Love Flame
Beauty Commercial
Professional Model, closed course. 
Love Flame from Charlotte Tilbury: Lips so hot you might start a fire.
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 fire starter, Stars Management model, Tallulah Rose @tallulah.rose.model, her ignitor and agent AJ @amber_r_jones, my chief firefighter and sparkle-wrangling makeup artist,, Diane Catorc, reserve firefighter and wardrobe stylist Bryan Calloway @fashion_flexin, fire safety officer and Unreal Engine pyromaniac Konstantin Willms, assistant arsonist and chief problem-solver Joaquin Stewart-Soriano @awalkingpun, cinematographer and firefighter calendar centerfold, Roman Prudkin @romanprudkin with assistance from woman-on-fire and camera operator Tatiana Litvinenko @Came_ra_lit, burn-frame editor and my creative partner Iana Simeonov, world-class composer who never expected to write heavy metal music, code-name Ron Bacardi @arbinnyc, and Nathan Moody aka noisejockey, sound designer and mixer for making sure that flaming guitar lick is on fire.

Model & Actor Talulah Rose

Michael WInokur @winokur directing Tallulah Rose on the XR Stage

Love Flame lipstick from Charlotte Tilburry

Adjusting the product with video panels providing flame reflections in the lipstick's gold case.

Michael Winokur @winokur adjusting camera on the burning apartment set while a reference image from The Joker is displayed below.

Konstantin Willms and Joaquin Stewart-Soriano prepping the Arri Alexa camera for use with Unreal Engine.

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