Fun and Games with Cars

Headed to the beach or out for a day at the races?

Maybe a quick spin through a full pipe or stop at the mechanic’s garage?

Does that new car smell make you feel like you won first prize?

You may not have done any of those things lately, but you can experience them through the creative imagination and photography from Michael Mayo.

It’s always fun to team up with Michael on his projects, and even better when the results are fun as well. Once his photography is handed off to us, Mary takes on the task of combining something imaginable with something improbable to come up with an impossible but somehow believable result.

I was on set with Michael on most of these shoots, often using our Phase One cameras. Having fun with that stage of the production as well.

Here’s hoping they make you smile!

Artwork & Retouching: Imaginary Lines
Photography: Michael Mayo

Imaginary Lines and Stewart Cohen Pictures take the wheel in Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts

Every year the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is released with a great deal of pomp and fanfare. The often unconventional items in the Fantasy Gift Collection get a great deal of attention from the public and the media. Over the years we have had the honor to provide artwork on images of gifts ranging from ultralight aircraft resembling butterflies to high tech devices or even animals.

We have collaborated with Stewart Cohen Pictures for the last 3 years on Fantasy Gift cars: Rolls-Royce Dawn LE in 2017, a custom Infiniti Q60 in 2016, and a 700 horsepower Ford Mustang in 2015. Neiman Marcus creative director, Tim Flannery provided his flair and art direction. It’s always a pleasure to be part of the high octane, well synchronized productions that Stewart organizes. Our contribution not only included digital artwork, but also our Phase One camera systems and capture services on set.

This year the fantasy gift cars we worked on were Yours & Mine Rolls-Royce limited edition Dawns. They were inspired by two of the most glamorous locales in the world: Lake Como and Saint-Tropez. One car is Lago di Como blue and the other is Saint-Tropez Orange. Our challenge was to create the backgrounds from many stock images to reflect unique, nonexistent, fantasy destinations using Lake Como and Saint-Tropez as our inspiration. The cars were then shot here in Dallas. In any situation, lighting a car is no simple task, and Stewart had to light these cars to match the lighting of the created backgrounds. To make this even more complex, the car was only available for a short time, leaving about an hour for each position to light and shoot the car. We were working with a minimal crew, but experience and team work allowed us to pull it off.

The previous two images were quite different from the Rolls-Royce. The Infiniti Q60 was shot at the El Mirage dry lake bed in California. We built the background for that shot as well, but from photographs Stewart took during the same shoot. The Mustang was shot at the Texas Motor Speedway north of DFW. That background underwent a different kind of construction. Along with many changes that included a new sky, we had to fill the stands with spectators, and of course, add the second car.

Being part of the team on a Stewart Cohen Pictures production is usually a lot of work, but also yields great results. We end up with the content we need for a seamless transition to post production. High quality images are crucial for Mary as she and her team begin the work of bringing something that started as a concept to a final spectacular finish.

Client: Neiman Marcus
Artwork & Retouching: Imaginary Lines
Capture & Phase One Rental: Imaginary Lines
Photography: Stewart Cohen
Creative Direction: Tim Flannery

Capturing Hot Shots At DFW

It was cool to shoot around an Airbus A380, but it was such a hot Texas summer day, they had a fire truck on the tarmac.

Seriously, it was really hot, but the ladder truck was only on the tarmac for us to use as a lift to get the perspective we needed for a shot of the cargo door of the A380. We also captured a few images of the aircraft from above for Quantas Airways.

Tamco Productions brought us in to provide Phase One camera rental, digital capture, and post production on a campaign by the agency, Integer, launching new luxury duty free shops in the DFW airport terminal. We spent two days at various locations in the airport shooting backplates for fun images featuring high end products including fragrances, watches, clothing, makeup, and handbags. The merchandise was shot in the studio, and then scaled much larger than life size in post to bring attention to the products available in the new shops.

The final images needed to cover formats from web banners to grand scale murals in vertical and horizontal crops. Our Phase One cameras gave us the the outstanding files we needed to provide DFW Airport and Integer with high quality images that could handle all outputs from a single execution.

Agency: The Integer Group
Client: DFW International Airport
Producer: Tamco Productions

Making Magic

Cleaver? Clever? Include Imaginary Lines on your creative team to make magic and turn your razor sharp ideas into images that tell stories.

