We both have never utilized a tool like this before, so we weren’t entirely sure if it would translate on the day. That fear changed immediately when the setup time was diminished at least by half, and the execution of the look was almost exact.
Cinematography Database: How did the Warrior Song project come together and what was the initial visual concept?
West Webb: The artist wanted to bring a little bit of Marvel’s Black Panther into the piece, so we tried to achieve a visual piece that didn’t necessarily mimc anything we had seen in the trailers.
We wanted to create something that granted a powerful feeling that would attribute to Alex Boye’s voice and movements. This was my first time working with Justin Key, former creative director at Big Machine Records. The initial project was a contest held by Hard Rock Cafe. Alex Boye’s “Warrior Song” won the competition, thus giving him a music video.
CD: What was the pre production process like with Cine Designer?
WW: I had been watching your tutorials for a few months off and on, dreaming of what it would be like to pre visualize a project. I always feared C4D for some reason, but when I finally decided to make the jump I found that it was far easier than I could have ever expected. I went back to the beginning of the tutorials and just followed along.
CD: Did you share the renders with the director and artist?
WW: I shared the renderings immediately with the Director who was surprised to see a representation of what the day could look like. We both have never utilized a tool like this before, so we weren’t entirely sure if it would translate on the day. That fear changed immediately when the setup time was diminished at least by half, and the execution of the look was almost exact. The renderings got the artist even more excited, and we felt a sort of accomplishment before we even started filming.
What camera, lenses, and lights did you use for the main performance?
WW: We used the Alexa Mini with Cooke Anamorphics. I was very fortunate to shoot with that package because that combination is extremely powerful and rewarding. I knew the equipment list, which consisted of 10 Quasars, a jem ball, 2 source four’s, and a standard 3 ton grip package including a Fisher 10. We were limited in terms of lighting, but were prepared because of cine designer. I knew what we were walking into.
CD: Did you share the renders with the crew on the shoot day?
WW: I sent the gaffer my renderings a couple days before the shoot and he called me praising the technology. He was super excited to work together, and was really impressed with a visualization. The crew was sourced from our studio location in Miami, so I had no way of knowing what it would be like to work with these guys.
In the space, my 1st AC set up monitor and I had it facing my G&E team as we set up the quasars. Each crew member on my team had the images of the renderings on their phones, and with the monitor and camera position in place it doubled or tripled the speed it would have normally taken to execute that setup. We only had a gaffer, key grip, and a swing.
CD: How long did it take you to learn Cine Designer and make your first renders?
WW: I started late November and had my first renderings done by the first week of December. The shoot was on December 7th, so it didn’t take long l for me to catch on. I watched about 20 tutorials and then decided to go rogue for a bit and attempt my first design. I knew most of the dimensions of the studio, and with your suggestions was able to find an appropriate 3D object of a throne.
I knew I wanted to have a character represent Alex Boye, so I watched the Adobe fuse tutorial and was pleasantly surprised to find how simple it was to create a character and bring them into C4D. Once I had all of the physical objects in there I brought in the quasars and the other elements in my lighting package. The design just sort of came to me immediately. I was realizing I could solve so many issues in the program that I might stumble onto on the actual filming day.
For instance, I realized the placement of my jem ball needed to be a little bit further in front and angled at a certain degree to get the specific look I was desiring. If I hadn’t discovered that in Cine Designer (which requires no physical labor other than moving my hand on the mouse haha), I would have realized my mistake which would have wasted time.
CD: Where can people find you and your work online?
WW: I moved to Los Angeles last summer and just started my own company, Legacy Content.
You can find my work at www.westwebbfilms.com / www.legacycontent.com