By now, most of you will be familiar with the latest installment of the epic series that is London Rollergirls’ video productions. (If you haven’t already seen it, perhaps the video above will help you along with the process.) But whether it’s familiar or brand new to you, the sheer professionalism and generally epic nature of the clip has got to have struck you. We found out for you what it took to plaster London Rollergirls all across the city behind a skating Brawlicorn.
We were interested in how this piece came to be – how many people were responsible for turning London’s billboards and signage into an all-out Brawlingfest. Was there was an excited room full of people just brainstorming, or perhaps some lone person with expertise stepped up and said “I can make it this awesome” (in a larger-than-life movie trailer voice, of course).
perhaps some lone person with expertise stepped up and said “I can make it this awesome” (in a larger-than-life movie trailer voice, of course)
As it turned out, LRG’s DieDie, who was almost wholly responsible for the movie, was the right person to answer our questions. She told us, “The concept of London filled with LRG billboards was something I had been mentally playing around with for some time. When I met up with brilliant photographer Steve Brown (www.stevebrownphoto.co.uk) for our usual creative coffee and told him about it, he added the Brawlicorn to the story. Next thing I know, I’m downloading the footage, already shot and pre-edited. Steve’s great that way. There’s no hesitation. He just goes out and makes it happen. After a few rounds of sending the footage back and forth with minor adjustments, we picked a suitable music and I was good to start (motion tracking my ass off)”.
But… all those epic shots across London! All those huge electronic billboards, and London Underground posters… surely some portion of the background imagery was London Brawling running around in Tube stations frantically slapping up posters and convincing people with billboards to hand over control for a few minutes… not every part was an after-filming graphics addition? Well, DieDie killed that dream flatly with her reply, “exactly zero. sorry. no frantic fun. just static computer nerdery”.
“I do feel a bit guilty for all the LRG parents being proud of their daughters on huge London billboards. Sorry parents. It’s not real. (even if your daughters awesomeness is)”.
All that nerding took far less time than you might think for the professionals to get to work. DieDie said, “Steve sent me the footage at the end of September. It took one day to find and edit the music and re-edit the footage accordingly. Then I think it took me about three days to do the stabilizing/tracking/rotoscoping, a day or so with intense e-mailing between Steve, Raw Heidi, Bette Noir and me to decide upon the content and another couple of days to create the replacement posters and fine tune everything. One last day to color correct and wrap it up.” That’s just eight days to make this whole thing work!
DieDie says the project was loads of fun to put together. “I suppose the most fun I had while working on this production was to exploit the possibility of filling those billboards with anything I wanted. Some of the WIP [work-in-progress] posters have only been seen by me and were only meant for keeping myself entertained while undergoing the painful process of rotoscoping**. The meta poster behind the Brawlicorn in the tube station was one of my stupid production posters which made it through to the second round. Raw was so amused by it that she asked me to keep it for the final version.”
The rest of the job was just a good old mix of stabilizing, motion tracking, animating, rotoscoping, compositing, vfx-ing and color correcting. Not really all that fun until you see the result. Or when people see the result. When people ask how we managed to get ourselves such huge publicity, you know you’ve done a decent job. Though, I do feel a bit guilty for all the LRG parents being proud of their daughters on huge London billboards. Sorry parents. It’s not real. (even if your daughters awesomeness is).
** the process of cutting an element out, frame by frame, to allow it to pass in front of another element (brawlicorn passing in front of fake billboard)”.
Oh, and she also managed to find the time to make some awesome .gifs of the video for you, too. Thanks, DieDie for the debrief – we think you, LRG, and their parents should be proud of how it turned out. Oh, and are you Backing Brawling?
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE