BLOGS

Celebrating Earth Hour 2016

Lights out at 2030hrs

Gravitate is proud to be part of Earth Hour 2016. The team rolled up our sleeves over the weekend of 19th-20th March to do our part for our planet.  This year, since social media users can promote their commitment to Earth by adding a custom-made Earth Hour filter to their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter, and donate their Facebook feeds to spread climate awareness, we designed the motion graphics to show this in the video.

Together with the team from Earth Hour International we were on standby for clips all over the world streaming in, building the finale video in 4 edit stages.

Of course, we had reinforcements aplenty!

Chris on the 1st edit shift with Producer Chao. In the spirit of Earth Hour at 2030hrs, the edit continues in darkness.

Meanwhile, into the late hours of the night, the Earth Hour International team are busy working in shifts downloading footage for the edit.

The very 1st cut of Earth Hour Video ready for preview at 1 am. We wait with baited breath as Rachel (from the Earth Hour International Team) records it on her phone and sends it for approval.

Chris hands over the edit to Pinky for the 2nd shift.

Pinky edits with Rachel for the 2nd cut to go out at 4am.

Pinky passes the baton to Perri for the 3rd and final edit shift. 

Perri edits the 3rd cut to go out to the media by 9am. Everyone huddles together to lend their pairs of eyes to check the cut as we're all tired by this time.

The 3rd edit is approved! Gravitate and Earth Hour International Team celebrate!

The 4th and final edit goes out at 4pm, 20th March 2016. It was an incredible and meaningful experience for us.

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Deciphering India with Anjan Sundaram

Commissioned by Endo Productions, we designed and worked on the opening sequence and supporting map illustrations for 4-part series "Deciphering India with Anjan Sundaram" which airs on Channel News Asia every Wednesday from 18 May 2016. The programme features award-winning author Anjan Sundaram with his scalpel sharp analysis and disabling humour as he unravels some of the most contentious issues in his birth country India. 

Colour Palette and Treatment

The design for the opening sequence was a combination of motion graphics, graphic elements and pictures relating to topics explored, together with filmed footage from the programme. Taking reference from kinetic maps, we incorporated the colours of the Indian flag to our design with darkened colours of red, orange and yellow. This is so that the lines on the kinetic map can glow and stand out. The map is further textured with roads.

Pop up iconic pictures in the shape of the various states of India give visual support to issues in the programme. To give a sense of exploration via a road trip, point-of-view travel footage was enhanced with passing text highlighting issues.   

Opening Sequence, "Deciphering India with Anjan Sundaram" done by Christopher Malacaman

Gravitate Celebrates @ Apollo Awards 2016

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The Apollo Awards honour people behind the scene for creativity, originality and technical expertise for the craft of storytelling.

We are humbled and honoured to be recognised for our craft in Colour Grading and Visual Effects. Well done Azman, Pinky and Christopher!

Here were the nominations:

And the results @ Apollo Awards 2016:

Big congrats to Colourist Azman Mohamed for nabbing 2 awards!

Colour Grading - Long Form for "Halfwords" -Ep 8

Colour Grading - Short Form for "Cinema"

We look forward to more exciting and meaningful work. Go Team Gravitate!!

More Unforgettable Moments of 2015

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." ― Helen Keller  

We were delighted to collaborate on projects with new clients, agencies and directors.

For a change, the team rolled up our sleeves on-location shoot for both SingTel’s Dash with a Difference TVC and OCBC’s series of Better Banking Experience TVCs. 

Dash with a Difference TVC

Pre-production for Dash TVC kicked off with concurrent casting sessions and location recce with Director Malay Prakash and DOP Lee Cheng Hui. We decided to set the scene in Toa Payoh to reflect the daily hustle and bustle of the heartlands. From the location recce, we got the angles for the story and were quite pleased with how the actual scenes eventually turned out.

