Tuesday, 31. July 2012 - 3:15 pm
Following their mesmerising work for Jon Hopkins with Swarm and Vessel, and their recent Samsung ad Love Note, Dave Bullivant and Owen Silverwood of BISON have now scratched a nagging itch to dabble in some old school CGI, and in doing so have achieved something a bit special.
It’s hard to make one love a geometric shape, but in BISON’s video for Om UNIT’s Ulysses, what starts as a routine exercise in motion graphics develops into an involving narrative. And you may find yourself caring about the fate of a cube. Absolutely sterling work by a couple of very talented chaps…
Sky/Illustration: Sam Coldy
Production Company: A+
Dave Bullivant + Owen Silverwood of BISON on the making of the video for Om UNIT’s Ulysses
“We’d both been fiddling with CGI for the last 18 months or so, and thought it was about time to try and do a promo with it.
“We particularly love the early CG stuff from the late 70′s and early 80′s, and knew that was the direction we wanted to go in visually. They have such a strong look because they were so limited on processing and rendering power, so we decided to try to be as true to that as possible by not using all the bells and whistles that modern software has. It made it more difficult, but hopefully more authentic.
“The budget was a little on the tight side, so we knew we were going to have to do the work ourselves. That meant many, many hours sat in front of our laptops trying to get the dastardly little cubes to march to the beat (a surprisingly difficult thing to do). Working in a CG environment is great as directors because you can continually tweak and move your camera around the action, but it’s also a curse – nothing’s ever finished.
“We work really hard to sync our visuals to the music, and Jim (Om Unit) kindly sent us the stems of his track (individual instruments as sound files) so that we could use the music to genuinely drive aspects of the animation.
“We referenced a lot of the classic, airbrushed sci-fi book covers for inspiration (Chris Foss & Bruce Pennington for example), and it was the skies that really stood out as the defining feature of the aesthetic. To get some of this genuine warmth and authenticity, we commissioned Sam Coldy to create some skies for the different points in the story; night through to dawn. They had a massive impact on the look and feel of the final piece.”