Images courtesy of MPC

MPC emptied London to "Get Closer" with Bose

Flame Artist Bruno Fukumothi shares his story


"Immediately, when I became involved with 'Get Closer',
I knew there'd be a lot of work involved."

MPC Flame artist, Bruno Fukumothi, shares the story of how Flame helped MPC London effectively empty London's busiest locales for an intimate-feeling spot for Grey London and Bose.



Every great project starts with a risky decision, and director Jaron Albertin together with Grey London and Bose, were so brave in deciding to shoot Get Closer on film. It was, ironically, a breath of fresh air in a world where we are so accustomed to digital cameras. Definitely, it’s the 35mm that makes this piece feel extra special.



Immediately, when I became involved with Get Closer, I knew there'd be a lot of work involved. Jaron intended to shoot Maeva, the amazing dancer in the spot, in iconic places like London’s Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and in Soho – unpredictable, busy locations that literally never stop, and are crowded 24/7. So this was definitely our first challenge.


Because we’re not used to seeing those parts of London empty – ever! – any kind of work would have to be revisited several times. The first step was to do the main cleanup of people, cars, and anything that was moving or distracting in the shot. Then after, we started to introduce subtle elements to give the city life, like changing traffic lights, flying birds, moving escalators, animated graphics on the Piccadilly LED display, et cetera.


A lot was done to give the natural impression that Maeva was actually dancing in a deserted London. Because MPC London is located in the heart of Soho, it was actually really convenient to go to the actual location to shoot for reference stills. For example, on the shot that Maeva is sitting on the pavement in the beginning of the ad, all shops were closed but we felt that it would look more interesting to have them open. We made a trip to that same street before starting our work to get the reference shots we needed and stitched them later. A matte paint was also built for this shot.


After that work was done, it was time to start populating London even further. The shot that follows the packshot was done with a combination of several plates that when combined, made an even more impactful transition between a calm and hectic London.



As the schedule was really tight and there was quite a lot to go through, we took full advantage of our global MPC team to optimize the project. Flame played an important role in much of the work we shared. First, because it’s a robust management tool, Flame made it easy to confirm and publish our shots, and to create folders to be synced with other offices. Then, taking advantage of an open CLIP pipeline, Flame proved perfect for showing our clients different options, and for keeping track of previous versions if we needed to go back to any – and boy, did we!


We had a lot of fun using Flame as a creative tool, creating content, graphics, and light trails. We used a combination of Matchbox, Particles, Recursive Ops, and Atomize to put in the Picadilly LED screens. Flame was incredibly fast and it was so impressive to be able to build something from scratch, then comp on the shot, without the need for additional graphics software.



It was quite amazing to see the day-to-day progression of the work on Get Closer, and then to look back at the first offline to see how far we’d come to arrive at the final spot. This project was such a fantastic, collaborative experience, and everything just works: the concept is so simple and so good, the soundtrack is fantastic – and the VFX are beautifully invisible.


Thank you to 'Create Amazing' featured Flame artist,
Bruno Fukumothi of MPC for sharing his story with us. Enjoy the final spot below:


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1 Comment
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Gabriel Netto | 8 months ago
wow! cool!