Recce vs Actual Shots

Casting

For the story, we were looking for a cute child that could express empathy and the desire to help others. During the casting session, six year old Matthew won our hearts us with his thoughtful and cheeky expressions. 

Casting session with Matthew Lim-Huber

12 year old Zi Yue took on the persona of an unassuming student trying her best to get some donation really well. Look at that sweet innocence in her eyes. 

Casting session with Woo Zi Yue

Karen exuded the warmth of a mother and we thought she’d be perfect for the role.

Casting session with Karen Bee Lin Tan

On-location Shoot

The window of time for all the outdoor scenes was short, as it was the season for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Thankfully, the weather was kind to us, but not without moments of worry.  The sun seemed to be hiding among the clouds all morning, but with some luck, once the sun made his appearance, we were on a roll. Doing a 2-camera shoot was definitely the right decision, which ensured production speed, efficiency and preserved the authenticity of talents’ performance.

As a director, Malay had great rapport with his cast, crew and client. Addressing inputs from the client and connecting well with the cast, motivating them to deliver key takeaways for the scenes.

 

 

 

Team Gravitate was behind the scenes, making things happen in many different ways. We were also on standby as passersby. 

And there was never a dull moment, DOP Lee and team were always on the move with the ever changing demands of shooting in a public space.

Post Production

The story in pictures. Can you spot our cameos?

OCBC Better Banking Experience TVCs

Together with creative agency SOSNaked, we collaborated on a series of TVCs for OCBC, providing post production support. Our team discussed technical challenges with Director Jordan Quellman and DOP Lim Teck Siang, and did pre-production split compositing test shots to ensure we supported and delivered the director’s vision in effective storytelling.

On-location Shoot

Visually, the project was interesting with Michelle Chong playing all the roles in all the scenes. Our team was on-location to put together the scenes and give technical support for split compositing. 

Michelle gave stellar performances, acting against herself!

Michelle Chong as the air stewardess and pilot in OCBC OneTouch TVC

Michelle Chong as the air stewardess and pilot in OCBC OneTouch TVC

The production crew did a great job with the scene setups and simulating movement.

Post Production

The magic of post production gave the stories the finished breath of realism.

 We look forward to more awesome moments to come in 2016!

 

7 Letters: Celebrating Memories of Home

There are rare moments in your life where you get to re-live memories of yesteryears you probably have forgotten. The Gala premiere of 7 Letters was that rare moment for us.

It was sentimental being back at the newly re-opened Capitol Theatre for the screening. Even more significant, it was the first film screened since Capitol Theatre closed its doors in 1998.

The 7 stories captured in the film represent the personal connections each director has with our home, Singapore. These stories also celebrate all our collective shared memories and experiences.

In the months leading up to the premier, we had the privilege of collaborating with Eric Khoo and Boo Junfeng on two of the stories in post production. As we worked on the scenes, we watched these stories with a technical perspective - from refining the cuts, colour grade to the eventual finishing. But watching the stories on the silver screen was different, it was an emotional experience. We were very moved, and also pleased with the final turnout for both films.

The team with director Eric Khoo

The team with director Eric Khoo

For both stories, we worked with the production team, looking at test shots from different cameras for different scenes, test colour grades, so as to determine suitability of the camera and a seamless post production workflow. When it came to telling the stories through the edit, both films had its own unique style of how the stories unfold.

Azman and Chris with director Boo Jun Feng and producer Leon Cheo

Azman and Chris with director Boo Jun Feng and producer Leon Cheo

7 Letters started with Eric’s story “Cinema” which brought us back in time, in an era where we watched black and white films, the likes of P. Ramlee’s movies. In preparation for post production, we spent time looking into his films, to get a sense of the style of filmmaking back then. We felt that it was crucial to affect a certain monochromatic look to enhance the mood of the narrative through grading.

