Thornberg & Forester Paint Explosion for Vilcek
Bernstein & Andriulli

Motion studio Thornberg & Forester partnered with production company Valiant Pictures on a 30-second-long ident for the Vilcek Foundation. Vilcek plans to use the video as a cinematic open for films sponsored by the leading cultural institution following its official premiere at the 33rd annual Hawaii International Film Festival, opening on October 10.

Although Vilcek supports foreign-born scientists and artists who have made outstanding contributions to society in the U.S., it was clear to Thornberg & Forester creative director Justin Meredith that the Vilcek team "did not want the animation to represent some type of immigration journey or struggle story," he explained. "They wanted it to be a non-literal weave of art and science; an abstract journey that feels optimistic and open."

T&F and Valiant presented their pitch, incorporating the foundation's evolved visual language that references minimalist sculptor Dan Flavin, artist and educator Josef Albers, Swiss graphic designer Josef Müller-Brockmann, among others. "The process of building a motion piece was a new and exciting experience for Vilcek ... [and] we enjoyed the opportunity to walk through the many steps of creating a piece like this," Meredith remarked. "There are so many steps and stops when creating motion such as playblasts, rough cuts, and temporary images."

The eruption of hues toward the end of the clip proved to be the biggest challenge. "First, it's extremely difficult to control a paint explosion," Meredith said. "Two, we wanted the paint explosion to have a unique feel and not the typical 1000 frames-per-second phantom look – we wanted something in between a phantom and flat graphic look."


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Creative director: Vincent Lin of Valiant Pictures
Producer: Matthew D'Amato of Valiant Pictures
Sound designer: Harry Woolway of NBCUniversal
Re-Recording mixer: Eddie Bydalek of NBCUniversal

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