Valiant Pictures recently teamed up with Thornberg & Forester (T&F) to produce a vibrant new cinematic identity promo for the Vilcek Foundation – a cultural institution in the arts and sciences. The ident will have its theatrical premiere at the 33rd annual Hawaii International Film Festival, opening Oct. 10, where it will introduce all of the short and feature films sponsored by the Vilcek Foundation as a part of its New American Filmmakers section.
This concept was developed in collaboration with the Vilcek Foundation’s executive director Rick Kinsel. “This was not an easy task,” said Kinsel. “We knew it would be difficult to convey all that we do in 30 seconds, so instead we wanted to find a way to condense it all into a feeling of creativity, simplicity and joy, while remaining within our preferred aesthetic.”
T&F was invited to take part in this project by the founding partners of Valiant Pictures, Vincent Lin and Matthew D’Amato. The two oversaw every aspect of the project, from the initial concepts to careful revisions. Justin Meredith led the project for T&F’s team.
“During the early discussions, we learned a lot about the foundation’s tastes and design inspirations,” said Meredith. “The idea that took shape was to weave together concepts of science and art into an abstract journey that feels optimistic and open. We needed to communicate a feeling more than a story.”
The piece begins with colorful threads on a field of white, which form a 3D helix structure. A figure then appears in the background, who touches the graphic, sending a rainbow pattern of paint in motion, which forms a circle. The circle shrinks away before transitioning into a full-screen explosion of vibrant swirls of paint, where the Vilcek Foundation’s logo resolves.
“We thought that building a motion piece would be an exciting way to get our message across,” Meredith explained. “In our approach, we used tactile methods such as paint, ink and string to capture in-camera elements. Although the finished project looks simple, those are always the hardest to balance.”
T&F’s workflow involved live-action shoots with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera to capture elements such as the circle and the paint explosion. The company’s design and animation departments were also instrumental in bringing the piece to life, where the tool set involved Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D, as well as Adobe After Effects and DaVinci Resolve.
The final piece was completed with sound design by Eddie Bydalek and Harry Woolway. T&F’s credits also include executive producer Elizabeth Kiehner, producer Kelsey Thomson, art director Kyle Hurley, technical director Vi Nguyen, designer Michelle Cho, pitch designers Mike Burgoyne and Ly Ngo, and animators Jaymie Miguel and Joe Russ.