We liked the contrast of life in "Cinema" seen from the character’s point of view. It was like sharing a journey with the character reliving his glorious past and feeling his present day emptiness. Cutting the story together was really fun, like going back to the basics of storytelling, using simple but clever techniques of camera movements to drive the story along. Something we take for granted today, but back in the day was a breakthrough in film making technique.

Junfeng’s story "Parting" brings on the nostalgia of returning home or searching for what we hold dear to our hearts. Many of us remember the long train journeys we used to go on the KTM trains from Singapore to Malaysia or vice versa, going through the busy Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, which is now a thing of the past.

Storytelling for "Parting" took on the approach of an observer’s point of view. Crafting the story based on what we saw and interpreted, while marrying the director’s vision was an engaging process. The story was told with minimal dialogue, as we followed the character in his search, sharing his emotions yet having the space to have our own interpretation of his journey.

What was particularly memorable in post production was working on the scenes where  the main character enters Tanjong Pagar Railway Station - where the present juxtaposes with the past, in a scene that’s being filmed. Junfeng wanted this interplay of the character’s memory and the shoot scene to stand out. The scenes were specially enhanced with the colour grade to reflect the tone of emotion – that could seen through either the perspective of the audience or character.

Those of us who grew up here or lived here long enough to make Singapore home can totally relate to sweet kampong stories like Jack Neo's “That Girl” or Royston Tan's “Bunga Sayang” about the love and care between neighbours. We love how the scenes like the kids brushing teeth at school, or how the boy communicated with the Makcik in a smattering of broken English and Malay were nice touches in bringing back memorable situations we have experienced.

Poignant was K. Rajagopal’s "The Flame", reflecting on what it means to belong and make a country your home, Tan Pin Pin’s "Pineapple Town", a commentary on our roots and identity, and Kelvin Tong’s “Grandma Positioning System” depicting family relationships, that will warm your hearts.

These stories were authentic and truly touched us. We are indeed heartened to have been part of the creative collaboration in shaping of two of these stories as we reflect back on our memories that connect us all to what we call home.

 

 

 

 

 

GRAVITATE'S LITTLE RED PROJECTS

GREETINGS from Team Gravitate!

Gravitate is now on its 3rd year and we're celebrating this auspicious year with a bang!  We've been working on a lot of interesting projects with homegrown filmmakers like Eric Khoo, Wee Li Lin, Boo Junfeng and Nicole Midori Woodford, which we will share with you in full soon! Can't wait! Here's a sneak peak!

First up, a short film for the 28th SEA GAMES entitled "ORDINARY" commissioned to Zhao Wei Films. Based on the story of Singapore Football Legend Fandi Ahmad, this short film will be featured as part of the 28th SEA GAMES promotional campaign. With 200K views, 7,500 likes, positive reviews and still counting, this only proves that Fandi Ahmad is still one of Singapore's most beloved son and he inspires each one of us with his humble beginnings and success. The film is directed by Nicole Midori Woodford.

Next, a charming throwback film to look forward to is Wee Li Lin's "CP KIDZ". Teen angst and family relationships amidst boom boxes and baggy fashion. We love this film set in the 80s!

And with Singapore's 50th birthday celebration coming soon, SG50 will be celebrated with seven acclaimed local directors who will present an anthology of seven short films this coming July. Two of the films had their post-production done at Gravitate. Eric Khoo's "CINEMA" and Boo Junfeng's "CHANGE", which will soon be tied among the other short films and will be shown at the revamped classic cinema CAPITOL THEATRE.

Khoo said his short film will be a musical and "a tribute to the pioneer generation of filmmakers" in Singapore. “It is really a tribute to the golden age of Singaporean cinema, where you have Chinese producers, Indian directors, Malay stars, and it was this incredible time of passion and love of making films."

Boo Junfeng said his short will focus on the notion of change. "It is about an elderly man who returns to Singapore looking for a woman he used to love. It is a relationship that never really worked out, and he returns looking for her. He realizes how much the place has changed, but how his love and his memories of her remain the same.

