‘Wild Rift’ is one of those creative projects that is difficult to put in a box. Part launch film, part virtual opening ceremony, part music video, part trailer… whatever it is, it’s quite an experience to watch.
The film transports an incredibly stylish, talented and diverse cast to an intricately designed future fantasy Singapore where they unleash their wild sides.
Ross Cooper is the director behind the project, which is the crowning event for the League of Legends – Rift Icons Global Championship – the crowning event of the Rift esports year. League of Legends: Wild Rift is a multiplayer online battle arena mobile game published by Riot Games for Android and iOS. The free-to-play game is an updated version of the PC game League of Legends.
The pandemic ban in China forced the cancellation of the live opening ceremony at the stadium. So, instead, League of Legends took the short lead in producing an opening ceremony movie to run before the live stream event.
This switch left the team with an incredibly tight production and delivery deadline: just seven days to edit, post and finish the SFX-heavy six-minute film, whose final frame, the night market crane shot, was resolved in a forced look. A logo in the shape of a championship trophy that should have seamlessly transitioned into the opening mobile camera footage of the finals live in Singapore.
It was also a unique challenge to work out how to reflect the game’s high-fantasy, steampunk, Lovecraftian horror, full of magic, blue fire-breathing space dragons and undead robot mummies in a post-production-free camera world.
According to the company’s founder, Olivia Hirschberg, “probably the most amazing movie I’ve ever been involved with,” Johnny Foreigner signed Ross on the back to secure the film.
“The first script was very loose,” says Ross, who appreciates the freedom he had to develop the story, suggest ideas, invent techniques, and cast actors inherited from the scrapped live event.
The synopsis, he says, was to “celebrate these diverse casts as they unleash their wild sides in a world alive in color.” Ross is also charged with peppering the film with as many wild Easter eggs as possible to reward the game’s obsessive fans.
The special constraints of the project meant that the director’s approach to this work was three times. Ross lays out the rules:
1. Practical results first. All the actors were doing really well so we should too. We aim to do everything in camera as possible; In practical effects; In-camera scenes, costume and lighting transitions; And as little post production as possible. There would be little room for error and it was more of a ‘fix in pre-production’ issue.
2. Use the most effective camera technique for each performance skill. Each ‘Wild Sider’ had a unique talent, and the best way to capture the emotion of their live performance was to use the most appropriate and often unique camera techniques to capture it.
3. Use uninterrupted periods. Longer works allow the performers to shine and show that they are doing these amazing tricks for real.
The film became, as Ross calls it, “a celebration of in-camera craftsmanship.” He gives respect to all the professionals in his work. “From the speed and control of the lighting desk, to the precision of the matte painters and modelers, the creativity of stylist George Buxton, the brilliance of Natasha Lowes’ hair and make-up, the constantly intricate crane handling, the discipline of not only Adrian Gass’s dancers but also the drones and the stunning production design from Dan Betteridge to Adrian Gase’s melodic rigor, right down to Simon Chaudor’s stunning lighting and camerawork.
The team spent six days for six minutes of film in 11 major events and “didn’t get nearly as much time as I would have liked in pre-pro,” says Ross. “The shooting moved quickly and almost everything had a unique challenge and technique.”
Warning, an impressive list of film credits from the director: “From designing a custom iPhone app and magnetic reversal trick nails, to multiple simulated CRT TVs, flying instruments, hair aerialists, projection mapping, parkour stunts, drone choreography, steadicam, MK-V AR rig, MōVI gimbal, precision crane work, motion control, full musical song and dance segment, forced perspective, glass tile paintings, miniatures, in-camera transitions, in-camera costume changes for great shots, all with unique hair and makeup and a few shots of spinning red cabbage. , which was another problem/solution of the day Storyboard didn’t pass muster, but now I can’t imagine the movie without it.
“The number of Easter eggs we added to the film helped add depth and texture to the world we created,” Ross said. Some were obvious, like the skeleton of an underground elder dragon beneath the streets of Singapore, others were more subtle, like the patterns of game elements and prints on clothing, unmistakable, like singer Take’s amazing pink reflective jacket. In one of the game’s icon shapes, it was up to the last minute as an X affixed to the ‘High Jinks’ neon shop sign, transforming into Jinx, a quintessential punk, game character. The director said: “He had fun at the last minute, turning what was really a typo into Easter eggs.
