and replicate the camera moves, digitally. Then using 3D geometry, they placed the titles and graffiti into the scene, applying the various data with a bit of roto, to put the titles behind the talent. (Roto is short for Rotoscoping which is when you isolate an object from a video sequence.)
Essentially using Nuke meant the guys managed to get through twelve shots and roto in a matter of days. The speed and quality of Nuke was massively helpful with such a tight turn-a-round. It may be internal an internal project, but we still run a tight ship with a schedule and allocated days to each section of the process.
Our Senior Creative, Kieran added the final touches of SFX to the mix, to really bring the motion and animation aspects to life.
FOTW is all about working together, to deliver great creative work and having fun in the process. I’ve been here nearly four years and it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve worked – in a good way, so it’s only right we have a one-of-a-kind company showreel, to reflect our individuality. Let us know if you get that impression from our showreel in the comments below. We certainly had a great time working on it and each putting our unique mark on the final result!
FOTW 2021 SHOWREEL Credits:
Creative Director/Copywriter: Marlon Griffin
Lead Motion Designer: Mark Wingell
Producer: Charlotte Morgan
Illustration: Zoe Bishop
Compositing: Jason Mackay
Typography design: Chris Henley
Typography animation: Nick Bishop
Offline Editor: Dan Hemmington
SFX/Mix: Kieran Clarke