The famous MTV VMAs are just a few weeks away, a fact that will be a secret to no one thanks to a vibrant five-spot campaign color-graded by Smoke & Mirrors Colorist Ben Eagleton. Working direct-to-client with MTV, Eagleton expertly colored the challenging campaign, which mimics the look of various past eras with a funky mix of black-and-white, full color, and mixed footage. The campaign stars VMA nominees, presenters and performers: Nicki Minaj, Drake, Ke$ha, Eminem and Justin Bieber.
"Recreating the past is no easy task," noted Eagleton. "Especially in such a short piece, so every detail takes on extra importance, from the set to the camera angles to the editing. But the coloring has a special ability to evoke a certain era, as so much of our film history is marked with distinct shades and hues unique to individual time periods."
The Nicki Minaj :60 stars the Best New Artist nominee and award presenter in an eclectic series of four vignettes. First she is Nicki the child in simple classic black and white. Then she is Nicki the biker, storming a pseudo 1950s rear-projector backdrop in full, undeniable color. Nicki the actress struts in vivid and rich, full-color confidence, while Nicki the singer rolls out in beautiful, deep color with an R&B feel.
Drake, a VMA performer and dual award nominee, relaxes in impossibly cool Frank Sinatra-style 1950s black and white while his crowd waits breathlessly stageside for his appearance - footage shot in color and then graded to be black and white. Eagleton used various filters in the resolve to create an authentic, stunning look for the spot.
Three-award nominee and presenter Ke$ha stars in a delightfully bizarre blend of deep black and white and vivid color, in which she leaps from the window of her gothic-style (and all black-and-white) bedroom and through a kaleidoscopic, colorful abyss of billboards, marquees, and VMAs. Throughout the fall, the neophyte performer maintains her ivory complexion, in stark and wonderful contrast to the grungily luminous world around her.