David Bowie - Sound And Vision
David Bowie Is, the first massive retrospective of the pop star David Bowie is currently being shown at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona. The exhibition, curated by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, explores the creative processes of David Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades.
On the occasion of the exhibition, curators invited the Catalan collective CANADA to direct and film a short film tribute to the artists’ legacy. They received one requirement only, Barcelona and David Bowie should be somehow related. This connection was achieved and it is not unique. Several characters and elements are related in this oneiric creation, that Glassworks Barcelona had the pleasure to post produce.
A multilingual dialogue, an enigmatic atmosphere, and an unusual scenario end up in a piece riddled with subtle references to Bowie’s work. An oblique and delicate approach, where nothing is coincidental and where all the elements dance to the rhythm of “Sound and Vision”.
With the intention of setting this rhythm, Glassworks Barcelona prepared an animatic which defined with accuracy the shooting times, to be able to adjust with higher precision the speed of the elements that would be added in 3D with the camera movements. Several style frames created at the begging of the project were also very useful to detect possible optimizations, such as the shots looked better if a soft illumination was applied. Additionally, during the shooting, an HDRI capture was done for each shot, in order to get a better light integration.
The piece was filmed in 35 mm. The use of this classic format provides a very special texture, but it adds complexity to the process because the film must be developed and scanned before starting the post-production. Afterwards, grain and out of focus were superimposed to 3D elements to intensify the analogical look. The project was done in anamorphic format, which was an extra challenge to camera tracking.
“Don’t you wonder sometimes, about sound and vision?” ask the protagonists. And a connection of ambiguous metaphorical parallelisms is unleashed. The electric blue wool, akin to the girl’s hair, and the pink gum that the boy stuck in the counter. 3D elements which start a labyrinthic choreography, in-between corridors filled with household goods and a galaxy of pearls, to finally meet. A rig was created to generate the wool and it helped to command its wavy movement in an easier and more automatic way. The gum was also simulated, so its behavior could be more realistic, and a special set up was done to control the pearls flotation.
The aesthetic composition of each shot was meticulously supervised, looking after every detail, harmonizing the gift of sound and vision. The final result is a story that gives off equally fantasy and everyday nature, capable of bringing together apparently opposite worlds.