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Mirada Wins Best Visual Effects at MTV Video Music Awards for ‘Safe and Sound’ by Capital Cities


"Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities.
“Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities.
Mirada Studios was honored with a Moonman for best visual effects at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards held Sunday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for its work on Capital Cities‘ “Safe and Sound” music video. Directed by MTh‘s Grady Hall, Mirada creative director Jonathan Wu handled visual effects and postproduction for the almost four-minute video that was envisioned by Hall as a vibrant celebratory mash-up of wildly different dance styles.

“This is definitely a team win and could not have been done without the involvement of every single artist on the credit list,” said Wu. “The production was run-and-gun with a fast turnaround so we handpicked the best of the best. Each shot features VFX and our team effectively and efficiently stayed true to the era, telling an interesting and artistic story that came together quite nicely.”

LR-CC_07Filmed entirely in the historic Los Angeles Theater, singers Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian kick off the dance party in the “Safe and Sound” video with Fred Astaire-inspired moves that trigger an influx of other dancers and props from varying eras. Choreographer Mandy Moore worked with more than 70 dancers to create more than 40 dance sequences that each capture a precise historical time and style.

For the video’s postproduction, Wu guided a small team of Mirada compositors through more than 80 visual effects shots, including head replacements, complex animations, stock footage integration, transformations and retro-inspired visual effects and color treatments ranging from black-and-white silent film influences to psychedelic visuals. Tools used include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects with various plug-ins, The Foundry‘s NUKE, Autodesk Flame and Apple Final Cut Pro. An immense amount of rotoscoping and tracking was also needed for the articulate integration work for this style of visual effects artistry.

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