Valiant Pictures has teamed up with Thornberg & Forester (T&F) to produce a vibrant new cinematic ident for the Vilcek Foundation, a leading cultural institution in the arts and sciences. The ident, released online today, will have its theatrical premiere at the 33rd annual Hawaii International Film Festival, opening on 10 October, where it will introduce all of the short and feature films sponsored by the Vilcek Foundation as a part of its New American Filmmakers section.
This new ident was developed in collaboration with the Vilcek Foundation’s executive director Rick Kinsel. “This was not an easy task,” said Kinsel. “We knew it would be difficult to convey all that we do in 30 seconds, so instead we wanted to find a way to condense it all into a feeling of creativity, simplicity, and joy, while remaining within our preferred aesthetic.”
T&F was invited to take part in this project by the founding partners of Valiant Pictures, Vincent Lin and Matthew D’Amato. The two oversaw every aspect of the project, from the initial concepts to careful revisions, to ensure it met the high expectations of the foundation. Justin Meredith led the project for T&F’s team, which was chosen for its sharp design sensibility and past record of award-winning work.
“Thornberg & Forester was my first choice for this project,” D’Amato confirmed. “Their work is amazing and I knew it would be a perfect collaboration. The final piece exceeded my expectations and I’m excited to see what we can create in the future.”
“During the early discussions, we learned a lot about the foundation’s tastes and design inspirations,” Meredith said. “The idea that took shape was to weave together concepts of science and art into an abstract journey that feels optimistic and open. We needed to communicate a feeling more than a story.”
The piece begins with colorful threads on a field of white, which form a 3D helix structure. A figure then appears in the background, who touches the graphic, sending a rainbow pattern of paint in motion, which forms a circle. The circle shrinks away before transitioning into a dazzling, full-screen explosion of vibrant swirls of paint, where the Vilcek Foundation’s logo resolves.
“We thought that building a motion piece would be an exciting way to get our message across,” Meredith continued. “In our approach, we used tactile methods such as paint, ink and string to capture in-camera elements. Although the finished project looks simple, those are always the hardest to balance.”
The final piece was completed by a masterful, yet spare, sound design from Eddie Bydalek and Harry Woolway, noted sound engineers known for their work on feature films and television.
T&F’s project workflow involved live-action shoots with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera to capture elements such as the circle and the paint explosion. The company’s design and animation talents were also instrumental in bringing the piece to life, where the toolset involved Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D, as well as Adobe After Effects and DaVinci Resolve. T&F’s credits also include executive producer Elizabeth Kiehner, producer Kelsey Thomson, art director Kyle Hurley, technical director Vi Nguyen, designer Michelle Cho, pitch designers Mike Burgoyne and Ly Ngo, and animators Jaymie Miguel and Joe Russ. The final mix is courtesy of NBC Universal.
About The Vilcek Foundation
The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the Foundation, to honor the contributions of foreign-born scholars and artists living in the United States, was inspired by the couple’s careers in biomedical science and art history, respectively, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The Foundation hosts events to promote the work of immigrants, awards annual prizes to prominent immigrant biomedical scientists and artists, and sponsors cultural programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival. To learn more about the Vilcek Foundation, please visit http://Vilcek.org.
About Valiant Pictures
Producers of content that’s been licensed to NBC, HBO, Time Warner Cable, and MNET, the company’s work has amassed millions of online views, numerous awards, and screened at The New York Times, Tribeca, Queens Museum, and over 100 film festivals around the world. Valiant Pictures is an innovative production company that creates content across all forms of media including commercials, music videos, digital content, and feature films. For more information, please visit http://valiantpictures.com.
About Thornberg & Forester
Thornberg & Forester (T&F) is an award-winning design and digital production company that exists to bring quality, integrity and innovation to the media landscape. Our team does this by crafting stories and conveying brand messages through the most relevant mediums possible. We challenge ourselves to leverage both creativity and technology, and above all we genuinely listen to the needs of our client partners and respond with the best solutions for you. With conceptual design as our backbone, our headquarters in Manhattan and a posh Culver City studio, we offer a complete turnkey solution for brilliant end-to-end production through delivery. Many of our clients worldwide refer to us as their secret weapon and it’s time we let you in on the secret: http://thornbergandforester.