Bringing Print To Life : Behind the Scenes
We drew inspiration from classic Hollywood film-making and combined it with references from pop culture to create a stylised aesthetic.
The set design was always going to be the centrepiece of the film. We were heavily influenced by the sets from The Wizard of Oz which was shot entirely at MGM studios using backdrops to create those vibrant scenes and much of the action on that piece of yellow brick road took place on painted cardboard.
We shot our future classic in a warehouse in just 6 hours but the real work happened at Norwood where we printed the backdrops and props using materials and substrates we commonly print on for our customers.
Anything is possible with print. Even the elevator buttons were printed.
Well ALMOST anything. For some things we had to use the real thing. Take a look at this list. You might be surprised by what was printed and what wasn’t.
Elevator – Chiefbond
Bookcase – Banner material
Table – Xboard
Ladder – Xboard
Cityscape –Banner material
Desert –Banner material
Cactus – Skybond
Owl – named TinTin
Eagle – named Zoro
Girl – A mannequin named Lucy after our model from the photography shoot!
Making Print 3D – how we brought print to life
Most people are shocked when we tell them the sets were printed and that’s the reaction we were hoping for.
To make the printed backgrounds look three-dimensional on film, the lighting and perspective have to be just right.
The camera needs to be focused on the centre of the backdrop and they had to be at least 4m x 4m to allow plenty of room to work with.
Ironing out the wrinkles – a trick of light
The banners then had to be lit correctly to get the wrinkles out – backdrops get wrinkles too!
The Shoot – one single take
We aimed for one single take to create the illusion of a seamless world. The elevator was used to slide the camera between each set on a dolly as the doors opened and closed.
The elevator was custom-designed by an aerospace engineer. He thinks he was overqualified for the job. He’s probably right.
The last shot was a crane shot to create a third person perspective – a bird’s eye view so to speak.
Never work with children or animals
That’s what they say.
What the trainer said was “If the eagle flies towards you, hit the dirt.” We soon found out why.
Wise old Mr or Mrs Owl was content to sit serenely on its perch for most of the shoot.
But the eagle, it went rogue. Half-way through the shoot it flew off up into the roof and refused to come back. When the trainer called it back it flew into the banner. Maybe our backdrops were a little too convincing.
Why we used 35mm film
Film is what was used during the golden age of Hollywood cinema. And still today some film making greats like Quentin Tarantino insist on shooting only in film.
Like print, film has a higher resolution and greater depth of colour. It’s sharper and shows more shades of colour. We knew only film would capture the printed backdrops the way we’d intended.
But there’s another reason we wanted to use film. Film has to be developed to see the final result. Like print, there’s an extra element that brings value to the finished product because you can plan all you like but you won’t really know how it’s going to turn out until the job is printed. That’s what makes it so special.
It’s what also makes it an art.
Print – the little known art form of today’s modern world.
Do you have a world of your own you’re dying to create? Find out just how much you can do with print and bring your ideas to life with Norwood.