a52, Primary, and Rock Paper Scissors Collaborate on the Microsoft Mesh Campaign
One of the many revelations born out of the events of the past year has been the significance of human-to-human connection. The impact of not having regular exchanges revealed itself in many ways across the world. Whether it was the lost hands-on collaboration on a work project, the loss of casual conversations with check-out clerks or neighbors, or the loss of communing with loved ones during the holidays, what became crystal clear is that we perform and feel better when we are connected.
Simultaneously, continuing advancements in Augmented Reality (AR) technology are facilitating remote connections and collaborations with immediacy and ease. Microsoft Mesh is one such technology that is innovating in this space by powering holographic experiences, therefore allowing people to connect in real time, no matter where they are physically located.
The performance of Microsoft Mesh is illustrated in a new campaign directed by Mindcastle, produced by Sanctuary, with VFX by a52, color by Primary’s Daniel de Vue, and editorial by Rock Paper Scissors’ Ted Guard. As colorist Daniel de Vue described, “A major benefit of having all the post work done under one roof is the flexibility and communication you can have at the earliest stages in the process. The earlier color, editorial, and VFX artists can share and access knowledge about a project, the stronger it will be.”
As a52 was uniquely tasked with conveying technology that typically can only be seen through the lens of Mesh, their runway into this project involved a close collaboration with both Mindcastle and the Creative Directors from Microsoft. Striking a balance between product realism – a key objective of the client – and emotive, filmic storytelling required finding synergy between the human element and the power of the technology.
The VFX design process was akin to product development – armed with Mesh products at home, the a52 artists broke down the how before rebuilding it in the CGI world. In pursuit of a tangibility to the VFX, phrases such as ‘depth, volume, imperfections and made-of-light’ were mentioned throughout the design process. Once a base look for each particular style of hologram was designed, it was refined and tweaked for each scenario within the spot. It was important to seamlessly integrate the VFX in a way that felt both observational and fluid.
In the spirit of a true collaboration, all parties banded together to craft a film that feels like the viewer is catching a glimpse of a human interaction in a newer, more connected world.