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Sophie Gateau & Paranoid US: “White” for LG and LIGHTS

Simple is beautiful. In Lights, Paranoid US and new SF-based agency, DOJO, keeps it simple and retells the classic story of boy meets girl. With director Sophie Gateau at the helm, the piece dually functions as an advert for LG and a music video —similarly named— for electropop artist, LIGHTS.

At the heart of it, the piece is a canny take on an old story —fancying a straightforward approach to create something elaborate, yet deceptively simple. Technically, the piece is exquisitely executed —so well that, on multiple viewings— the animated images appear to be the result of practical effects. The kicker is that it wasn’t. In a most spectacular display of CG stagecraft, Gateau, with a background in CG and motion graphics, utilized her skillset to the utmost degree. To sum it up:

“Utilizing motion control to shoot the available 45 pre-production models , Sophie shot twenty passes–moving the phones along in each pass. The Paranoid Design Studio team then assembled the passes, tracked animated characters and environmental drawings, and composited them into the scenes.”

Posted on 31 August 2010 |

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17 thoughts on “Sophie Gateau & Paranoid US: “White” for LG and LIGHTS

  1. Nice piece….the music could be better. The film sometimes gets a bit boring.

    • I agree. Seems to suffer from moving along too slowly.
      I also don’t understand the use of motion control for this spot. It doesn’t look like it gained anything from shooting the actual phones. Might have been easier to create the entire spot in CG with exception of the beginning and end(even that could have been done also).

  2. Epic fail. To me this was a very stale spot. Why all the money for motion control. No reason. It grabbed me in the first few seconds then quickly lost me thereafter. Surely 98% of the world is less likely to like this than me, a fan of all things advertising.

    I wanted to like it. But I don’t understand how this made headlines. Even the transition at the end was cheap.

  3. It’s not often i feel compelled to leave a comment… but for this one i will make an exception.
    This piece is a rather technically challenging spot to make (20 pass motion control etc) but the technical side of the process is pointless when the story and music are so underwhelming.
    This spot had so much potential to be amazing, but, as in so may cases the technical process of making the spot receives more thought than the story itself.

    • Could have been done with stills in AE (one 2D plane, lol) for at most $3000-$5000. And considering it had so much potential, and turned out like this, it didn’t even deserve a side bar mention. It’s truly one of the biggest failures I’ve seen for that kind of money.

      This strikes me as one of those, “you go girl” type of pr moves. lol

      Next on here… got an epic title design by curious pictures, truly brilliant…on the sidebar. I give up. Goodbye cruel world. Hahahaha! Just kidding.

  4. The concept & the product feel a bit dated, no? Showing off the pixel LED grid array on the shell of the phone in an age of HD movies playing on our next-gen touch screen phones? Did that feel a bit strange?

    The motion control thing seems like it was an unsavvy client/agency insisting on the actual handset models being filmed instead of going full CG. But… I’m just guessing… I mean, who am I? Not landing LG directing contracts.

    • Motion control is a great way to Make The Budget Bigger, which is similar to the other common agency request to “Make The Logo Bigger”. Agencies like big things.

      I also like big budgets, but not so much big logos… or motion control.

  5. I agree, this is not front page worthy, sorry Brandon. There we have Buck’s piece in the Quickies but this is a full feature? What gives?

    I don’t see how this is technically or conceptually anything great. It feels rather dated.

    Oh and that was motion-control? You might have as well used a grid of photographs I don’t see the difference.

  6. Its just me or there’s a little mismatch on the compositing? sometimes it feels like the animation is sliding a bit… wierd. It could be the compression on vimeo though…

  7. it could have been better,

    also i agree with the rest there is no need for motion control… you just need one phone high res still, and a decent ae artist and you could have done that very easily… it would have look a bit cooler if some of the objects had depth to it. By making the screens like windows into a pixel world… i think more could be done to make it cooler… for sure i dont think it deserves a front post…

  8. This was on the front page of stash too, I don’t understand the favoritism for a spot like this, is it because of the director, the process? Seems like way more trouble than it’s worth. Motion control – why??? Could have easily been done in 2d….

    Just barely quickies-worthy.

  9. I guess I’m the only one who like this piece. It’s so simple and relaxing. It’s not ground breaking in anyway, but I don’t think it has to be in order to be good or “front page material”.

    I can’t believe people went gaga over the CGI movie last year that feature monsters eating two main character and then end. One of them was on the oil rig, and the other was in the forest. And they praised those, which has no concept what so ever other than showing CG animation ability and mindless violence. This one it lacks anything innovative from the technical stand point, and it’s not even original but the minimalistic charm had me. It tells a cliche love story that everyone experienced, with a cute little pixel graphic that illustrate the very simple story. The song is not something I would listen to in a car, but it fits this cute little piece.

    • If I recall people did criticize the Nathan Love short as well for lack of content or narrative.

  10. Agreed with most above. In an industry where budgets are getting tighter and tighter and creative expectations are elevating faster than ever, why on earth would a “community-driven” blog praise such excess.

    And really, at the end of the day, I don’t care about your process. I’m seeing the end result. Involve me in the process (read: give me the money) and I’ll be interested in what you did on the shoot day and for 3 weeks in the studio. We’ve all done moco, 3d, 2d and the like. With all that money going into motion control there I’d really expect more dynamic moves and a better overall production.

    Shame on you guys for praising this mediocre work and seemingly arbitrarily not featuring or sidelining alot of great work that had great results from start to completion.

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