It all started over a casual Slack message that read: ”This sounds like fun, can you do something with this?”. Along with the intriguing message, Olaf van Gerwen had attached a link to Marc Rebillet’s song, Coffee. It was on opening the link that our in-house directors Erik de Koning and Kristy Snell were introduced to the eccentric sounds of Rebillet. His song Coffee explains the ritual behind making and drinking coffee at hyper-speed. To Olaf, it was obvious that it needed to be made into a film, an observation that both Erik and Kristy did not miss. And so began the journey towards making a Tribute to Rebillet’s Coffee.
If you are familiar with Marc Rebillet, you’ll know his songs are hilarious, crazy, and above all super fast. This meant Erik and Kristy had to design a shot list that a) captured the eccentricities of Rebillet and b) contains a ton of shots to keep up with the pace of the song. No doubt it was going to be fun, but it was going to require some additional help. So Erik and Kristy enlisted the help from Chuck Studios’ Digital Art Director, Stefano Crose — who has a background in creative conceptualisation. All three of them got to work designing a shot list that would translate the essence of the quirky song, and showcase the creative talents of all three. As brainstorming began, they realised they needed a Marc Rebillet look-alike. In enters Tristen McKenzie, Chuck Studios’ Retoucher and Grader, who eagerly transformed himself into Rebillet as he stripped down to his undies for the performance.
Erik, who specialises in liquids, used his expertise to create unusual and unique coffee shots. He also shot most of the live-action, proving his skills as a DOP. Stefano brought his love for Lego through a stop motion lego-coffee-drop; and Kristy poked fun at coffee ads by using jelly to make drops of coffee.
The creative trio made sure to pay tribute to Rebillet through props, clothing and shots they felt really portrayed the musician’s personality. To capture the quirk of Rebillet the team utilized different filming techniques from high-speed filming, stop motion animation to old-school “trick-photography”. Which was brought together in the edit by Stefano who cut the shots on the beat and integrated these different techniques seamlessly.
When it came to editing, Erik specifically used the Wilhelm scream as a sound effect giving the discerning listener an Easter egg. Kristy showed her affection for stop motion by hand-making a series of clay mouths to create the lip-synch on the coffee bean. Stefano brought his meticulous eye when it came to art direction, and Tristen showed he has a hidden talent for acting (and jumping).
The set was designed and dressed by Chuck Studios’ Art Director, Katarina Juricic. Who raided secondhand shops across Amsterdam to collect enough cups for the pile of coffee cups.
In addition, Tom Bakker was DOP for the two out of three shooting days — adding an extra layer of flare and magic to the shots. Tristen’s talent did not stop at acting, his real skills were brought to light when he graded the film. Inge van Heezik, our junior SFX technician, did all the SFX (impressing the team with her growth) and Sasha Horsthuis assisted Erik and Tom with lighting — verifying his ambition towards becoming a DOP. To bring it home Efraim Gons, online-editor-extraordinaire, added the last touches to the film in retouching and grade.
All-in-all, the film was made in-house with a small, but passionate crew. Lots of fun and laughter were shared on set. And too much coffee was consumed — the crew have only recently recovered from the caffeine-overload.