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Guava Brings Frank Sinatra Back to Radio City Music Hall

Visual effects house Guava has been enlisted by Radio City Entertainment to bring legendary singer/actor Frank Sinatra back to the Radio City Music hall stage in a multi-media event entitled SINATRA: HIS VOICE. HIS WORLD. HIS WAY. This project is the first time that Sinatra Enterprises has approved the exclusive and unrestricted use of Sinatra footage to a single entity outside the family. The stage show was constructed from never-before-seen video footage and home videos as well as 35mm images from classic television and film appearances. The live multi-media theatrical presentation will be projected onto a complex array of onstage screens, accompanied by a fully choreographed, live production, including a 40-piece orchestra, gospel choir and dance elements.

We will be combining individual technological elements that have never been used collectively on a single production, said Guava visual effects artist Alex Catchpoole. Rather than taking old footage and projecting it like a film, Batwin + Robin -- the production company on SINATRA -- wanted to bring Frank Sinatra and the projections to life, giving it a 3D contextual feel. They decided that isolating Sinatra from the film background would be very effective. This painstakingly technical approach, known as rotoscoping allows us to restore and manually erase the filmed backgrounds on a vast amount of material. We will then be able to use his image more fluidly, and fill in the background with whatever background we choose to create a more dramatic and personal effect.

Visual effects exec producer Mary Joy Lu said, While it is common for long form work to be done on the west coast, it was very important to Guava that a project involving Frank Sinatra and Radio City Music Hall -- two New York City icons -- stay in New York. To do that, we built a team of artists with a background in feature films to create and enhance the high resolution imagery.

Guava received raw scans in 2K then imported them into Apple's Shake and Pinnacle's Commotion. It then re-formatted the 2K files to HD, using Discreets flame.

Guavas team also included vfx technical supervisor Ari Zohar Klingman, lead vfx artist Manuel Gonzalez, production coordinator Philip Tavares and rotoscope artists John-Michael J Bills, Jan Cilliers, Michael Eder, Ray Lewis, Dan Rubin, Brian Spector, Chris Halstead and Noor Kirdar. Working for production house Batwin + Robin were creative director Linda Batwin and producers Simon Egleton and Kathleen Keresy. Directing the project for Radio City Entertainment was Des McAnuff. Josh Rosenblum served as exec producer with Robert Brill as set designer. The event will start its run in October 2003.

Guava is a visual effects company based in New York City. Guava's visual effects artists also include Amber Wilson and Greg Cutler. For more information visit

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