Alcatel-Lucent commissioned us to make a video as a part of the application enablement vision which you can read more about here. We came up with this concept where all of the players involved in the communications ecosystem work together to innovate together in an open, secure and interoperable environment. The narrator is filmmaker (and friend) Yung Chang and the original music is by Op-music.
This video documents the making-of the Alcatel-Lucent animation, ‘Simple Ideas Change Everything’. This behind the scenes look shows how it was made.
We wanted to represent the communications players coming together as a sort of Woodstock gathering: The vast open field symbolizes the secure and interoperable environment Alcatel-Lucent is proposing where innovation will prosper. By inviting everyone (developers/web, telecom/mobile, and other communicators) to work together, this vision will revolutionize and facilitate the ability to develop innovative applications.
Interestingly, Woodstock celebrated its 40th anniversary as we were filming this.
Firstly, we had to paint a portrait of where things are currently with communication technology: Everyone being interconnected, yet working in their own corner, and the possibility of doing things better. What better way to demonstrate this than with cans and strings?
The original music is by Op-music.
We built a cityscape background (made of various cans, of course), and designed the lighting (using flashes) to look like natural sunlight. Like the others before it, this clip was still shot using our photography approach (Canon 5D - without live preview, Canon 24-70mm 2.8, and 16-35mm 2.8 lenses, remote capture software, and sensitive lighting).
Shooting cans is technically complicated as their tin surface reflects everything in and around the set – it’s like shooting a bunch of tiny mirrors (not ideal for stop-motion). Therefore, we had to close off the set and shoot every frame behind the curtain. Otherwise the can characters and the can cityscape background would pick up our reflection.
The satellite was made from a small Del-Monte fruit cup (diced peaches in light fruit juice syrup). The solar panels are Intel Pentium CPUs attached together with the can opener handles from canned ham. The satellite was suspended using a thin metal wire and magnet.
The setup for the dreamy hill descent scene. To create the romantic mood, we shoot into the setting sunlight. Therefore, not only was there the rapidly setting sun to deal with, there were also levels of complication added by the fact that fall was already upon us in Montreal. It was tricky finding a location where the camera wouldn’t see the autumn colours and days of cooperative (i.e. sunny) September weather.
The map of the world can formation scene consisted of about 200 cans. This scene was shot backwards, so the first step was to build the map out of cans. Many thanks to our production assistance on that day: Jean-Marc, Angie, and 3-year-old Alexis.