LANDMARK was our first serious short film. It was entirely created in our offices, conceived as a non-commercial Project and we needed to preserve an Indie approach since we didn´t want to have any artistic limitation. We would be our own clients.
We had some big limitations such as time and money. The project had to be done in spare time and we don´t have too much of that (believe me). Regarding money, the expenses of the Project should be 0 (or around zero) since we were not going to be paid at all for this.
What we wanted to achieve with LANDMARK? Basically bringing a cinematographic experience to architectural animation…
We at Beauty and The Bit are obsessed with cinema. We love the cinematographic language and the deep storytelling we can find at it. We thought…what if we try to bring that strong storytelling to architectural animation?, what if we conceive a short film which could be the teaser of a movie…but at the same time that spoke of architecture….?
We tried to bring these elements from cinema to LANDMARK. Tried to implement that smart composition element, color language and a strong storyline that we can find in good movies.
LANDMARK preproduction phase was really decisive as in any other creative process.
This is the most important moment of the whole experience.
It is where you define what is going to be, it is when you dream out the project, so if you work hard at this point you can craft something splendid or you can completely ruin it.
LANDMARK has 3 main characters we could say and all of them have the same importance to us: Architecture, Landscape & the main Character himself.
Architecture was a main character on the movie so we needed to design something that was suitable to our needs.
We started investigating in some rough shapes, we wanted something imposing and edgy. We came across some brutalist architecture. Really essentialist in terms of shape and also with a really big scale. We wanted to avoid friendly architecture and go towards a more threatening proposal. Something dared and not so politically correct in these days we live in.
For the Environment we made a lot of research and we wanted something that was recognizable as a real place on earth, since even the film is quite dreamy and atmospheric we didn´t want to go excessively SciFi.
We also needed to emphasize the sense of scale, it had to be a really extensive landscape which transmitted a sense of isolation.
It had to convey at the same time a notion of calmness but also of solitude and melancholy.
We imagined something rocky, sharp and edgy, something aligned with the building design, something full of edges and unpolished.
We wanted also something very specific for the color palette, something really neutral in color.
This inevitably led us to a place on earth that can convey all these emotions and it was Iceland.
I won´t go too far regarding the technical resolution for the film, but generally we tried to use our common sense and as in big cinema productions approach we tried to trick the eye as much as possible and not overdoing production unnecessarily. It was completely nonsense for long shots to replicate everything in CG since we didn’t have the time and obviously matte painting and camera projecting them was quite easier and more effective. Obviously comping and adding atmospherics to these shots helped a lot giving varnish to everything.
Regarding Post-Production we preferred the raw renders pretty flat in terms of effects, that were treated in post since you can save lots of time and provides you with more flexibility and also the possibility of changing things much faster.
We made normally a first color correction but afterwards it was graded in the final edition. In that grading phase the goal is to glue all together with similar values in terms of contrast and also color to make it look more homogeneous so you feel that all belongs to the same movie.
As a wrap up I have to say LANDMARK has been an incredible ride which made us grow as artists and that it has deserved every minute invested on it. In fact it has already given its fruits and Beauty and The Bit is already collaborating in new and exciting projects to be announced soon.
Thanks for listening.