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"For me, Autodesk Smoke 2013 is simply the perfect software."
—Jannik Vestmar, Owner/Smoke Artist, Hangloose Film
The town of Jyllinge, located in southern Denmark, is home to about 10,000 residents and a 900-year-old church. Despite its small size and rustic views, the historic town is a relatively short distance from Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital and biggest city. In many ways, Jyllinge is the perfect setting for Hangloose Film, a similarly small, yet cutting edge production and post-production studio run by director and Autodesk® Smoke® software artist Jannik Vestmar.
“Together with my wife, Rikke, I run Hangloose as an experienced Smoke artist working on commercials, corporate videos, documentaries, and other projects for lots of clients,” says Vestmar. “I do all the Smoke work on my own, and spend an equal amount of time as a shooting director, while also photographing, editing, and finalizing my things using Smoke. My primary goal is create beautiful visual stories that connect with people, and to do it more economically than anybody else. The best way to do that is to do as much as I can do on my own. Creating the impossible for less money turns me on. That’s why Autodesk Smoke is so important to me and my business.”
A long-time Smoke user, Vestmar has also spent years working with other editing systems, including Avid|DS and Final Cut Pro, but specifically chose Autodesk Smoke for post work, including compositing, lighting, and color grading, at Hangloose.
“For me, Autodesk Smoke 2013 is simply the perfect software,” he says.
A true veteran of the digital editing world, Vestmar actually began his career as an apprentice radio mechanic back in the mid-'80s, working for film and camera companies such as Canon and Minolta, before joining Sonne Film as an online editor, primarily for commercials, in 1992. One of the leading post houses in Denmark in the last decade of last century, Sonne was an early Discreet Logic adopter and has been a longtime Autodesk customer.
Sonne’s early adoption of the then-fledgling systems provided Vestmar with an ideal learning opportunity, and one that would significantly inform and enrich his subsequent career as a director, editor, and all-around digital artist, but not before he was drawn away to other software and systems.
“As I moved into jobs as a technical manager, I was using most of the other systems on a daily basis,” says Vestmar. “When I worked at Easy Film, which is now Eyeworks, we had a Flame, an Avid Symphony, and four Avid Media Composers. In 2003, I partnered with my friend and Flame artist Jesper Nybroe to start Gyroscope Visual Effects, where we started with one Flame and an Avid|DS. I’ve used Final Cut Pro a lot, but the whole time, I really missed what I had with Smoke.”
In 2006, the Gyroscope partnership ended, giving Vestmar the daunting and exciting opportunity to start from scratch and realize his own vision.
“I began making films with CEO/Frank Thomsen from Frankly Web, who had just started his own web agency,” says Vestmar. “We both had noticed the steep drop in budgets for the kind of corporate videos and advertising film productions we were making. We both believed strongly in the idea of creating and using the smallest, most talented teams possible to improve efficiency and keep costs down. In a very real way, we were talking about merging the production and post into one fluid process.”
Although Hangloose initially used a combination of creative cutting and compositing software for work on a variety of corporate videos, Autodesk Smoke has been growing in importance as Vestmar continues to provide complete and compelling storytelling at lower and lower costs to his customers.
“I am a beta tester for Smoke 2013, and I am pretty excited,” says Vestmar. “I only use Smoke for my visual effects and finishing now: compositing, color grading, lighting, all of it. I like the new workflow and user interface very much. I love the color warper, and with ConnectFX integrating editing and effects into the timeline, it makes it much faster and easier for me to experiment creatively and make quick changes that are updated automatically and immediately."
The last year has been one of the busiest yet for Hangloose Film, with Vestmar providing his multiple production and post-production talents to clients and companies including TV2 Inhouse Production, Saatchi & Saatchi, Far From Hollywood and Moland Film, to name only a diverse few. In short, the future looks bright, while also looking to pushing Autodesk Smoke to the software’s limits and beyond.
“It’s been fantastic to come back to Smoke,” says Vestmar. “It is my most natural way of working, which means I can work much faster than I could in other systems. I’ve been a beta tester from the very beginning on Smoke 2013, and it is already an extremely powerful tool. I’m really looking forward to being an active part of the future of Autodesk and Smoke.”
|Hangloose Film Customer Story (pdf - 489Kb)|