When violinist Tim Fain took the stage for the world premiere of Phillip Glass' new work "Partita for Solo Violin" at New York's Symphony Space last month, he performed not to the flurry of live dancers onstage, but to dancers and musicians on five films directed by
choreographer Benjamin Millepied. The films were edited, color graded and conformed by Nice Shoes, marking the launch of their brand new creative editorial division.
As the renowned Fain performs live, his cast - including dancers Craig Black, Julia Eichten and Haylee Nichele - animate the backdrop in the various films, which are compelling blends of Glass' seven-movement suite and droll narrative sequences choreographed and directed by Millepied. The films are brilliantly choreographed to Glass' haunting score, an exploration of human longing for connection in the digital age.
The films are carrying strong crowd reaction - including a standing ovation at the debut and a positive write-up in
The New York Times
- into encore performances in Los Angeles and Omaha, with future shows under consideration.
"Our bread and butter is still advertising, but Nice Shoes is really looking to expand their horizons beyond the thirty second spot. This multimedia event was a great foray out of our comfort zone," noted editor Oren Sarch, who joined Nice Shoes' creative roster in August and helped bring this show to the studio. "I think that's one of the reasons my relationship with Nice Shoes works, since I primarily consider myself a commercial editor with some horizon-expanding long-form work along the way." Sarch's work with director Darren Aronofsky and magician David Blaine are two of the more notable examples of that longer format work.
"Millepied was referred to me by Aronofsky," Sarch noted, "He had two of the five films basically roughed out and wanted some help taking them all to the next level. It didn't surprise me that Millepied was a good editor - choreographers generally know what they want to see against the music. What did surprise me was his understanding of and eagerness to utilize the vernacular of the medium - including split screens, repeated shots, speed changes, etc. - within his choreography to make the films better. Collaborating with him on this was a really creative and inspiring experience."
While editing with Millepied, Sarch convinced him to do a color test with Chris Ryan, which led to Nice Shoes color grading the entire series of films. "Benjamin originally envisioned the pieces in black and white," said Ryan, "but once he saw what we could do, he was floored."
The full force of Nice Shoes' world class creative team really came into play on one of the films where Sarch and Millepied repeated sections of scenes in the rough cut. The visual effects team was tasked with combining the multiple scenes to create a natural transition of a person walking from room to room - no easy feat, since the idea for the effect came into play in the edit room months after the footage had been shot. "We've always prided ourselves on our ability to seamlessly hand all aspects of our client's project from one division to another, and our new creative editorial division only strengthens our ability to do that," added Ryan, "Our clients have asked for this sort of soup-to-nuts capabilities and we've responded."
Director: Benjamin Millepied
Composer: Phillip Glass
Post Production Co.: Nice Shoes
Editor: Oren Sarch
Colorist(s): Chris Ryan, Gene Curley, Ron Sudul
Visual Effects: Nice Shoes
About Nice Shoes
NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, CDs Brian Bowman and Aron Baxter, Senior Producer Pat Portela, and CIO Bob Keske.
More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA) trustcollective.com