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VEO unlocks creative freedom for Affixxius Films

VEO unlocks creative freedom for Affixxius Films

Affixxius Films are firm believers that there is no point in producing something that is different if it isn’t also engaging. That’s why the creative video agency turned to the super slo motion capabilities of the Phantom VEO 4K camera as the centrepiece of two recent commercials.

To showcase the latest artistic features in photo editing suite Affinity, Affixxius Films’ concept warps time and reality to capture a dancer in mid-flight. Shot over two days at a studio in South London, the Affixxius team rigged, lit and set dressed the entire shoot.

“Shoots like these are challenging at times, but when the client trusts and gives you complete creative freedom, it always shows in the final result,” says David Whayman, Affixxius Films’ Creative Director.

Financial services client Wolters Kluwer were looking to produce something unique and disruptive in the arguably creatively stagnated tax and consultancy space.

“They knew that film is a great tool to deliver emotion and broad information, so they asked us to focus their key messaging on the core benefits and USPs of Wolters Kluwer,” Whayman explains.

The concept of delivering results under pressure led to the idea of filming two-time Paralympic gold medal archer Danielle Brown taking aim and launching an arrow at a target.

“With content that’s quite heavily reliant on extreme slo-motion you have to take great care with your budget,” says Matt Sefton, Senior DOP at Affixxius. “If money were no object then you’d probably use the Phantom FLEX 4K but be prepared for that to set you back £4,000 a day and require the services of a specialist operator.”

He continues, “We’d attended the training day that VMI ran for the Phantom VEO 4K and understood that we could achieve all that we wanted for a quarter of the hire price without too much compromise over the FLEX 4K.”

Whayman, who directed both spots, and the Affixxius team storyboarded each production while Sefton devised a shooting plan so that no valuable time would be lost on the day with the talent.

They shot both spots in 4K at 1000 fps and married the VEO slo-motion with additional footage captured on ARRI Amira.

“Affinity was the more complicated set-up,” explains Sefton. “To capture the detail in movement and dress at high frame rate we needed powerful lights and rigged several 12k tungsten lights on the ceiling.”

The creative idea required showing the jumper moving in 1000 fps in the same frame as the girl with the iPad at a normal frame rate of 25 fps. To achieve this, Sefton mounted the VEO on a MR MOCO high-speed Bolt and treated the sequence like two VFX plates.

“We shot the same sequence twice, once in 1000 fps, once at 25 fps and composited them in post.”

In both cases, the VEO was used in conjunction with the ARRI Amira. Explains Sefton, “The LOG footage that the VEO offers is excellent and has really developed over the last few years. It allows us a lot of flexibility in the grade and it can be matched to the Amira footage relatively easily.

He advises other DPs to ensure you have enough CFast cards “although it was great in this instance that the Amira uses the same cards as the VEO” and sufficient hard drives to transfer the footage onto as soon as possible.

We’d attended the training day that VMI ran for the Phantom VEO 4K and understood that we could achieve all that we wanted for a quarter of the hire price without too much compromise over the FLEX 4K

Matt Sefton, Senior DP Affixxius Films

“It was also beneficial to have an assistant prepping the VEO so I could spend more of my time focussed on the creative side and not worrying whether I’d saved or downloaded the clip correctly. It all went smoothly.”

A rarity among creative studios, Affixxius Films not only devises and designs ideas but executes them too.

“The film we produced for Wolters Kluwer can easily sit at the front of a presentation or start a meeting off, as well as being versatile enough so that it could work remotely online and keep somebody’s attention until the end,” Sefton says.

“The Affinity project was one of the biggest we’ve ever done in terms of pushing the technical level of the outcome. It’s great working with clients that really get behind the idea and this was definitely the case with both these projects.”

Our first port of call whenever we have project like this is VMI. We’ve got a good relationship with Stuart and the team there, they know how we like to work and we like working with them.”

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