Maren Morris / Sony Nashville
The video for Maren Morris’ “80s Mercedes” is a surreal and fantastical roadtrip. We wanted to create something that oozed a sense of 80s nostalgia, while also evoked a sense of wonder; something cool and free-spirited, unencumbered by the physical laws of nature.
All the environments were designed by the amazing in-house team at reactiv. The environments were designed with the intention of creating a hyper-stylized, often overwhelming and richly detailed world for Maren to travel through. We were inspired by movies such as Sin City, Only God Forgives and Drive to come up with a rich, saturated & hyper-real environments. These references and designs evolved as the project progressed - as we began adding more detail and experimented with different looks. We wanted each environment to feel unique and independent while at the same time complimenting one another. The approach involved pushing our technical and creative capabilities - challenging us to design with a larger scope and motion in mind as the car travels along the environments
The video was shot in May of 2016 in LA . Directed by our Alon Isocianu. The live-action portion of the video was filmed entirely in a greenscreen studio using the Milo motion-control system.
The live action footage of Maren and her friends was composited into our animated environments. This included replacing parts of the car (and in some cases entirely) with a CG model that could reflect and react to the world around it.
We designed and animated a total of 6 environments, each with their own look and feel. Every environment conveyed a different mood and related to a different part of the song.
A colorful, semi-graphical beach sunset with a gradient sky. Retro inspired, sun-soaked California waterfront complete with palm trees, hazy clouds and cliff silhouettes.
Arizona-like nighttime desert highway complete with cacti, telephone pols and neon motel signs. The mountain range creates an epic scale. Our original concepts called for vibrant blue skies, but when we got into animation we found that a more colorful & magical “northern-lights” style sky felt right.
A Tokyo cyberpunk inspired neon cityscape. An explosion of colors and neon lights and signs – overwhelming in their saturation and brightness. Our original mockups felt more like an abstract Las Vegas strip, but the concept evolved into more a practical looking city with glass buildings. The reflective nature of the materials/textures within the scene add to the intricacy and abundance of the colorful lights.
Light Streak City
A hyperstylized, long-shutter effect where car lights elongate and turn into light-streaks. This concept evolved quite a bit from our original boards to the final renderings. We experimented with different styles of light streaks as well as the look of the city itself. The sky also evolved from nighttime to more a vibrant orange dusk sky.
A throwback to classic 50s style “look out point”, a trope that was also used heavily in 80s teen movies. A romantic spot overlooking a golden city from a private hill. The cliff/hill edge is illuminated by the visible bright full moon in the background.
Post & Creative Design by reactiv
Editor: Alon Isocianu
CG Design/Animation: Jacob Doforno, Alon isocianu, Bert McKinley
Compositing: Thiago Carneiro, Jacob Doforno, Bert McKinley, Mona Ali, Ignacio Betancourt, Daniel Lefebre, Alon Isocianu
Interns: Gerardo Gutierrez, Natalie Schaefer
Post EP: Anna Junger
Live Action Production: VISION FILM CO.
Director: Alon Isocianu
Exec Producers: Geoff McLean, Stacy Vaughan
Director's Rep: Morgan Lane
Producer: Mark McCune
DP: Sing Howe Yam
AD: Kenneth Arnold Taylor
PM: Candice Perkins
Key Grip: Chris Bauer
Gaffer: Drew Valenti
Artist Stylist: Courtney Kivela Robinson
Artist HMU: Lindsay Doyle
Talent Stylist: Kimmy Kertes
Talent HMU: Eva Seltzer
Motion Control: Chris Toth
Client: Columbia Nashville / Sony Music