Mirada Wins 'Best Visual Effects' at MTV Video Music Awards for 'Safe and Sound' by Capital Cities


Los Angeles, CA (August 28, 2013) -- Mirada Studios was honored with a Moonman for "Best Visual Effects" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards held Sunday night at Brooklyn's Barclays Center for its work on Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound" music video. Directed by MTh's Grady Hall, Mirada Creative Director Jonathan Wu executed visual effects and post-production for the almost 4-minute video that was envisioned by Hall as a vibrant celebratory mash-up of wildly different dance styles.

Wu said, "This is definitely a team win and could not have been done without the involvement of every single artist on the credit list. The production was run-and-gun with a fast turnaround so we handpicked the best of the best. Each shot features VFX and our team effectively and efficiently stayed true to the era, telling an interesting and artistic story that came together quite nicely."

Filmed entirely in the historic Los Angeles Theater, singers Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian kick off the dance party in the "Safe and Sound" video with Fred Astaire-inspired moves that trigger an influx of other dancers and props from varying eras. Acclaimed choreographer Mandy Moore worked with over 70 dancers to create more than 40 unique dance sequences that each capture a precise historical time and style.

For the video's post-production wizardry, Wu guided a small team of Mirada compositors through more than 80 visual effects shots, including head replacements, complex animations, stock footage integration, transformations, and retro-inspired visual effects and color treatments ranging from black and white silent film influences to psychedelic visuals. Tools used include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Affect Effects with various plug-ins, The Foundry's NUKE, Autodesk Flame and Adobe Final Cut Pro. An immense amount of rotoscoping and tracking was also needed for the articulate integration work for this style of visual effects artistry.

In addition to Mirada's VFX and Hall's guidance, the music video for the chart-topping single off Capital Cities' album A Tidal Wave of Mystery was created with help from Danny Lockwood, Capitol Music Group SVP. To see the full video for "Safe and Sound", visit:

About Mirada

Mirada is a studio designed for storytellers. Founded by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, and Motion Theory co-founders Javier Jimenez and director Mathew Cullen, Mirada is equal parts design studio, visual effects & animation facility, creative & technology incubator, development and production company. Mirada opened in December 2010 with narrative tradition at its heart and technological innovation as its engine.



Capital Cities "Safe and Sound"

Client: Capitol Records
SVP, Creative & Video/Producer: Danny Lockwood

Production: MTh (Motion Theory)
Director: Grady Hall
Executive Producer: Javier Jimenez
Line Producer: Buddy Enright
Director of Photography: Shawn Kim
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Production Designer: Teri Whittaker
Wardrobe Stylist: Roseanne Fiedler
Band Stylist: Jenni Lee
Hair/Make-up: Anny Kim
2nd Unit Director: Jonathan Wu
Additional Cinematography: Ernesto Lomeli
Director of Marketing: Caroline Gomez

Editorial: Mirada
Editor: Mike Merkwan

Post Production: Mirada
President: John Fragomeni
Creative Director: Jonathan Wu
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
Post Producer: Derek Johnson
Production Manager/HR Director: Tina Van Delden
Art Director: Ash Wagers
Compositing Lead: Phil Guthrie
Sr. Compositor: Wesley Cronk
Sr. Compositor: Ryan Quinlan
Flame Lead: Tim Miller
Flame Artists: Marla Carter, Michael Vaglienty
Designers: Ashley Becerra, Jennifer Rahardjanoto
Creative Consultants: Ryan Erke, Kevin Lau
Roto Artists: Zac Chowdhury, Robert Dorris, Meredith Hook
Lead Stock Researcher: Jean Mougin
Stock Researchers: Daniel Choi, Luciano Herrera


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