The Mill were initially tasked with crafting a unique CG character to represent Cashmere Cat in future music videos and appearances. The design team crafted a creature inspired by multiple references including Nordic folklore, Japanese anime, and early aughts gaming. A music video for the track ‘Emotions’ introduces the fairytale feline and her fantasy world.
Jake Schreier is known for his highly-choreographed storytelling that takes place within a single take, previously seen in music videos such as Chance the Rapper ‘Same Drugs’ and Haim ‘Want You Back’. In order to facilitate this method within a fully-CG environment, The Mill’s artists and technologists executed an ambitious real-time rendered shooting technique.
Filmed on a motion-capture stage, a cutting-edge virtual production pipeline was required to deliver a seamless relationship between the real world and the simulated. A display screen rendering the CG character, landscape, props and structures in real-time, allowed the director to, in effect, direct the CG character as opposed to the live-action dancer, as she moved through the stylized world while being shot with a handheld camera. This allowed the filmmakers to adjust the characters actions, the lighting, and even environmental textures, all whilst still on set.
Aurelien Simon, Executive Producer, Emerging Technology at The Mill in Los Angeles comments, “This reimagined approach to filmmaking still allows for traditional cinematic methods. Using this method, creative partners are able to see iterations, makes changes and experiment all in real-time. In this project; environment, creative, physics and technology all combine to create a truly immersive experience.”
Combining the game engine Unreal with The Mill’s creative technologists, designers and artists; this project gave the filmmaking team an unprecedented perspective and level of control.