Bold, bright and brilliant as ever, Somesuch’s Kim Gehrig returned to Framestore with her signature directorial style for ‘Meet Me in the Gap’, the head-spinning artistic campaign from Gap for spring 2018. Combining a unique human zoetrope set-up with sharp product framing and a striking grade from Simon Bourne, the film earns its place in a long run of memorable Gap campaigns; behind-the-scenes, it would also work the merits of Framestore’s comprehensive global pipeline to the max.
The concept for the spot from Yard NYC, worked on in collaboration with Kim, called for the creation of a human inverse zoetrope, of sorts: a centralised camera capturing multiple models in static pose, shot at speed to create the illusion of movement. Eager to shoot the piece in camera, Kim worked with Framestore VFX Supervisor Ben Cronin and Nuke Artist Christian Baker in London to mastermind the set-up. Christian carefully built a flexible 3D environment to previsualise the studio shoot, with the ability to shift the distances and angles between the array of models cast.
A one-day test shoot swiftly followed, to determine the outcome of the Nuke set-up and perfect the camera animation curves. Director of Photography Andre Chemetoff and the Motion Capture team chose to incorporate a flash amidst the camera’s spinning, to create a precise cut through the motion blur - allowing the models’ (and Gap’s spring collection) to shine.
The job then jumped the Atlantic to shoot in New York, where VFX Supervisor, Matt Pascuzzi and shoot supervisor, Luca Pelegatta were on the ground to supervise the full set in action. With the ability to provide quick composites and tests, the supervisors were instrumental in keeping the methodology on track; London’s Nuke set-up, too, came into crucial play once more in determining the safe fit of the zoetrope top-shot into frame.
Moving into post production, now moving out of Chicago, Framestore’s focus was on upholding the Gap aesthetic, fashioning the clean and colourful spaces that have made the retailers’ ads iconic. The grade, worked on by Simon Bourne in London and both physically and virtually attended by Kim and the agency creatives, amped up the piece’s filmic credentials: having been shot on Alexa, Simon sought to bring a ‘painterly’ quality to the piece, whilst upholding the true colours of the products featured. A technical grade was followed by a second, more creative runthrough, with attention paid to the individual frames to strike the right focus and balance against the motion blur. The work built on existing working partnerships between Simon, Kim and DoP Andre, which quickly helped to distil the essence of the campaign into the visuals.
Says Ben Cronin, Creative Director, of the job: ‘We love these kinds of solutions. There’s nothing better than helping Kim get the picture she wants, be it pre or post production. From early meetings to previs to test shoots, through to shoot and final delivery, Framestore was present globally to cover every base.’