Reality series "Project Runway" hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum featuring fashion celebrity Tim Gunn has kicked off its tenth season on the air. For the eighth year in a row, the hit show is nominated for the Emmy Award in the category of "Outstanding Reality-Competition Program," and this season, Lifetime executives turned to the Emmy Award-winning creative production company Shilo and director Jose Gomez to lead the creation of its on-air promos.
The artful spots convey their story of the ever-changing world of fashion using beautiful live-action footage of the series' striking principal talents amidst misty, shape-shifting fields of smoke. As Heidi and Tim transform their fashions and their attitudes, colourful text informs viewers that this season, "it's cut or be cut." For Lifetime, the project credits include VP on-air promotions JAS Sustrich, creative director Aaron Goldman, producer Karen Griffenhagen, and production manager Vicki Adams.
"We were really excited for this particular project because of its beauty and style components, and our integration of visual artistry to the most fabulous reality television series in history," Jose began. "What proved to be especially great and unique for us was that Lifetime's executives were very open and receptive to our creative concepts around their tagline of 'fashions fade, runway is forever,' and that openness had a huge impact on the final results."
"Creating a spot that capitalized on Heidi and Tim as the icons of Project Runway in a visually arresting way was something we'd never done before," said Aaron Goldman. "Contestants come and go, styles come and go, but Heidi and Tim are always our entry point into the show."
"The style boards, both beautiful and dramatic, instantly captured everyone's imagination and made the pitch process very easy," added JAS Sustrich.
"Our primary goal was to create something that would echo Project Runway's high fashion roots, yet still be accessible to viewers," Jose continued. "After much deliberation, the concept entitled 'In and out of the spotlight' was fleshed out with design and storyboards. We even filmed one of our staffers in our studio runway walking a la Heidi Klum for a motion test to show the full effect of our vision. It took about a month of designing, revising, and redefining our concept to create something that clicked for everyone, but the final result is everything we envisioned and more."
With Jose serving as Shilo's creative director and director, his team leaders also included art director Curtis Doss, lead 3D artist Billy Kwok, design lead Tom Green, designer Josh Childers, editor Mark Imgrund, producers Chris Palladino and Brad Herbst, head of production Hilary Wright, and executive producer Arthur Portnoy. To capture their new live-action footage, Jose shot Ms. Klum and Mr. Gunn over the course of a full day, working with director of photography Omer Ganai. By using one Arri Alexa camera system hand-held and a second on a dolly, the talent was captured at 120 frames-per-second on a dark and moody set with some practical smoke effects.
"Tim and Heidi were really into the whole idea," Jose said. "We had a lot of conversations about what the mood and intent was for the spots and they made themselves ready and available to capture the right performances for us."
Well known for its innovative approaches in creating stunning visuals with cinematic production values, Shilo's artists challenged themselves to artfully use the combination of real smoke and CG particles to heighten the storytelling and the transformative transitions between the show's talents. "Between Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects, we did extensive R&D to get the smoke, the smearing and the colour correct on the particle side," Jose added. "We had three animators working full-time just on the particles alone."
VP On-Air Promotions: J.A.S. Sustrich
Creative Director: Aaron Goldman
Producer: Karen Griffenhagen
Production Manager: Vicki Adams
Production Company: Shilo
Director/Creative Director: Jose Gomez
Art Director: Curtis Doss
Lead 3D Artist: Billy Kwok
Design Lead: Tom Green
Director of Photography: Omer Ganai
Designers: Josh Childers, Mike Goubeaux
Editor: Mark Imgrund
Asst. Editors: Frederick Ross
3D Particles: David Clayton, Matt Johnson
3D Lighting/Rendering: Erik Anderson, Billy Kwok
3D Animation: John Bloch, Billy Kwok
2D Animation: Stephanie Corda
Rotoscoping: James Camacho, Tim Unger
Compositing: Manuel Llamas, Billy Kwok, Curtis Doss
Coordinator: Hayley Underwood
Line Producer: Chris Palladino
Producer: Brad Herbst
Head of Production: Hilary Wright
Executive Producer: Arthur Portnoy
Music Company: White Noise Lab
Composer: Roger Lima