“And I think the idea of change is something that we constantly face in Singapore for better or for worse. But it is just something that people have gotten used to, or are always grappling with."

-excerpts from Channel News Asia clippings.

Junfeng's film was shot entirely on BLACKMAGIC DESIGN's URSA 4K Camera.

Our team is not only limited to technical know-how in Post-Production. P&G's Premium Brand SK-II commissioned the team to produce a creative video piece for their SK-II Retail Stores globally. It was very challenging in both creative and technical aspects, but a very rewarding one. From creative concept, production and post-production, we finished the project beating the time clock for the Chinese New Year! 

The video is a combination of live shoot, 3D and VFX scenes. All the products were shot live using RED DRAGON using macro lenses. Graded in Davinci Resolve, cleaned up using Autodesk Smoke & Adobe After Effects and all 3D's done using SoftImage. It was a great experience being on the set and being in control of the whole process.

 

 

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

“To rely on rustics and not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues.” - Sun Tzu

One of Sun Tzu's excerpts in Art of War inspires Gravitate to move forward and try to be the best on whatever we do.

2014 was fun as well as challenging for Team Gravitate. We had lots of interesting projects, did some wonderful collaborations, met new clients and made new friends.

We also upgraded our existing systems especially our first Davinci Resolve which is now powered with Titan GPUs, Maxed RAM upgrades and running on Davinci 11. We also expanded our suite a few months ago with the addition of our second Davinci Resolve Suite which runs on the Full spec new Mac Pro, and upgraded all our Adobe to the latest CC 2014 version. We also retain much of our favourite editing tools such as Final Cut Pro 7, FCP X as well as Avid Media Composer.

We are always in the loop for new technologies and continually enhancing and improving our workflow for our clients.

With the new UHD 4K Technology which is out in the market, we will always be ready for tomorrow's demand.

Having recently embarked on long forms namely with the release of a horror Feature Film "Afterimages" from Mythopolis and Bert Pictures, and a 4-part HBO Miniseries "GRACE" from Infocus Asia, we are also getting ready for DCP Mastering and setting up our Archiving LTO-6 System which we will add to our service.

We are also proud to welcome a new addition to our family. Perri is our Motion Graphic Designer with 15 years strong experience in Technical, Art and Design to help expand the Team's ability and expertise in Motion Graphics / Broadcast Design.

With all these factors, we are very optimistic and excited on what lies ahead in 2015. At the end of the day, Team Gravitate will always make sure that we will meet and exceed our client's expectations.

WELCOME 2014!!!

It has been an amazing journey for us in 2013. There has also been quite a number of challenges as well when we first started Gravitate. Nonetheless we are proud that despite all the challenges, we managed to have fun, lots of learning experiences and maintain a very good relationship with our clients.

We are also proud to have worked with our homegrown talented directors such as Royston Tan, Wee Li Lin, Boo Junfeng, Andrew Ee to name a few. They gave us their full trust, and we gave them the best service, reliable workflows and post-production solutions, and pristine quality output for their projects be it for TV commercial, Music Video or even Feature Film.

We also acknowledge the collaborations of our agency clients that have helped us move and achieve what we have so far as well as film production companies with their respective directors.

A good sign for us, in this year of the horse 2014, is having started with a few interesting projects like the StarHub LionsXII Legend Returns TVC featuring Fandi Ahmad and a heartwarming TVC from MCCY directed by Boo Junfeng in conjunction with the Singapore 50 celebration.

We are thankful for all who have supported and believed in us .

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Huat Ah!!!

START UP!

The Scene

Mediacorp's Channel-U is one of our supportive clients ever since and we provide technical support specially on Digital Intermediate and Special Effects.

