The 14-second animation will represent RatPac Entertainment in front of the entire Warner Bros. film slate over the next three to four years and will introduce each of the company's own heavy-hitting independent films as well (such as Russell Crowe's directorial debut: The Water Diviner).
Howard Nourmand (Grand Jeté's executive creative director, Emmy-nominated motion graphic designer and frequent Oliver Stone & Lena Dunham collaborator), considers himself a contemporary artist, but his canvas is not one that people typically think of. Like all great works of art, inspiration for the opening sequence was drawn from a wide spectrum of visual references; imagery was sourced from books, films, and installation art. The concept of projected light and the way it was used was drawn from the work of Anthony McCall and the early computer-generated work done by the legendary designers Robert Abel and Richard Greenberg. The two monolithic shapes serve as metaphors to illustrate Brett Ratner and James Packer and what happens when two very different and dynamic pieces are put together. They tumble through the universe independently of one another, but when they align, there is electricity.
Most audiences do not understand the vast amount of man-hours that go into creating those short iconic sequences that debut with each of our favorite films. Nourmand gives us a sneak peek into the behind- the-scenes process that creates such recognizable art: "This film sequence symbolizes an enormous merger [and] everyone in the industry knew that Brett [Ratner] had sought out the best of the best to pitch against each other. The competition was intense and it added pressure, but it was also very motivating. I didn't want to be punished every time I went to the movies and saw my failed attempt at something great."
The creation of this animation was a unique opportunity within the motion graphics industry to do something lasting on a worldwide stage. Ratner conducted an exhaustive search through all of the nation's best talent to find the right companies to brand his empire. Grand Jeté's production began with the conception and presentation of over 25 different design directions (along with at least five other top companies). Nourmand's team came out on top to create the final piece, which was inspired from the original logo by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (Natgeo, Mobil, A/X, NBC).
The team's creative process involved practical film tests, countless pencil sketches, and miniature scale modeling. Their digital toolkit included Adobe's Creative Suite, Autodesk's Maya, The Foundry's Nuke, and GenArts' Sapphire. Nourmand oversaw a team of 15 of the world's leading motion graphics artists over a six-month period. The team worked tirelessly to perfect the project by mid-May, accumulating roughly 250 working hours for every second of animation that will be on the big screen. The final film sequence premiered in front of Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt's summer blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow
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