NASA/APPLE MUSIC "Visions of Harmony" (2016)
Joe had a very specific vision for this, and I think it started with that. We had a few phone calls with Scott Bolton from Nasa and Apple Music to try to get a sense of the story they were looking to convey, but for a documentary you never really know what kind of dialogue might unfold. We knew the message, but were looking for an impactful way to tell it. So Joe focused on his attention on the harmony aspect between the nature of discovery in science and our own little creative epiphanies we have when crafting music. We wanted everything to feel unified and connected so he wrote some visual motifs with circles and rotation in motion. So we ended up with a series of vignettes, which we would intercut with interviews and some performance B-roll for the each of the artists Apple Music provided.
The first treatment I read had a long list of vignettes. It was great that they were all laid out, and to be fair, we were looking to fill an unknown amount of screen time to keep the piece interesting. But it was a lot of shots. So we started by breaking them down by what shots would be strictly CG, what shots could be shot on stage, and what shots could be location. We thought the more we could shoot in stage, the more we could shoot, so we prioritized our time in stage. We were able to film a short period at NASA JPL in Pasadena, CA, but only for a half-day due to security regulations. We were granted access to mission control and some other really cool places. We had to wipe the gear down for about an hour just to clear it to be entered into the clean room. While we shot at JPL, the rest of our crew was lighting at a sound stage, so we could jump right into filming there when we were done. We shot the vignettes and interviews over 2.5 more days in stage (3 shoot days total), plus 1 pick-up day for another artist interview. Apple Music paired Joe up with renowned film composer and musician Trent Reznor, so it was an extreme honor to have his original music in the video. That paired up with a killer group of VFX artists really made it all come together. This is one of my proudest pieces of work to date!
Director of Photography
Original Music by
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Filmed 1/2 day on location at Nasa JPL in Pasadena, CA. Filmed 2.5 days on stage.
Filmed in Los Angeles, CA.
Our team worked with Nasa's Scott Bolton (Lead Investigator: Juno Mission) and Apple Music to develop this story. And by "our team" I mean Joe Sill. :)