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Fiona Apple "Across the Universe"


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#1 Joe Taylor

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 10:48 AM

I've seen this video many times and know it was directed by Paul Anderson. Does anybody know who photographed it or know any other technical info? It's B&W and I wonder if was shot on B&W film... that sort of stuff.
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#2 Elisabeth Nagy

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:10 PM

I only can get you this information, which is kind of the obvious. I am sorry:
http://www.mvdbase.c...deo.php?id=1623
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#3 Joe Taylor

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 09:49 AM

Good info. That's one thing I was wondering if he used his regular DP.

Thanks Elisabeth
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#4 Alex Haspel

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:26 AM

i always wondered how they did that first shot, with the mirror..

one guess would have been that it was motion control and they did a reverse from behind where the mirror would be,
with a hole in the wall instead of the mirror and then somehow keyed that in..
what would speak for that theory is that the moves of one guy (the one coming through just after the single chair,
not the bench at the begining) jumping through the window in front of the camera seem a little differnt in the mirror behind him.

or did they just fiddle away the camera and crane in post?

anybody know?

here is a link to video for those who havent yet seen it:

Edited by Alex Haspel, 09 January 2008 - 11:30 AM.

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#5 Isidro Urquia

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:30 PM

it dosnt look (to me) that is shot in black and white. plusx has a deeper contrast and doblex has a lot more grain. the color painting in the first shot tells me they pull the color. there is a little part of the window that remain and is in color, that tels me its a color pull. for the shot in the mirror is not that dificult to hide a the seat that snaps on to the crane. i think they will not risk having her on the set with all the glass flying about (her label will not permited) so post and key later sims to me the only choice. i hope this helps.
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#6 Isidro Urquia

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:42 PM

if you look at the start of the mirror shot there is a jump, somthis or someone dispears from the frame. it seems to be key.
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#7 Fredrik Backar FSF

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 10:35 AM

I´m very sure it´s not BW. skintones suck. And the colored window supports it too I guess.
Saw the wainright version on youtube. Beautiful magritte video! And it is Dakota fanning in it no??
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#8 Joe Taylor

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:23 PM

I´m very sure it´s not BW. skintones suck. And the colored window supports it too I guess.


IF CG Artists can stick Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman on Giza at sunset, I'm sure someone can put a little color in a B&W image no matter how it was shot.
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#9 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 07:09 PM

I remember watching a MoCo company's DVD reel a few years ago that included a detailed behind the scenes breakdown of how they used the Milo on this Fiona Apple video. I think the company may have been Mark Roberts, but don't hold me to that.

As for the look of the video, it was more than likely shot on color neg stock and the final look achieved in telecine, as opposed to shooting with a B&W stock.

Here's an excerpt from a page on the PT Anderson website. Consult the page directly for more info and photos.

Hope this helped.



across the universe.

fiona apple covers the beatles classic 'across the universe' for the film 'pleasantville.' this was paul's first music video with fiona apple, which is a re-creation of the soda pop vandalism scene from the film. fiona, wearing large old fashioned headphones, sings & travels unfazed by the chaos and destruction surrounding her.

an interesting note: the version of the video that lives on the pleasantville dvd, the camera hangs on fiona's face for several seconds before slowly fading out, whereas the version on the '6 videos by PTA' (a dvd paul made after the couple's break-up) that shot barely exists before a rapid fade out ends the clip.


breakdown

the music video was shot on location with a motion control camera. the presence of mirrors and complicated rigs made this a fairly expensive shoot. the idea behind motion control photography is that the camera can perform the same movement twice, which is very useful for compositing two shots where the camera is moving. the video is only made up of five shots made up of many composited shots.


the music video opens with a stained glass section of the shop window being destroyed. the glass and the bench that is thrown through it are computer generated and have been motion tracked into the shot. real glass elements are added as characters jump through the window. the motion control aspect of the video is apparent as the camera moves through the window to see fiona apple in front of a mirror, which the camera is not present in. it is likely that another camera performed a mirrored motion track with that side of the set partially removed.

the false nature of the mirror is visible just after a chair is thrown through the foreground at about 8:29, where the mirror's image seems to fade into itself, likely the bridging of two separate takes. as the camera moves closer to fiona, her reflection is more visible and has some unusual properties to it that seem to defy description. at this point fiona begins to move through the set without walking (she is sitting on the rig at this point).

the shots that follow are a combination of high speed photography of the set being destroyed and footage of fiona shot with the same camera movement only without the action in the background. some of the compositing is visible around her neck/headphones near the end of the first shot. look carefully for small sections on her left side that seem to be wavering or wobbling, these symptoms of compositing are different than blue/greenscreening ones.

the spinning shot is simply a variation of the previous shot, with fiona attached at the waist to a rotating rig. rotating debris was composited into the foreground to further distract the eyes as ILM's tricks hide everywhere in the frame. the third shot is the simplest in the video, and features a lighting change on fiona as the camera moves closer to her.

the beginning of the fourth shot begins extremely close on fiona's face and pulls out partway through, further suggesting that the percussion of the song is responsible for the damage being done to the store. the camera moves around her face 180 degrees to pull out with another lighting change as fiona walks across the counter. keep your eye out for some ridiculous extras through the window in the top right corner of the frame.

as the camera pushes back into fiona's face, wavering softness is visible around the edges of her hair suggesting more tricky compositing.

the final shot of the video is one of the more complicated ones, and begins with fiona sitting cross legged in front of the door. since the lighting changes caused by people running through the door and obstructing the major apparent source of edge lighting (the sun), the light highlights were changed on her body when the video was being composited. this is apparent especially when the shiny part of her hair is changed: we should see the individual strands of her hair, but instead the white glow just turns grey. fiona exits the frame to leave us with more slow motion photography, and ends as the camera pushes in on her again. computer generated letters spelling 'the end' have also been composited in the background.


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