Beauty Commercial
No aliens were harmed during this production.
COSMOS from Anastasia of Beverly Hills: With eyes this sparkly the stars will look up at you.
Have you tried reading the makeup aisle? The product names are enough to make you blush. Nars has an entire collection titled Orgasm. Then there is G-Spot Stick and French Tickler Eyeshadow. That’s some pretty exciting makeup. 

What color would you think Sunday Drive, Unpaid Intern, Cosmos and Love Flame are? I decided to take it all way too seriously. Each color and quirky name prompted a story. 

The idea was gelling but to pull it off I needed to shoot on an XR Stage, also known as an LED volume. I’d never worked on a stage like this, but I pay close attention to emerging tech, always trying to match the right creative and tool. If you’ve seen The Mandelorian, you’ve already experienced what this technology can do.

As luck would have it, I met a technologist named Konstantin Willms who had just built an XR Stage at Amazon Web Services and was looking to put the tech through its paces. I love it when a plan comes together.

Konstantin showed me what the stage could do. It’s endless. We could create and animate scenes in Unreal Engine and quickly see them rendered floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall. You can be in any environment you can imagine. As a director, the second you see it you think of idea after idea you want to shoot this way. I pitched him the Cosmos and Love Flame creative and he was into it. He even volunteered to make and animate the virtual scenes for the effects I wanted. We were off to the races.

Unlike working with green screen, where the visual effects come together after the shoot, on the XR stage we can create a fluid three-dimensional environment and capture it all in real-time. The actors see themselves in the world and the crew can adjust wardrobe, props, lighting and camera moves based on what we see on the monitors. For me as a director, it helps keep everyone on the same page, everyone immediately gets what’s going on, and what’s going is awesome.

I’m really proud of this work. The finished projects match my original vision and I’m excited about what I learned working with a whole new technology. I judge my work based on ideas, execution and collaboration. For me, this was a perfect learning experience on all three fronts and I can’t wait to bring these skills to the next project.

All that about the stage said, on its own, no tool will make your work look cinematic, commercial, or polished. That takes craft, and craft in film comes from great artists. Huge thanks to all the people who brought their craft to this endeavor. Our rocket woman, Scout Agency model Anjali Chloe and her flight director, agent Becca Mikesel @beccamikesell My copilot and talented makeup artist, Diane Catorc, mission-control and Unreal Engine world-builder Konstantin Willms and Macgyver-er Joaquin Stewart-Soriano @awalkingpun, cinematographer and international man of mystery, Roman Prudkin @romanprudkin, editor and creative partner Iana Simeonov, world-class composer who never expected to write space music, code-name Ron Bacardi @arbinnyc, and decibel whisperer, Nathan Moody aka noisejockey, sound designer and mixer for a the very last bit of magic before blast off.

Model & Actor Anjali Chloe is represented by Scout Model and Talent Agency @scouttm

When the Unreal Engine feed is switched the video wall shows the camera feed giving this endless mirror effect.

Cinematographer Roman Prudkin (right) @romanprudkin making an adjustment with Anjali Chloe wearing the NASA helmet from Wonder Works Rentals

Michael Winokur @winokur working out a dolly move with Joaquin Stewart-Soriano @awalkingpun and Konstantin Willms.

Michael Winokur @winokur directing Anjali for a close up shot.

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