LOS ANGELES — Mirada Studios was honored with a Moonman for "Best Visual Effects" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards held recently at Brooklyn's Barclays Center for its work on Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound" music video.
Directed by MTh's Grady Hall, Mirada Creative Director Jonathan Wu executed visual effects and postproduction for the almost four-minute video that was envisioned by Hall as a vibrant celebratory mash-up of wildly different dance styles.
Wu said, "This is definitely a team win and could not have been done without the involvement of every single artist on the credit list. The production was run-and-gun with a fast turnaround so we handpicked the best of the best. Each shot features VFX and our team effectively and efficiently stayed true to the era, telling an interesting and artistic story that came together quite nicely."
Filmed entirely in the historic Los Angeles Theater, singers Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian kick off the dance party in the "Safe and Sound" video with Fred Astaire-inspired moves that trigger an influx of other dancers and props from varying eras. Acclaimed choreographer Mandy Moore worked with over 70 dancers to create more than 40 unique dance sequences that each capture a precise historical time and style.
For the video's postproduction wizardry, Wu guided a small team of Mirada compositors through more than 80 visual effects shots, including head replacements, complex animations, stock footage integration, transformations, and retro-inspired visual effects and color treatments ranging from black and white silent film influences to psychedelic visuals. Tools used include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Affect Effects with various plug-ins, The Foundry's NUKE, Autodesk Flame and Adobe Final Cut Pro. An immense amount of rotoscoping and tracking was also needed for the articulate integration work for this style of visual effects artistry.
In addition to Mirada's VFX and Hall's guidance, the music video for the chart-topping single off Capital Cities' albumA Tidal Wave of Mystery was created with help from Danny Lockwood, Capitol Music Group SVP. To see the full video for "Safe and Sound", visit: