Director - Kenya Barris @kenyabarris
Written by - Kenya Barris & Jonah Hill @kenyabarris
Produced - Netflix, Khalabo Ink Society, Misher Films, & Strong Baby Productions
VFX - Scissor Films @scissorfilms
VFX Producer - Shaina Vinson @shaivinson
GFX Artist - Dylan O’Donovan @_dylanodonovan_
VFX Artist - Philipp Litvin @philipplitvin
Pipeline TD - Cody Stauffer @codystauffer
Scissor Films had the pleasure of working extensively with Netflix and Kenya Barris on his feature directorial debut, You People. From the opening title card all the way to the end credits, we put our special Scissor Films touch throughout the film, weaving together hilarious scenes and key moments with custom graphics and 3D environments to bring this star-studded Netflix production to life.
Scissor Films GFX Artist, Dylan O’Donovan, created an aesthetic that got the attention of director Kenya Barris and matched Kenya’s vision for the film. In creating this aesthetic, Dylan mixed some of his favorite self-taught skills, manically messing with frame rates, stop-motion effects, and various colors, textures and overlays. He then utilized multiple Adobe programs to create these never before seen custom transition effects.
The stills and animations that make up each transition were built using footage and b-roll from the film, that expound on each scene the transitions carry us in and out of, creating a language throughout the film. Each graphic was carefully crafted for the various transitional points in the movie, giving the audience little easter eggs that enrich the themes of the film. As Kenya Barris stated, “There’s never been a love letter to L.A. from our generation…We wanted to write a love letter to L.A., a love letter to the culture.” These detailed transitions were frivolously freestyled yet meticulously designed, making for a cool, modern, and different aesthetic that embodies the vibe and culture of LA.
Scissor Films VFX Artist, Philipp Litvin, also added user interface elements that intertwined with the GFX, to help emphasize the language created throughout the film and address main story elements. These UI elements can be seen in the first scene of the film, with Jonah Hill’s character, Ezra’s up and coming podcast. Here, Philipp created a ‘live stream’ UI with comments that scroll up on screen. Phil also crafted UI for a comedic scene with Laura London’s character, Amira, where she reads through text messages as the text bubbles appear on screen. And as the film progresses, we see UI and GFX combined together on screen during a hilarious basketball game where Eddie Murphy’s character, Akhbar, ‘goes live’ as he records Ezra playing ball, hoping to live stream Ezra’s loss. But just as Ezra turns the tables and goes for a win, our GFX transitions come in, building to a hilarious turning point for these two characters and emphasizing the vibe of the film. The UI created by Phil does an amazing job of bringing the movie up to date in the social media landscape we live in.
Scissor Films also had the pleasure of being a part of the team that helped to create the You People main title card. Having been provided the still graphic from an artist, we brought the layers to life and animated them onto the screen – with birds flying in from the left of the screen, flags flying, palm tree branches blowing in the wind, and painted strokes being brushed onto screen as “You People” appears and the music swells.
A similar process was also done for the main opening credits as well as the main closing credits. We worked with another artist from the film that created a unique graffiti style font for the credits, in which Scissor Films animated onto screen for each card to appear as if being sprayed on, true graffiti style. To put our touch on these features of a film was an honor and a challenge, staying within the proper safety margins for Netflix’s various deliverables, theatrical or otherwise, of the film, while still aiming to keep the artists and director’s vision, breathing life into the elements that make up a motion picture.
Another major element of the movie that we worked on comes at the pinnacle point of the story. From the first frame of the final big scene, Scissor Films’ 3D visual effects elements shine to give Jonah Hill and Laura London their hero moment. The ending wedding ceremony displays wall to wall floral set decorations that were custom modeled by our team, adding more romance to a vital key point in our main character’s story. For this pre-visualization, our team rendered out various options of floral decor and met with the team for client reviews. Once the look was set, we went straight to work on each scene of the wedding, adding rose petals to the floor and decor on the walls. Scissor Films added more of their flare to the wedding celebration, adding party lights, confetti, and more set decor. The months of around the clock hard work of every element of animation, textures, environments, graphics, and overlays throughout the film made for a massive endeavor on a huge studio film. The workflow and delivery of such an intense project was produced by Shaina Vinson and pipeline technical director, Cody Stauffer. This film showed just how much Scissor Films’ passion for filmmaking allows them to take on any project, on any scale. It was an honor to be part of such an amazing film.
VFX Producer: @shaivinson @joegrayem
GFX Artist: @_dylanodonovan_
VFX Artist: @philipplivin
Pipeline TD: @codystauffer
Directed by: @kenyabarris
Written by: @kenyabarris & Jonah Hill
Produced by: @Netflix, Khalabo Ink Society, Misher Films, & @strongbabyproductions
Producer: @kenyabarris Jonah Hill
Executive Producer: @andyberman24 @mychelle_deschamps Matt Dines, Alison Goodwin, Charisse M. Hewitt, David Hyman @kevin.misher Hale Rothstein
Director of Photography: @instamdp
Production Design: Maxine Shepard
Set Decoration: @be_wooke
Costume Design: @michellecolecostumedesign
Special Effects Technician: Dino Doane Jr
Film Editing by: Jamie Nelsen
Music: Daniel Tannenbaum
Casting: Ben Harris, Allison Jones
Ezra … Jonah Hill
Amira … @laurenlondon
Akbar … Eddie Murphy
Shelley … @officialjld
Mo … @samjaycomic
Fatima … @iamnialong
Omar … @yungtaco
Arnold … @davidduchovny
Liza … @mollsterg
Demetrius … @deoncole