Behind the Scenes – Project 2501: An Homage to Ghost in the Shell

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A little over a year ago our friend Ash Thorp asked us to be a part of an insane personal project of recreating frames of the title sequence for Ghost in the Shell. Recreating the world of “Ghost in the Shell” is no small undertaking. Just about every artist, animator, and sci-fi geek respects the creators of the original film and the impact it’s had on the discipline of visual arts. After hearing Ash’s plan of paying homage to the original, we immediately jumped on board to help document his process.

Ash wrangled over 30 artists from The United States, Poland, Portugal, Malaysia, South Africa, Russia, Canada and probably more places we are forgetting. People from all over the world dedicated their free time to recreating a magnificent collection of work. The sun literally never set on this amazing team. Everyday – night and day – emails flew back and forth. As our lives continued, traveling, shooting, moving day by day, while everyday seeing the emails bouncing back and forth between these guys who were so passionate, putting in work on this project everyday – for a year!

You can see the finished project HERE

For us, the undertaking was a bit daunting as the first thing Ash talked about was filming underwater. Neither of us has ever shot anything underwater and we weren’t sure what we were getting into. Since the premise of this entire project was to challenge yourself we did just that accepted the challenge.

First thing we did was source a water housing for our Canon 5D MKIII. There were a couple of setups available for 7D’s in town, but knowing that we were going to shoot in less than ideal lighting conditions underwater we knew we would want the MKIII’s sensor because it would keep things neat and clean. That night I built the camera to go underwater. This was the first time stuffing my camera into a water housing so I felt a bit nervous. After all, it would only take a small miscalculation on my part and my main camera would literally be dead in the water.

Ash and photographer, Tim Tadder found a heated pool in central San Diego that would be the home for our shoot. During the day the pool is used for teaching kids how to swim. The colorful murals of sea life were quite a silly contrast to the dark and moody images that we were intending to create. The shoot indeed had it’s set of challenges. Documenting Tim and his crew left us with nothing but respect for their talents.

From the start Ash asked us to document the process. Our duties were to capture the process of the practical production. This presented us with our own challenges, namely shooting underwater. In the end it was a lot of fun, dare I go as far as calling it liberating to shoot in such a foreign environment; a scenario that we had never experienced before. I think the next time someone asks us to shoot underwater we’ll definitely consider it and remember the challenge Ash put in front of us and how much fun we had. Capturing the photography process of this amazing heart filled project that so many passionate people were involved in is humbling to say the least and fucking awesome to give it to you straight.

Here is the completed process reel that our good friend Franck Deron edited. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

And here are the production stills that offer a behind the scenes perspective of the shoot. Shot by Rebecca Joelson.

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We sincerely hope you enjoy our effort to capture the energy and beauty of the original film’s title sequence.
I know we’ve said it once but here it is again – if you didn’t see the final work please check out Project 2501 HERE

THE TEAM:

Ash thorp – Director / Producer / CG Artist
Anthony Scott Burns – CG Artist
Chris Ford – CG Artist
Colin Thomas – CG Artist
Filipe Carvalho – Art Director / Designer
Franck Deron – Editor
Furio Tedeschi – 3d lead / CG Artist
Gavriil Klimov – CG Artist
Hanno Hagedorn – CG Artist
Kevin Kwok – Web builder
Maciej Kuciara – CG Artist
Michal Misinski – CG Artist / Compositor
Milton Fernandes – CG Artist
Simon Jones – CG Artist – Simulation Artist
Vaughan Ling – CG Artist
Valentin Sorokin – CG Artist
Wedge & Lever – Poster Designer

POLAND CREW
Juice Studios
Adam Tunikowski – Additional Compositing Artist
Aleksandra Rafalksa – Animation
Jaroslaw Handrysik – Additional rendering artist
Kuba Pietrzak – Sound Design
Michal Misinski – Supervisior
Piotr Bialousz – Additional CG Artist
Tomasz Dyrdula – CG Artist

SAN DIEGO CREW
Tim Tadder – Photographer
Dahlia Snyder – Shoot Producer
Mark Peery – Tim Tadder Assistant
Taylor Abeel – Tim Tadder Assistant
Kevin Joelson – Behind the Scenes Cinematography
Rebecca Joelson – Behind the Scenes Photography
Natalie Bohlin – Hair and Makeup Artist
Christine “IDiivil” Adams – Talent

SINGAPORE CREW
Fizah Rahim – Photographer
Rezaliando – Photographer

SPECIAL THANKS
Our Family and Friends
Bahi JD – Advisor
Kaz Oomori – Cultural Design Consultant
Ryan Hawkins – Additional 3D modeling
Tomasz Dyrdula – CG Artist
Vitaly Bulgarov – 3D asset contributor

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