Jimmy Diebold, Bodega: Midnight Lights
Posted on February 1, 2012 by contact
Wow, some breathtaking light effects …
New York/San Francisco-based content creation/production company Bodega director Jimmy Diebold lights up the Seattle night in a new music-driven 1:55 short “Midnight Lights,” made as a tribute to the Seattle Seahawks and their home stadium.
The project was hatched by director Diebold, an enthusiastic sports fan, during last summer’s NFL lockout. “I wanted to create a piece that was an architectural appreciation and provided a sense of place, but also captured the raw energy and excitement of what happens there. I knew it would be a departure from anything I’d done before,” adds Diebold, who is noted for directorial work on spots for many of the world’s top beauty brands.
Over the ensuing weeks, Diebold painstakingly perfected his process for creating the piece’s eye-popping light show. Says Diebold, “Creating the light effects in-camera—how it bounces and spills off of the stadium’s contours—requires special consideration, but it’s the only way to achieve such beautiful, natural images.”
As Diebold continued to tinker with his process, Bodega EP Clint Goldman enlisted the help of the Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures organization to secure use of the stadium for a single night. Creating the effects in-camera created considerable production challenges. Notes Diebold, “Each light in the stadium had to be turned on and off individually, one at a time, and some of those stadium light towers can take up to half an hour to turn on fully.” The shoot also required the stadium to be photographed in total darkness, which entailed temporarily disabling auxiliary and emergency lights.
Through weeks of meticulous editing, the resulting film establishes the inanimate stadium as a character come to life. “Cutting strobe lights to a beat has been done a lot,” explains Diebold. “So, I wanted these lights to not just sync to the beat, but actually feel more like the chorus to the song. As if the stadium were having a call and response with itself through light.”
The choice of music was key as well. Explains Diebold, “The great thing about dubstep is that a lot of its heavy bass wobble and beat has a vibration that feels very similar to the electricity surging through these huge banks of light. The music sounds like the lights feel.”
While the filmmakers are hopeful the film will find a home at CenturyLink Field, to be played before games, Diebold’s bold new creative direction has already started generating excitement in the creative community, with Bodega Executive Creative Director Adam Reid raving, “’Midnight Lights’ epitomizes the kind of work that Bodega is all about: Big, bold, beautiful, expressive projects to which our directors can bring themselves completely, and reach new heights with their vision.”