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New Sprite High Def Spot Splashes on Bigscreen

With captivating, contemporary imagery, eye-popping colors and an irresistible dance mix, Coca Cola's SPRITE REMIX high-definition spot recently spashed onto movie screens nationwide. Finished in 1080/24p by PostWorks New York, SPRITE REMIX is the creative vision of Ogilvy Mindshare, New York, to promote the new Sprite Remix tropical fruit flavored soft drink.

Targeting teens and 20-somethings, the 60-second spot features hip-hop artist Biz Markee spinning records back and forth on a turntable for effect. Behind him are multiple monitor walls filled with dynamic, trendy, artistic video displays. Adding to the spot's visual an array of stock footage, including an Elvis Impersonator, Puff Daddy, Magic Johnson, Mohammed Ali and a dancing Suma wrestler-edited in a quick pace "flutter cut" style.

"The challenge for us was mixing and matching video from a variety of formats, frame rates and aspect ratios into one spot that would be visually flawless when projected onto a widescreen," says Peter Heady, PostWorks HD editor. "This meant scrutinizing every frame and making countless tweaks for a very clean presentation."

Ironically, once the video was technically pristine, Heady did subsequent passes during which he added dirt and film grain to give the stock footage an antique look as well as scan lines on the video images he composited into the monitors on the wall behind Biz Markee.

While the HD cinema spot was based on the same footage and graphics formerly edited for two 30-second TV spots by Rana Martin of Lost Planet Editorial, PostWorks technical team, including vp of operations Tim Spitzer and post supervisor Aimee Marks, pushed the creative concept much further.

"Since we had been given the creative rough cuts and high-resolution graphics used for the two TV spots, putting the HD Cinema version together should have been a very straight-forward process. But because the clients wanted to explore creative possibilities, and push the envelope for the cinema version, much of what we did was actually created from scratch," says Heady.

The post-production called for transforming standard definition footage output from a telecine, as well as existing graphics in 1020x1080 resolution stored sequentially as tiffs on a removable hard drive, into 1080/24p. These visual ingredients were poured into PostWorks' Quantel IQ workstation, where the field transitions finessed the 3:2 pull down resulting from the conversion of 30-fps video to the filmic frame rate of 24-fps.

The HD Cinema version also involved extensive graphics and effects compositing work, including rotoscoping, matte work, logo removal and color correction, all of which was done in the IQ. For one sequence featuring a musician smashing a guitar on a stage-Heady used IQ's toolbox to add a soft haze and defocused the background so that viewers wouldn't see that the auditorium seats were empty. He also used bluescreen and greenscreen keying to composite video images into dozens of monitors on multiple video monitor displays, then added scan lines for a credible video effect.

While most of the graphics compositing was done in IQ, Heady also used special plug-in software associated with Discreet's inferno visual effects compositing system to age 1950s film reel clips by adding dirt, scratches and film grain. Brian Benson served as inferno artist.

After the finished HD Cinema spot was output from the IQ onto Panasonic HD-D5 tape, it was then input into a Laser Graphics film recorder and recorded onto 35mm film in both the 185:1 and 235:1 formats for theatrical release.

Led by CEO Billy Baldwin, PostWorks New York is a comprehensive, full-service post-production house specializing in high-def finishing, offline/online editorial; visual effects compositing; 2D and 3D CGI; DVD authoring and audio post production, including 5.1. surround sound for broadcast, feature film and multimedia. The company's senior management includes cfo Robert E. DeMartin Jr., director of sales Anne Bakoulis and Spitzer.

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Rick DeMott
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