We collaborated with cutting edge, imaginative photographer, Hugh Kretschmer, to create these magical images for Caesars Entertainment and Penn & Teller. Hugh provided many edgy, expressive images, that through artistic sleight of hand, we were able to turn into humorous stills and animations.

Photography: Hugh Kretschmer
Agency: Caesars Entertainment Studio One
Client: Penn & Teller

Let Us Capture Something For You

Sixty stories up or six feet under water, we are all about performing on location.

Contact Imaginary Lines when you need support from a team who owns Phase One camera systems, and who has the experience to put them under water, on the roof of a skyscraper, in a helicopter, or on a speeding car.

During production, our team can help direct shooting your content to make certain you capture all the elements required by post production for your project.

The support doesn’t stop on location, we can move with you directly to post. The team that is on your shoot can be the same one that works with you all the way through to create final striking images.

Agency: And Partners
Client: The Durst Organization

Art of Fashion – At the End of the Runway

Over the years we have been fortunate enough to work with Bennett.Elia on many images from the Neiman Marcus “Art of Fashion” stories. The images are usually as evocative as the fashions they are presenting. This season, we were teamed up once again with photographer Geof Kern, who we worked with in the mid 90’s on what was the first “Art of Fashion” for both of us. This is a striking collection that takes you literally from the port to the end of the runway.

Lürzer’s Int’l Archive 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide 2017

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Lürzer’s Int’l Archive 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide 2017

Once again, we have been included in Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide.
We were involved in these fun projects from capture through final and we could not be more proud to have earned this honor.
We didn’t do it alone. We collaborated with great crews, photographers and agencies. Many thanks to Michael Mayo, And Partners, and Grant Design Collaborative.

Chione – Kiss of winter

Chione is the first in a series of Imaginary Lines images that we had a lot of fun producing. Chris and I shot the base images in west Texas and captured the rest of the elements in our new studio. We combined all into a snowy mix of winter, resulting in high res still images and animations for web.

Sometimes good things come from difficult situations. On the way back from a shoot in LA, we were stranded in an ice storm in west Texas. The silver lining was that when we were able to travel again, we experienced something we had never seen before – freezing fog. It was absolutely beautiful. We love to go out and shoot landscapes, so of course we had to stop along the way to capture some images. At times, these shots may be the inspiration for a project, or sometime we use them as elements in other images. This time, these images became the start point for this winter image.

Recently, we set up a new photo studio and it was really fantastic to have space to work. It allowed us to consider a project of this scale and we were really able to take advantage of our 100 megapixel Phase One camera and lighting gear. We handled all aspects of production – concept, art direction, wardrobe, props, lighting, photography, and retouching. We were very fortunate to work with a beautiful model, Anneliese Aeria, and Michael Thomas provided his talents on hair and makeup. Sara Stoll and Justin Guiou assisted with wrangling everything from lighting to snowflakes. All the help was really appreciated. The shoot would not have been successful without everyone’s skill and efforts.

Finally, in our imaging studio, we worked on the artwork. We created an icy, beautiful winter scene from a rather desolate structure in the middle of nowhere. Anneliese was really the goddess of snow that brought the kiss of winter to our scene. There were many lovely shots to choose from for the animations. We worked from many high res still images to create multipurpose images that accommodate large format prints as well as web animations. Special thanks also to Brian Goosen for helping diligently with the artwork.

It was truly a special project for us… Now we are moving on to spring!

Ridley Brandt Stoll      7/28/07 – 11/5/16

We’ve known for a long time that Dalmatians are coach dogs. We just never knew how much of an effect they could have on a trip while on the job, even if you are not being pulled by horses.

For nearly ten years, we traveled around the country for work and pleasure with Ridley keeping an eye on every part of the trip. I can’t tell you how many great people we met while exploring neighborhoods out for a walk, or testing the local dog friendly restaurants. He was the start of interesting conversations with people that if he had not been along, “hello” may have been all that was said. No matter where we went, Ridley always remembered if we had been there before, and the people we had met. He would get as excited about rolling into Venice as he did when we got close to home. Once, on set in LA, he was so excited about seeing someone he hadn’t seen in months, he wagged his tail so hard that when it hit something, he nearly broke it.

