Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The making of Metamorphose

Artistic and innovative hairdresser Sean Hanna needed two cool and unusual video sequences to introduce its fashion show in Paris, where the company was recently promoting its latest hair designs.

The theme for the show, titled Metamorphose, drew inspiration from Blade Runner and, as such, the video needed to set a futuristic scene. Split into two parts, part one introduces the model before she steps out onto the catwalk, whilst the second part is shown half way through the show, as the model reappears after going backstage for a complete transformation.

We met with Skyler McDonald, Sean Hanna’s creative director, to define a brief which in the early stages was fairly loose, with the simple idea of using a black and white, sparse look. We knew that both sequences would be reliant on the exact footage we could achieve in the studio shoot, so it was difficult to story-board before this was done. To give us a better idea of what we were aiming for and to achieve something both striking and unusual that would also complement the show, we created a couple of test animations. The first basic test animation, which formed the basis for the video shoot, featured black and white tones combined with a flowing, almost hypnotic, ink-in-water effect to represent the flowing hair.

In the second test animation we experimented with the use of slow motion to create a much slower, more graceful look – essentially going for a stylised ‘bond title sequence’ effect. Sadly, however, we couldn’t quite persuade Sean Hanna to include an Aston Martin in the shoot.

Ben, our head of digital, went along to help art direct the video shoot, which involved a model in vertiginous heels walking on a specially created green treadmill swishing her arms and glowering into the camera – definitely a first for him.

Once the shoot was complete, we then keyed out each video sequence in turn – the fine hair and other details such as rivets in the model's hair along with her flowing dress – presented the biggest technical problems to isolate from the green screen background. From these sequences we then created the two video sequences using Adobe AfterEffects to achieve the unique look we wanted.

Through the initial test animations we decided to expand on the original visual look by adding a little more more 'narrative' to both pieces. Whilst each features the drifting 'ink-in-water' motif, part one has a much darker and more confined feel to illustrate the more ‘bound-up’, industrial hair style. Part two, however, introduces a brighter tone with more vivid colours and conveys an ‘explosion’ of freedom and creativity as the hair is set free.

The show (including the two videos) received a standing ovation in Paris and will be repeated at KOKO in London, October 2012. Both Skyler and Sean Hanna were thrilled with the final result.

Skyler McDonald, Creative Director for seanhanna, said:

"We discussed our project with a number of people before we chose to work with “To The Point”. I have worked with them previously on a number of print and graphic projects but never on digital media, so to be honest, was a little apprehensive. I was looking for someone who would really try and understand the ideas that I had in my head and the videos needed to integrate into a live presentation in our show. 

After a very positive initial meeting to discuss the project in loose terms, we got together for a creative ‘think tank’. Both Simon and Ben brought a lot to the table and out of all the other people we spoke to, I felt that they really understood what I was trying to achieve. Ben worked with us on the day of the shoot and again, his expertise helped save us time and money. The final results were outstanding."

You can watch the final videos here:
(click the 'expand' icon to the right of the player to go full-screen):

Metamorphose – part 1

Metamorphose – part 2

You can also see an interview with Skyler about the Metamorphosis show here which includes clips from the show itself.

To find out more about seanhanna salons, visit their website

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