The Nokia project is called "Skyway" which actually refers to the handsets and OS together. The original treatment was to get in close to the phones and film them at a macro-level to bring focus onto the details and individual features of the handsets. I was tasked with an initial six films and a further film to follow on focussing on the Symbian Anna OS update. It was immediately apparent that we would have to complete this job in 3D as it was the best way to get in really close to the handsets whilst keeping the camera movement completely smooth. An aside of this is that the macro-look tends to have a very shallow depth of field which I thought looked really nice. I got to work on a 3D handset and started on the Look-Development work (LookDev), to set the style and get an idea of the kind of overall look and feel we were going for.
This was a promising start but the colours seemed a bit too cool as I wanted the films to have a "techy-but-warm" feel to them and I thought the cooler colours were a bit harsh. At the same time, we were scouting locations for a seperate live-action shoot where we would be shooting assets to use as content on the phone's screens, so I took my camera kit along to the reccee's and grabbed a few HDRI's to use in the next phase of LookDev.
The a live action shoot was used to populate the phones and tell us the story of a group of friends attending a moving-in get-together. The intention was to use this event across the six different handset films to showcase features of the phone suchas messaging, social media and the camera where we would see the back-and-forth communications of the friends after they had left the party, sharing photos and such. This content was also being used in a further 24 user-experience films we were scheduled to do, but due to them being cancelled this content only appears briefly in the Skyway films. However, it was re-purposed in other Nokia promotional material and I've seen these characters popping up all over the place in Nokia advertising.
The shoot itself was a single day working with six actors in an appartment location in East London. The script called for a group of six friends that were converging on one of their number's new apartment for a moving-in get-together. We only had a day to shoot everything and to help everybody loosen up and get to know each other I got a pair of pug dogs in to provide an initial focus for everybody. We then worked through five setups that would give us a range of imagery throughout the location and give the impression that the get-together lasted into the evening. Having the pugs on-set worked out great as the performers would play with the dogs between setups which gave us a nicely consistent energy throught the day. It didn't hurt that the client attending the shoot was a dog lover too.
We partnered up with Soho based Rushes Post-Production for our final CG rendered sequences. Their brief was driven by animatic sequences I created in Maya so everything was tightly specced out ahead of time with place-holder assets including a temp mood soundtrack and voice-over for timings. This was then replaced by a final voice-over session recorded at Angel Sound and music composed by Resonate. The films were all finished at 720p and used by Nokia to promote the Skyway launch including the new handsets.