Tag’s professional post and production team provided quality, audio, offline and visual effects for the League of Legends intro for the Wild Rift Icons Global Championship 2022, launched in Singapore in early July. The intro is a high-octane dance track with a diverse cast, full of energy and stunning visuals that set the stage for the esports competition, which saw fans witness global teams s face off for a $2 million prize.
Sleek, punchy, and visually arresting, the trailer appeals to existing and potential gamers. The post-production process was key to achieving the final look, feel, and sound of the trailer with Tag working in all of these categories. Mark Horrobin, head of color, worked on the grade, helping to bring the director’s vision to life by reinforcing feelings of the mundane before a transformation into fantasy. Neuma Llusiados Santos supervised the entire post-production process as sound engineer, Nick Olsouzidis, worked closely with the composer and creatives to ensure that the sound design and music blend “temporally and harmonically into one”. Finally, the VFX team of Tim Davies and Richard ‘Stretch’ Russell (featuring Sunil Rao, Peter Hughes and David Rose) took inspiration from The Matrix, while putting their own creative spin on it to achieve a fantastic look under the weather. client. constraints.
Everyone who worked on the position agreed that doing it on time and under budget would not have been possible had the team not worked under one roof and used the excellent relationship and communication which they have established over many years. Below, the team tells LBB exactly how this energetic and fantastic trailer came to life in post-production.
LBB> What was the initial brief like? How detailed/open was it?
Mark> The brief didn’t really arrive until the day of the note because the turnaround time was very tight. I had a good half-day with the DOP, Simon Chaudoir, to fix the key plans. As always, his lighting was impeccable, and we really went where the light took us. Afterwards, the client indicated that he would like the last parts to be brighter and more colorful to match the game itself a little better.
Tim/Richard > Initially there were broad outlines to follow, but as Ross began to flesh out his ideas, we began to discuss the techniques in more detail and come up with a detailed plan of how we would allocate our time . It was a job where for once, the deadline was very real and quite tight, so the development of the look of certain moments had to be reversed very quickly.
Nick> As is quite common in audio publications, sound designers are hired at the very last minute and this project was no different, we were the last to join the party!
The picture lock was nowhere to be found and we quickly realized that with the number of stakeholders involved, the edit was likely to remain “unlocked” until just a few hours before the entire footage was broadcast live for the final in Singapore… we were right!
We knew we had to be smart and come up with a plan to constantly sync our work with the latest changes and allow for any major creative pivots in the story. On top of that, the sound design had to work with the music extremely tightly, blending almost temporally and harmonically into one at times.
Our audio assistant, Diego Quintana, and our sound engineer, Matt Ennis, each handled a different section of the film. They tracked, retimed, tracked and retimed again, then laid more while I focused on working with the composer and creatives. Mark Yardley, music producer, moved into our studios and continued to tweak and export stems, helping us achieve the best possible sound mix down the line.
LBB>As a producer overseeing the position for audio, quality, offline and VFX, what were your main considerations?
Neuma> It was essential that everyone was on the same page. We were on board from the start and had conversations with production (of filming) and the director before filming began. We had to be very clear about what the creatives and production team were looking for so we could sync and match the style of the shoot.
One of the things that was never out of place was having a VFX supervisor on set who would be able to accurately identify the needs on their end. We were very aware of the color that would be defined from the start, which allowed us to achieve the exact result they were looking for. To get this ball rolling, we also skipped over early conversations with the DOP and DIT, who also did live notes during filming.
LBB> The look of the film mixes the real with the fantastic. What was the main role of the note in the final look?
Mark> In the end, that was the idea. Start with a sense of the mundane, then jump into the world of Wild Rift. Again, this was largely accomplished through lighting, as well as wardrobe and art direction.
LBB> Did you use references for the VFX?
Tim/Richard> Surprisingly, not especially! Ross had asked us to add punch to the main transition of the hero (TKay) in his costume and sent a reference from The Matrix where the helicopter crashes into a building, but the moment we were working on hadn’t not as much space as this benchmark, so we developed something much faster, but still based on this benchmark. The other main “visual” VFX in the final film is the magic trails that TKay occasionally generated, and these were developed from the ground up taking inspiration from some of the video game’s Key Art.
LBB> The spot balances visual effects with reality. What type of effect did the VFX use to produce?
Tim/Richard > Our plan was to help Ross achieve what he wanted behind closed doors as much as possible. This involved developing the layers for use in a custom iPhone app and all of the TV footage in the game store window that was streamed live on set.
After filming, we removed the motion control tracks and refined the in-camera clothing changes as well as adding some specific moments mentioned above.
LBB>What was the hardest part of the whole job? How did you overcome it?
Neuma> We had five to seven days to go around the post, including offline editing. Like I said, we watched the shoot and VFX supervised it. We had an offline editor during the week who also assembled and sorted the rushes and takes according to the STB so that we could work in advance.
Essentially, we worked like (dare I say) a very well-built machine, where as soon as something was signed off, it immediately moved on to the next team to do their part, be fired and then passed on to compliant or audio. Every step we took was subject to change at any time, so we also worked on the assumption that anything could happen (a little crazy never hurt anyone!).
The weather did not allow us to work in the traditional way. We even created fun effects, glitches and other clips before filming so we could show them on TV screens and phones during filming.
The best way to handle all of this was to simply trust the whole team and know that everyone involved knew exactly what they were doing. The best professionals and colleagues were involved in this project, and it was a real pleasure to see this both in production and in post-production.
LBB>Tag worked on the quality, visual effects, audio and editing of this project. Have you felt any benefit from having so much of the job done under one roof?
Mark> I don’t think we could have delivered if we hadn’t worked on it simultaneously. There was a selection of other films to provide us for final mastering, with ours nested. While completing the VFX work on ours, we were able to simultaneously refine the structure of the entire deliverable. We set up a release schedule in Resolve and updated until the very last minute before making the final master. This workflow gave us the best opportunity to effectively use the limited time we had.
Tim/Richard > We’ve grown all of these crafts in tandem for years now and honestly, I can’t see how it could have been done any other way in the timeframe we were working on. Having the assistants, the engineers and the producers and all the departments in the same building allows us a very smooth workflow. We all work on one server, whether we are in the office, at the start or at home. The benefits are enormous and allow us to stay creative (in all departments) until delivery time.
Nick > Being in the same building with producers, offline editors, visual effects and grading was really what made it all possible. Creatives and clients could move from room to room, constantly reviewing and advising. They were wonderful and an absolute joy to work with. We ended up preparing not one but two versions of the film for the final review!
Neuma > Seeing a project come to life with pretty much everything done in-house is probably one of the best things that can happen to us. Time was of the essence and we had the chance to manage the project internally, which sped things up tremendously. Emotionally, working as a team, all together, is one of the great things about projects like this.