Brewster Parsons creates 'The Kinect Effect'
December 1, 2011

Brewster Parsons creates 'The Kinect Effect'

VENICE, CA — The artists and producers from visual effects studio Brewster Parsons are very proud to detail their contributions to the Kinect for Xbox 360 spots from advertising agency Twofifteenmccann and Anonymous Content director Malcolm Venville.
"The Kinect Effect" debuted on October 31 in :74 and shorter lengths across the U.S. and Europe. The spot will screen in theaters and during high-profile broadcast and cable events throughout the holidays.

"In this film, viewers can see how in its first year, the phenomenal Kinect for Xbox 360 has inspired people to experience the world in new ways," Venville said.  "The clients on this project were great to work with and I enjoyed my collaboration with them and I'm also especially grateful to the creative team for their commitment to this script."  

According to Darcy Parsons, executive producer for Brewster Parsons, the project's creative vision kept growing to embrace the surprising number of applications that scientists, educators, tinkerers and others keep dreaming up.  "From our earliest discussions, the spot evolved into this inspirational film that presents amazing solutions people have discovered using the Kinect," she said.  "The story was refined throughout the filming, editorial and post phases, and we all remained fluid and open to all the new ideas this unique project inspired."

Standing behind the campaign for Twofifteenmccann are chief creative officer Scott Duchon, creative directors Paul Caiozzo and James Robinson, art director Nik Daum, copywriter Neil Bruce, director of integrated production Tom Wright and senior producers Mai Huynh and Colleen Wellman, among many others.  To capture live-action footage of actors in hospital, classroom, auditorium and other settings, Venville, producer Mark Hall, director of photography Richard Henkels and their crew traveled to the Czech Republic.  Also on the location team that worked through production services company Stillking Prague was Brewster Parsons VFX supervisor Simon Scott, who shared many insights into the project's production and post-production workflow.

"We pride ourselves on the craft of commercial filmmaking, and being intimately involved with this project early on allowed us to really contribute in a meaningful way," he began.  "By planning, prevising and attending set we could suggest many ways in which to get the best out of each visual effects scene.  This allowed us to develop a shorthand and trust with the agency that helped move the project forward quickly and very efficiently."

On location, the live-action footage was captured on an ARRI Alexa camera system.  For creation of the final picture, the main tool was Autodesk Flame, which served as the hub for conforming DPX files provided by New Hat and colorist Beau Leon in extended range... a trick that provided Simon Scott more latitude for color correction within the compositing process.  "With the lifted blacks we had all the detail, and later this got crushed back to the right levels for broadcast," Scott explained.  "Flare and After Effects were ultimately the main 2D support tools for retouching and matte extraction."  

Together with the director, the DP, the producers and production designer Chris Jones, Scott helped to formulate shrewd production strategies to achieve the all desired storytelling objectives.  As one example, in the hospital setup, a tablet computer fed the monitor with arbitrary images, while off-camera, an assistant matched the doctor's hand movements by scrolling the on-screen image manually.