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Artist owned and operated, bi-coastal effects boutique Brickyard VFX recently completed compositing, color grading, and CG work on a new spot for Sprint's webOS Palm Pixi - a smartphone that falls squarely into the 'for fun' camp. Titled "Pass the Pixi," the spot was directed by the Snorri Brothers of The Cartel for agency Modernista! and first aired November 17 in North America.
Set to Passion Pit's "Little Secrets" track, the spot sets a sunny, high-energy vibe where the Pixi is the center of the social universe. The sleek device holds center screen throughout and is shot from the user's perspective, instantly changing its function and look to serve each hipster who grasps and shares it. The motion is continual and perfectly beat-timed, as the Pixi rotates, orients vertically and horizontally, and flips between personalized cases, cheerfully adapting to each user's fancy. Texting, watching video, making calls, sharing photos, navigating with a GPS - there's no mistaking that the Pixi is a device to be enjoyed. There's not a briefcase in sight.
To keep the action focused on the Pixi, the spot was shot with the device tethered into place by a rig, with the actors shot from the point of view of the current user, at the same time. While this approach helped the Snorri Brothers create a highly personal perspective, it also left them with some fairly complex rig removal challenges.
It was there that Brickyard lent its handiwork. Since the Pixi was at the center of every shot, so was the rig. Removing it, however, meant that parts of the hands holding the Pixi, which were shown front and center, would need to be recreated for many shots. Brickyard VFX Supervisor Geoff McAuliffe and his team used reference photos and shot HD footage of hands to re-create seamlessly.