MPC Serves up “Hot Fruit” with dom&nic

MPC LA recently teamed up with directing duo dom&nic to handle a full range of VFX needs on English singer-songwriter Gaz Coombes’ debut music video. In less than three weeks, the studio worked around the clock between their LA, London and Bangalore studios to handle everything from interactive 3D and 2D lighting to 3D animation, rendering and compositing.

Hot Fruit is at once a dazzling ride through a surreal world and a study in the possibilities of a story told from a confined space. Coombes, who is confined to a brightly lit cube situated in a forest clearing, sings his tale of lust and beauty as a wild and twisted tale unfolds: he is first tied, then gassed, then spun into the air and tossed about the forest, all while confronting an ever-growing pile of pill containers and staring intently through a slit on the lookout for a grim-reaper-esque madman who is stalking him along the shadowy distances.

MPC produced 28 shots of the CG box in a real environment, creating a pipeline that allowed them to quickly make changes to each scene based on new iterations of the CG object or its animation. The process involved creating a CG representation of each scene, then using a projection of both the dark and lit versions with an illumination map created from each CG scene.

“This custom-built pipeline allowed us to continue to work in animation, comp and modeling at the same time with minimum impact on schedule,” noted MPC LA MD Andrew Bell. “We loved working with dom&nic, and it was important that we built as much flexibility into our pipeline as possible so that we could get the most benefit from their creative input.”

This video was the latest in a string of collaborations between directors dom&nic (Nic Goffey and Dominic Hawley) and MPC, including a recent pair of VFX spots for Acura. “MPC LA has provided us with huge technical and creative support and clear communication in both commercial and music video projects,” stated Nic. “They understand how to turn ideas into cinematic images. In this case, their fantastic work displays a painstaking attention to the smallest details and seamless integration of 3D and 2D digital work. ”

“MPC’s uncompromising commitment to quality within a challenging schedule was second to none,” added Dom. “Their creative input both prior to the shoot and during postproduction was invaluable. We were able to work together from both sides of the Atlantic with absolute efficiency, having regular conference calls and viewing at full resolution remotely. Wherever you are based you should work with these guys, if you can get them of course!”