A custom iPhone app that nails the camera trick.
As an example of Ross’s original mantra of practical effects, the entire phone/nail transformation sequence was shot on camera. Ross designed a custom iPhone app with ProtoPy prototyping software. A flickering animation of the game was created, similar to the cracked glass screen projector. Flash game screen video converted to image from actual phone camera. A custom acrylic prism lens is attached to the phone camera to distort the image in the camera. To make the nails visible on camera, the team used custom Wild Rift nails with hidden magnets – then added magnets to singer TK’s double hand. As she grasped her hand, the nails jumped from her fingers. Then copy the images of the whole sequence, so the nails will magically appear when she passes the magic camera on her hand.
Actors and performers
“TK was a great patient leader,” Ross said. “She brought great energy to the project and bravery in doing the often-daunting motion control camera.” Take’s costume, hair, and makeup changes were one of the few post-production shots planned in the film. So the team had scheduled that shot early in production to give the team Big Boy at the post office. [now Tag Collective Arts] Time to work on that transition. Meanwhile, the rest of the shooting continued.
Due to the number and complexity of elements to shoot at the time and the short delivery window, during occasional short breaks on set Ross would record himself watching rough cuts of the edit and taking verbatim notes on what was and what wasn’t. It’s not working, so the producers sync it with the film and play it back at their own pace.
“Samuka, the Brazilian B-boy, was a lot of fun to work with,” says Ross. “His skills are self-explanatory. The camera roll controlled with the accelerometer in the iPhone was an attempt to capture the thrill of seeing his incredible attack in person.”
“Elena was our lovely LA-based hairstylist, she tied her hair into a bun and then around a metal ring, then added a few minutes to warm her head, gradually building more tension until she was ready. fly away. She flew straight up and down. She perfected this new skill in record time.
For the final shot of the film, the team shot her dramatic debut while all the actors except Elena froze. She asked if we really wanted to see a fast-paced version. “We were worried that everyone would be distracted by her performance because everyone had to stay,” Ross said. “So we made it clear that no one was to look at her. Everyone did as they were told and only when it was cut did the cast and crew break out into spontaneous applause.”
A scene in which one of the other actors, Ainsley Hal Ricketts, dances with drones was originally planned to use 3D Productions’ drone demo company. They pre-program the drones to fly along a fixed 3D path following a prescribed choreography. But this runs into a problem because the drones can’t fly properly when they’re inside a building – the GPS signals don’t work well. And since the drone’s movement was keyed into the 3D software, it wasn’t something that could be developed dynamically with the dancer, steadicam and choreographer in real time. To solve this, Ross suggested finding drone FPV (first-person view) pilots and treating them like dancers, allowing drone pilots to experiment, develop and learn choreography.
Ross reflected on the strange moment this led to: “To watch the three FPV drones, they all sat in a row, wearing their first-person-view headsets, while assistant choreographer Lian Lee Mei stood up screaming. The drones, admonishing them to keep time, ‘1,2,3 heel, twist’, the dancer Ainsley and Rick the Steadicam operator negotiate to be in the center of the maelstrom, trusting the pilots to continue their mission. They were particularly brave as one of the drones sucked the tail from another drone into its engine causing it to crash into the boat. The drones were so light and had rotor protectors that they were perfectly safe to fly towards people, but still.
The idea of adding tails to the drones was to give them a visually interesting, organic look and to make it clear that the drones were there and not added in CG. “The dramatic fabric of the dancers’ costumes, designed by George Buxton, changes from near-black to shimmering rainbows to the camera,” says the director. “While the suit responded to the LEDs on the drones, Simon Chaudoire used a manually triggered front light on the Steadicam to give the full blast of the color change in the camera.”
In addition to looking amazing, George Buxton stylists want all of their clothing to be as durable as possible. She targets 90% of her clothes by employing herself, buying second hand, stocking up and upcycling. It was successfully achieved.
