Andrea Calderwood

Half of a Yellow Sun Title Sequence

Half of a Yellow SunThe search for the idea for the opening sequence started with thinking around the ‘main title’. Our next thought was what would give us a moving metaphor? Something which would deliver a journey, bright, glamour and hopeful. Also most importantly, an object from the time, mid 60’s in which the movie is set. The answer - Mirror Ball.

As with all our sequences, a seamless entry into the first scene of the movie is imperative and the Mirror Ball again answers this with the addition of taking the view visually to Nigeria / Lagos, as you will see.

http://youtu.be/BjqvRrofhcU

Our DOP Jonathan Le Roux explains here how we shot the ball:

The approach we took to filming the mirror ball was to see it as a beautiful woman. So lighting her was fun.

I created a black box around the mirror ball with black Polyboards and black out. This would stop any reflections in the mirror ball. I cut a small hole in the Polyboard and created a window for the lens to peek through.

The choice of lens was our attempt to recreated the 70’s zoom. We could start wide on the mirror ball and then zoom into the small map of Africa, which was stuck onto the mirror ball.

The camera was set at native 800 iso, f-stop 4.5, this allowed more depth of field for the small lighting set up, (which you could not do with the older film stocks). It also created a wonderful filmic feel, no less to the exceptional qualities of the Alexa.

Half of a Yellow Sun Title Sequence Shoot

We shot various passes of the mirror ball spinning with different colours, blue then green, just blue and variations of that. The warmer tones we shot with the lighting having 1/2 CT Straw on the lamps. To add more warmth, I set the colour balance to 5600k. This was to reflect the warmth of Africa. There was also a pass with various colours in one shot. We would also have a pass with the smoke, giving depth to the image.

To create depth in the mirror ball, 4 dedo lights where used and one 1 KW Arri Fesnel with half diffusion. 1 kw fennel was used as the key, 1 deco was used as a backlight, the other 3 dedos where used to sculpt the mirror ball, allowing it to stand out from the black background. Dedo’s are great as they have dimmers on them, I could control the intensity of the direct light which I enjoy using.

Working with Richard and his team at The Morrison Studio was fantastic, they know what they want and get the results they need without fuss. What a wonderful day we had in the studio, lighting and playing with a mirror ball, the guys did a great job of assembly and finally the titles.

Half of a Yellow Sun Disco Ball

VFX, Supervisor Alexis Haggar of Lexhag also explains here how we built the comp: 

In order to create this sequence we needed to own the scene. This meant we had to find a way to have complete control over the shot. To do this we decided to shoot passes of several elements that we built up into a 3D comp.

First the ball was shot under serval lighting conditions, which we combined into one element and projected onto a sphere. Then we shot some smoke and atmos plates, which were keyed and placed on cards. Finally, a clean background of the reflected light was shot against black and used as a virtual back drop.

The sequence was animated with a virtual tracking move and the final touches were added, which included graphics and a grade.

Half of a Yellow Sun Journey Graphic 1In addition to the main sequence, Dean and I have designed the journey graphics within the film and animated in conjunction with Creative Director Howard Watkins at LipSync.

Half of a Yellow Sun Journey Graphic 2 We hope you like our sequence along with the film.

All images and clips shown here remain the property of their respected owners. Copyrights apply.

UK Film Summit at BFI 2013

Screen_International_BFI_Summit I'm excited today to be at Screen International's launch of the 2013 UK Film Summit in association with the British Film Institute (BFI).

Today is a one day industry conference at BFI Southbank's NFT1, which is expecting to see more than 300 industry attendees. The Summit will primarily focus on the UK film industry and its place within the worlds market, looking at opportunities for the industry in the future.

Many experts and keynote speakers will be taking part in todays event, including British Film Commission's Iain Smith (Wanted, The Mission, The Killing Fields) and Slate Films' Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland, A Most Wanted Man) - who we had pleasure in creating the title sequence for their latest film 'Half of a Yellow Sun', which is due for release next year.

BFI_Southbank

Ben Roberts (BFI Film Fund) and DJ Films' Damian Jones (The Iron Lady, Belle) also join the impressive list of panellists, addressing the challenges in film finance; development of audiences in the UK and how distributors and exhibitors can adapt to the digital world; the UKs place in the global market, amongst many other areas to conclude on how the film world can benefit from convergence in our multi-platform world.

The day is looking to be very interesting as well as a good opportunity to discuss and share views with other film professionals.

For those that are coming, I look forward to seeing you there.

Half of a Yellow Sun Premiere's at TIFF

Half of a Yellow Sun at TIFF 2013

Yesterday saw the long awaited World Premiere of Biyi Bandele's 'Half of a Yellow Sun' at the Toronto International Film Festival. The first of 3 screenings took place at the Winter Garden Theatre and was well attended by both stars and crew for one of the most anticipated films of this year.

It was the first time ever for a Nigerian film to get a red-carpet screening at such a major event. British-born Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (Inside Man, American Gangster) and Thandie Newton (Crash, The Pursuit of Happiness) lead the way down the carpet, along with other cast members Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls), John Boyega (Attack the Block) as well as Genevieve Nnaji and Onyeka Onwenu.

Based on the award winning novel by Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the film produced by Andrea Calderwood at Slate FIlms (Generation Kill, The Last King of Scotland) is screening again at Scotiabank 4 today and on Saturday.

We look forward to hearing some great reviews from the festival and the films world release in November.

Read our previous blog on the film and see the trailer here: http://richardmorrison.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/half-of-a-yellow-sun-official-trailer/

(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Half of a Yellow Sun Official Trailer

Half of a Yellow Sun Film Official Trailer This November sees the release of Biyi Bandele's latest film 'Half of a Yellow Sun'.

Produced by Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Gail Egan (The Constant Gardener) and starring Chiwetel EjioforDominic Cooper and Thandie Newton. The film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s best seller novel, tells the story of two sisters struggling to keep their lives and loves together under the violence of 1960s Nigerian politics, while exploring the turbulence of African history with Biafra’s civil war to establish an independent republic in Nigeria.

We're sure our title sequence will get you in a spin... but for now, here's the official trailer released by tiff (Toronto International Film Festival):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wF4wU6HuUk

Half of a Yellow Sun Title Sequence

We are in the final composite stages with the title sequence for Biyi Bandele's new film 'Half of a Yellow Sun'. Shooting for the sequence with supremo DOP Jonathan Le Roux behind the camera, was finished over a week ago and we are now currently building with the master of VFX, Supervisor Alexis Haggar of Lexhag at The Look.

Director of Photography Jonathan Le Roux

Having previewed with Biyi and Producer Andrea Calderwood yesterday, who are excited with our progress. We are now placing the final type and logo effects within the sequence to deliver in the next few days.

In addition to the main sequence, Dean and I have designed the journey graphics within the film and animated in conjunction with Creative Director Howard Watkins at LipSync.

Half of a Yellow Sun Title Sequence Shoot

All is coming together nicely and we are excited for the final result. We hope to be able to share with you soon.