Ridley went to work with us everyday at our studio, and often when we worked on set. We have a lot of people to thank for going out of their way to help make that happen, and a lot of funny stories to tell because of it. Once we got booked into the Beverly Hills Wilshire because it was the closest dog friendly hotel to the set. Another time he was listed as crew in the production book so he would be allowed on the Paramount lot. Then there was the time he put the fire marshal at ease in the Los Angeles National Forest who insisted their picture be taken together. Another fireman story was visiting the Ghostbusters fire station in New York City.

Often, Mary and Ridley would take a walk before coming into the set. While they were out, the conversation would quickly turn to “Is Ridley here?”. He had a coat like velvet and petting him brought a calming presence to the set. He was always good for a laugh, everyone relaxed while hanging out with him. Forever the clown, he preferred to sit in chairs. That might have meant urging people to give up their seat. If a chair was not available, sitting on a person would suffice as an option to sitting on the ground. On many occasions, he stepped in as impromptu talent.

Ridley met every challenge we threw in front of him. If we were in, he was in, from riding for hours in the car, to climbing open mesh metal stairs, or riding a glass elevator to the 36th floor of the Hard Rock on Michigan Avenue. The one challenge Ridley could not beat was a bout with liver cancer. He fought it hard for almost two years, but we had to say goodbye Saturday November 5th.

Be safe on your journey, you goober. There are many people you made smile, and we’ll all miss you.

No Sign of Water

No sign of water. While the sun is cuttin’ cracks into the hard ground.

The Damnations lyrics certainly had the description right. Even though it might fit, I’m pretty sure when Amy Boone and Deborah Kelly wrote, “Makin’ demands and shooting up”, it wasn’t about a photo shoot.

We were shooting up a car on El Mirage dry lake bed in California. This was the second time we had teamed up with Stewart Cohen Pictures on a one day shoot of a limited edition vehicle for Neiman Marcus. Tim Flannery was art directing this shoot of an Infiniti Q60 for the Fantasy Gift guide.

Additional team members we met up with in L.A. included John Babor of JB5 Productions who was handling the California production, Kip Corley and Trever Gens were on lighting. Always a pleasure to work with this team.

The challenges started as soon as Stewart Cohen, Dylan Cauchon, and I landed in Los Angeles. We had around 17 cases of gear, and the car rental company did not have our reserved Chevy Suburban. They said a Tahoe was all they had, not even a van in sight. We did find a Dodge Caravan at another location, but we had to get there. We were off to a slow start, packing every cubic inch of the Tahoe, getting across town and repacking the van. We managed it and met up with Babor then headed out to scout the location. The plan was to also grab some sunset horizons for our hero shot. Scouting went well, and it was the night of the Perseids meteor shower. The three of us stayed out in the the dark, and saw what were some of the most magnificent meteors we’ve ever seen. One felt almost like a jet zooming in close overhead.

We have worked on many projects that were shot at El Mirage, but this was my first time to shoot there. It is always fun to arrive at iconic locations, and this was no exception. The mirages were so large and so perfect, when we first arrived we found ourselves wondering if it had rained, which would shut us down. Nope, just being fooled, no sign of water.

The shoot had the typical challenges of things like ferocious wind, but we banged it out. We shot still details and video through the afternoon. We shot elements Mary would need for post. Our few minutes of sunset came, and everyone jumped to action. We got what we came for.

This of course had us leaving after dark. Two cars were left, us and John Babor. Pulling out from the location, our biggest concern was finding the gate to get out of the property with no lights, road or signage. That concern completely vanished as we realized we had picked up a huge piece of steel in a front tire. Four guys to change a flat tire, no problem. Wrong. We unloaded most of the gear from the back and found the jack, but no spare tire. Babor found the manual, and started dictating instructions. The most terrifying words were “the spare tire, if equipped”. Turns out, you have to disassemble the front console, which meant the remainder of the gear coming out. Then the tire is wound down with a winch from the center of the car under the front console. We were all laughing about this group of guys trying to change a tire on a mom car. I guess we needed a mom in the group. With the tire fixed, we had the challenge of a fully packed car and a full size tire that would not go back into the spare storage area. Nothing is easy.

With the shoot wrapped and the excitement over, once again it was time to turn it over to Mary. We sorted through the shots and she began the task of building them into a single image. I always find it amazing how many people can be involved in creating a single photograph. But then, I still find the photographs amazing as well.