Additionally, many of the film’s easter eggs are found in the game’s costumes – such as screen-printed decorative elements, textiles, jewelry, and jewelry all taken from the game or clothing forms that echo graphics from the game.
The spectacular parkour sequences required clever production design to showcase the athletes’ skills to the max. Parkour’s smokestack, after athlete Taylor Carpenter jumped off a building, was actually built leaning at a 45-degree angle. “It means we get to enjoy her breed even more,” Ross said. She can safely jump a fence, grab a ledge, then scale a 20-foot wire without a wire.
“[Production designer] And [Betteridge]It was a beautiful design for swimming parkour,” he says. Dan worked with choreographer Adrian and the parkour athletes to tailor the design to their needs and best showcase their unique parkour style. The team worked with parkour cinematographer Daniel Ilabaka to develop the routine and fire up the camera to see the players’ skills.
“Taylor’s combination of choreography, performance and costuming conveys a compelling sense of power,” says the director. “Other parkour trackers Ed, George and Travis combine impeccable skill, professionalism and bravery to create an amazing routine. George’s side hit on a pole larger than his own footprint was particularly impressive. He used the T-shirt as a mark to practice the jump at ground level before taking to the air to perform the jump and hit the pole correctly. With the rest of the parkour team cheering and supporting his amazing performance. Just watching from the monitor, it made me think I could skip the set like a lot of smart people, luckily the band only needed two takes and both were perfect so I had no time to embarrass myself.
I was very fortunate that producer Joe Myers and Lucky Strike producers assembled such a wonderful crew who were all at the top of their game. It was an amazing experience to see such wonderful performers doing amazing things in beautiful settings. As the estimable Simon Chaudoire notes, ‘there were so many happy moments of this shoot’, in between moments of suffering the incessant noise of hundreds of angry cherry pickers. But overall, it makes me incredibly grateful to have one of the best jobs in the world.
Director: Ross Cooper
the host Joe Myers
Production company: Lucky Strike Productions
Agent of Directors: Johnny Foreigner
Exec Editor: Phil Haselden
Line Editor: Igor Degtyarev
Product Manager: Marketa Husca
Dope: Simon Chaudoire
Product designer: Dan Betteridge
Clothing designer George Buxton
Make-up and hair stylist; Natasha Lowes
Customer: Riot games
Riot Creative Director: Charlie Anderson
Organize a riot: Pat Doyle
Riot Production Manager: Callum Burns
Choreographer: Adrian Gas
Assistant Choreographer: Leanne Lee May
Artist: We were told to ‘change’ Maidza.
Artist Manager: Sasha Chifura
B. Boy: Samuel ‘Samuca’ da Silveira Lima
Hairstylist: A relative of Elena Suarez
drone leader; Ainsley Hallricketts
Parkour Athlete: Taylor Carpenter
Parkour Athlete: Ed Scott
Parkour Athlete: Travis Vervaik
Parkour Athlete: George McGowan
Product Assistant: Georgia McClure
Product Assistant: Susan Mustafa
Actors Coordinator: Maisie Spratt
Transport Coordinator: India Plummer
Security Pass Product Assistant: Clara Grace
Script Controller: Moe Johnston
1st Notice: Ben Gill
2nd Notice: Chris Mears
3rd Notice: Dennis Northey
3rd Runner Up: Kitty Rajakulasingham
Runner: Cian Llewellyn
Runner: Sidney Kwok
Runner: Kai Rajakulasingam
Runner: Hugo Foley
Runner: In this Mcdleod
Runner: Rio Savavaris
Runner: Alex Deghterev
Gary’s daughter: Lewis’s page
A smart traveller. Birkramjit Gurm
Wok Chef: Ian Uchong
I rang the phone. James Mulford
young tourist Andres question
Reverse Woman: Lena Guerin
Metro worker: Emi Ichikawa
Businesswoman: Hiromi Toyoka
Beat Boxers: Fortune Jordan
Drone Dancer: Kieran Daley-Ward
Drone Dancer: Becky Wong
Dancer: Nicole Valverde
Dancer: Martha Gimson
Dancer: Leanne Horsey
Dancer: Vicky Clark
Dancer: Darcy Simon
Dancer: Billy Sawyer
Dancer: Kenji Mutsunaga
Dancer: Ryan Hayes
Dancer: Marko Stamkovic
Dancer: Armando Cruz
Dancer: Josh Gill
Dancer: Ines Galvares
Dancer: Phil Birchall
Dancer: Charlotte Hawthorne
Dancer: Mina’s neighbor.
