One of the hottest online threads, Gene Kelly break dancing in his iconic SINGIN IN THE RAIN routine over the new Volkswagen Golf GTI, was given the digital treatment by Moving Picture Co. The BMP DDB :60 spot, directed by NE-O at Stink, originally aired in the U.K. in late January.
To illustrate The Original, Updated theme, the filmmakers re-created the iconic dance sequence from SINGIN IN THE RAIN (1952) and offered up a digitally doctored Kelly skipping merrily through the drops, but this time he's break dancing
MPC was involved in the project from the outset. Vfx supervisor Alex Lovejoy attended the shoot at Shepperton Studios where rough composites of the Kelly shots were created. This was in order to double check that the camera moves in the action being shot and the digital version to be re-created matched. At the same time, clean plates of the background were shot, again roughly following the same camera moves to facilitate the removal of the dancers heads.
Back at the facility, MPC had the tough job of bringing Kelly back to life; the first step was to source an HD resolution version of SINGIN IN THE RAIN. Christophe Allender in inferno, then edited the shots of Kelly in the original sequence -- a particularly complicated process as some sequences are 15 seconds long and in certain cases his head had to be reversed, frame-cut and morphed together to match the dancers moves. The head was then cut out and stabilized from the film before being tracked back onto the dancers bodies.
Finishing touches were added to give atmosphere to the shots. These include the re-creation and movement of Kellys shirt collar and tie. Additional rain and specific water droplets were added to emulate the original film sequence.
MPC Credits:* Post Producer: Graham Bird* Lead Inferno Artists: Christophe Allender, Alex Lovejoy,* Inferno Artists: Nico Cotta, Ziggy Zigouras, Dan Sanders, Darren Christie, Eileen Chang* Combustion Artists: Giuliano Cavalli, Daniel Adams.Telecine: Jean-Clement Soret
London-based MPC (www.moving-picture.com), recently acquired by Thomson, is currently working on a raft of visual effects projects, including being the sole vfx facility on two stop-motion features, DreamWorks Pictures/Aardman Features 2005 release THE WALLACE AND GROMIT MOVIE: CURSE OF THE WERERABBIT and Tim Burtons THE CORPSE BRIDE. MPC is also lead effects house for Burton's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and Ridley Scott's KINGDOM OF HEAVEN along with supplying a number of sequences for BATMAN BEGINS and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.