Aussie director/artists Lucinda Schreiber and Yanni Kronenberg create Christmas window display for prestigious Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC

1yn9-oQbVcwTrbOEqKQ2smWBTAqQGsnojtlcuYXtMFo,pGHMy-bw2nAFRPE-1rRHv1qaMF8zTChEqXPUcPewXko.jpgAustralian artist/directors Lucinda Schreiber (from Photoplay) and Yanni Kronenberg have created a stop motion chalkboard animated store window for the famed Christmas display at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
 
The 80-second is the only window of the six at the famed, flagship store that was created by international artists. It has the distinction of being the only window by any invited artist, as Saks' long-standing design company contractor installed all other windows.

WATCH THE SAKS FIFTH AVE DISPLAY
WATCH THE FIREKITES MUSIC VIDEO
5-RRLHxowgw8rTAxhuA4KaXw_usK0e7lIp7dK_i6zgc,EliftWR5ZakrVLWmCj3i-REVzIPM1xK7dZZoAlKnwEM.jpgThe technique used was similar to the pair's award-winning Firekites music video. The clip garnered half a million YouTube hits and caught the attention of Saks Fifth Avenue executives, which led to the direct invitation to create the Christmas window commission.
 
Schreiber has a background in fine art, design and F7NqQaEngoysLp8TzUQRJxqCch_eN9-P5IIqYhu4NFI,q-W2hwalQhAKTI1nry6bkt4WocbFV4gESrTGDGSMndo.jpganimation whereas Kronenberg comes from a photography and cinematography background. In a serendipitous addition, Heckler producer Bonnie Law joined the duo to drive the ambitious venture.
 
Schreiber said the final animation had been more complex and dense than originally conceived.

G4_UyahJ8dZLdDt3sQ2M1n372vwnDxYBxU4TlMJZFuI,2LmYDo7hFjEu2WgQPFUH36hR0PHgJtl-0maLQ1U6ogA.jpgSays Schrieber: "I think the locked off nature of the video affected my conceptual approach a lot and the fact that it really had to appeal to fleeting pedestrian traffic made me keep pushing the animation  and not just go with my first ideas. I had to work harder in transforming the imagery to keep the viewer engaged by LjkQ0lK6u2e6KwkkM99FFp6IuCfytvNEr3I2qwe7Kws.jpgcontinually challenging their perspective and making full use of the multi-screen format."
 
The film incorporates several beautiful Saks snowflake motifs designed by US artist Marian Bantjes. It was a labour of love and a production story of grit with a protracted and complex process behind it. The 35-day shoot saw the creation and capture LMYQ1Ci1WiesxiQzve_E2F6zQ36cNNa0aWEUAgRkg7Q-1.jpgof 608 hand drawn frames.
 
The labour-intensive technique began with an illustration from which an animation was created and then redrawn frame by frame onto custom-made chalkboards. Stills were shot with minimal lighting using a Canon 5D mark II. Dragonframe, After Effects, Photoshop REq_PVBYsvjoob4KxawbvBmxV2b9XSvT6mNaTjFzAyg,UspYNCj5kuOxRtpmGCgFA5A9YDX2j3AXoRbxb8TWvnI.jpgand DaVinci Resolve were used in post.
 
Even the smallest details were challenging. Finding the right chalk made from the compound necessary to withstand the shoot and erase efficiently was near impossible.

Says Law: "It was finally sourced from a two dollar shop. And the boards themselves were porcelain backed 3 x 2.5 metre panels that had to be shipped from Western Australia."
 
The final result was obtained using a fixed camera over five boards so the animations are seen to flow seamlessly from canvas to canvas.
 
Kronenberg said the aesthetic result was very close to the initial creative vision.

Says Kronenberg: "A lot of time during the production was spent working to create the illusion that the screens appeared as real chalkboards rather than LCD screens. I wanted the animation to play out as if by magic. This was a combination of lighting, exposure, stabilisation, flicker reduction and grading."
 
An entirely different set of challenges for both teams in the US and Australia was presented when during production New York was swamped by Hurricane Sandy, effectively shutting the city down.
 
Kronenberg said the hurricane hit just as the team began sending the assets through to New York for testing.

Says Kronenberg: "We lost all communication with the installation company for five days. They employ over 50 staff in the lead up to the holiday season and only four turned up to work the entire week after the storm. So we had a single day to remotely test and check the entire installation when we were expecting to have more than a week."
 
An experienced producer, Law said it was one of the most unique projects she had ever worked on.

Says Law: "Despite this being an independent project, Photoplay and Heckler were both extremely supportive throughout the process, offering facilities, time and resources, we felt very fortunate to be so looked after."

The display was unveiled at a grand opening on 19th Nov in New York and will continue 24 hours a day until New Year.

5 Comments

Ventura Spllen said:

Beautiful work.

theo said:

brilliant

NannyNoakes said:

Yeah Lucinda & Yanni! Looks dope.

Joe M said:

Incredible, nice one Yanni and Lucinda!

Matt Taylor said:

Yeah! Go Lucinda!

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