Dancer: Hayley Monaghan.
Dancer: More cream
Steadicam: Rick Woolard
Camera 1st AC: Charlie England
Camera 2nd AC: Tara Bolton
B Cam 1st AC: Tim Allen
B Cam 2nd AC: Jenny John Chuan
Camera Apprentice: Crescencio Ferreira
IT: Nelson Oliver
Video playback: Carl Taggart.
Mockery: Tom Keeling
Moko Assistant: Tom Ravscroft
Moko Assistant: Kevin Culmer
Script Controller: Moe Johnston
Parker Cam Op. Daniel Ilabaka
Product of Singapore Mark Sim
DOP of Singapore Reynard Lee
Art Director: Kate McConnell
Art Director: Marian Gallagher
Art Director: Jenny Selden
Jewelry maker: Anna Lynch Robinson
Prop Master: Chris Brett
Prop Master; Lloyd Vincent
Prop Man: Leicester Hill
Prop Man: Dan Underwood
Art Assis: Bailey Betteridge
Stomach Sneak Painter: Craig Carpenter
Matt Painter: Leigh took it
Matte Painting Assis: Sonya Latchford
Storyboard Artist: Jane Clarke
Key Case: Pete Olney
dry Adam Samuelson
Mini Libra Tech: Josh Milne
Crane Head Op. Lawrence Bewsher
Crane is on. James Deffy
Gaffer: Steve Feinberg
best boy Dan Fontaine
Light Desk Ops: Andy Walton
Head Rigger: Pat Daly
A flying machine. Ben Haynes
A flying machine. James Pierce
A flying machine. Lee Stephens
drone pilot; Mike Foyle
Drone Spotter; Lawrence Randall
drone pilot; Josh Henriques
Drone Spotter; Emmanuel Holcroft
drone pilot; Louis Huyler
Drone Spotter; Lucian Wisniewski
Clothing supervisor: Jessica Johnston
Garment Assistant: Pia Woodwin
Garment Assistant: Amy Laverac
Garment Assistant: Nancy Kane
Garment Assistant: Aimee Blowers
Garment Assistant: Gaby Edmonds
Tailoring. Carson Darling Blair
Tailoring Vicky Tarbuck
Tailoring Soraya Samju
Tailoring Faye Oakenfull
Hairdresser/supervisor: Judith Florence
Makeup / Hair / Nails; Mother McDevitt
Makeup Artist: Martha Wozniak
hair/makeup; Holly Miller
hair/makeup; Camilla Cornini
hair/makeup; Anthony Tester
hair/makeup; Jane Arnold
hair/makeup; Jazz Lanairo
hair/makeup; Kerry Clark
hair/makeup; David Sesamero
hair/makeup; Jenny Green
hair/makeup; Emily Chaplin
hair/makeup; Elsa Isaku
hair/makeup; Ruth Pease
Event Prediction: Craig Westwood
Event Prediction: Steven Johnson
Post Prod Company: Big boo
Create a post: Neuma Lluisa Dos Santos
Vfx Supervisor: Angus Wilson
Offline Editor: Lawrence Halstead
Offline Editor: Matt Felstead
Edit Assistant: Fraser Eldred
Sound Design and Sound Mixing: Nick Olsouzidis
Vfx: Tim Davis
Vfx: Richard ‘Stretch’ Russell
Vfx: Pete Hughes
Color Level: Mark Horobin
Music Composer/Composer: Mark Yardley
Music Manager: Louise Smith
musical composition; Michael Pittman
musical composition; Richard Thomson
BTS Director / Camera: Guy Stephens
BTS 2nd Camera: Luke Atkinson
On Site Medic: Paul Mortimer
On Site Medic: Aaron Woodbridge
Health and Safety Officer: Alexander Lippinx