Jump, a drama series released last 2011 have been one of the memorable projects for Team Gravitate

Jump, a drama series released last 2011 have been one of the memorable projects for Team Gravitate

A new drama series about betrayal and entrepreneurship, which starring Rebecca Lim, Tay Ping Hui, Zhang Zhen Huan, Kate Pang and others will be out soon for Channel-U.

They need to create an interesting teasers and spot to give viewers an intrigue about the new drama series in a stylish treatment to reflect the context of the drama and to expected to top Channel-U's the ratings.

Mediacorp Artiste Kate Pang rolling her take for the teaser Start Up!

Mediacorp Artiste Kate Pang rolling her take for the teaser Start Up!

The Production

The TV Ad was boarded into 2 continuing stories and 4 teasers to start airing. Directed by Mediacorp Terence Lee Ji Long in collaboration Blowfish Productions and Singapore Director of Photography Nic Low, who always believe in a good team chemistry will lead to a harmonious and a well done output works closely with Gravitate's Post-Production Team.

Chris Datugan, Senior Editor and Azman Mohamed, DaVinci Colourist attended the shoot for technical post support. The film was shot on Red Epic and rolling on 150 frames per second on which the board requires ramping and fluid slow motions.

Director of Photography Nic Low on set.

Director of Photography Nic Low on set.

The Post

The Colour Grading was done in Gravitate's DaVinci Resolve Suite with our colourist Azman and with the keen eyes of DOP Nic Low.

The Post-Production workflow is straightforward with the only exemptions on the fluidity of the high speed ramp thus we offered the best solution to do the job using Autodesk Smoke's Timewarp FX.

To achieve the client's requirements is not only the important thing in our workflow but also how to execute it to its finest.

https://www.facebook.com/startup2013

Mediacorp Artiste Rebecca Lim getting ready for action.

Mediacorp Artiste Rebecca Lim getting ready for action.

LIONS ROAR

The Scene

With the success of the Lions as runner-up to Kelantan in their first season back in the Malaysia Super League and as a semi-finalist in the 2012 Malaysia Cup, Fans are proud and excited to look forward for the LionsXII to be back to fight for the Malaysian Super League and Malaysia Cup titles this 2013 which Singapore cable giant StarHub is the official broadcaster in cooperation with Supersports Arena.

StarHub needed to promote the LionsXII as early as possible and needed a fast turn around to produce it.

The Production

StarHub and its internal productiom team created the concept and produced the Promo. The TV Ad is composed of subliminal visuals counting from 1 to 12 mixing arrays of Visuals that shows the passion and hardwork of the LionsXII team.

Directed by Taiwan-born Director James Chung, in collaboration with Director of Photography Adrian Tan, they shot the film using 2 Units of Arri Alexa in a day at 2 separate locations. It was very memorable for the Gravitate Team to be also a part of the collaboration to support our client StarHub with an interesting board to start our newly opened Post Facility with a bang in 2013.

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The Post

Offline was cut by Wei Fong who also collaborated during the process while Noh Ghani of Turntable Music composed the soundtrack.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Turntable-Music

After a fast approval from the StarHub Executives, the offline xml's was sent to Gravitate Team for Colour Grading on the DaVinci Resolve with Gravitate's Colourist Azman Mohamed delivering a well done colour treatment of the DOPs vision.

The Online was finished by Chris Datugan, Senior Editor of Gravitate Team with support from 2D Graphic Artist Wayne Go by adding some textures, clean-ups, roto, paint jobs and some 2D Graphics. The Team also assures that the quality to be aired are at top notch HD quality and was released in ProRes 4444 format in a nick of time.

Watch StarHub LIONS XII

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The Orange Shop has a Website

Welcome to our Gravitate website. It has been a fantastic journey for the team at Gravitate and whoa!! what a ride it was! To be where we are today, we are grateful and hopeful that 2013 will be positive and full of wonderful things. Many thanks to those who gave us words of encouragement and pushing us bravely onwards in our endeavour. We look forward to many wonderful creative collaborations ahead and be of service to all.