If gaming inherently aspires to foster immersive engagement through activity, then Dots seems to be the most elegant possible embodiment of that goal. Playing beautifully is about movement as meditation, light as art, and simplicity as a springboard for inspiration. Instead of embracing the ethos of more, Dots embraces that of less.
What excited Munko about this story concept was the opportunity for it to play out on multiple levels. On a purely sensory level, it was a dream-like vision of light, lensing, cinematography, tempo, and the human body. The visual spectacle of this incredible rhythmic gymnast Laura Zeng as she engaged with ethereal pin pricks of perfect spherical light all around her would be visually stunning, simulating the meditative beauty of the Dots game. But on a narrative level, it was a character-driven story about a young woman striving to perform at her best.
Dots were the prominent visual motif in our film. We played beautifully with the language of our camera, envisioned the way our character experiences her performance within a perfectly ordered dreamscape that’s both lushly imaginative, yet guided by a clear visual language of circles and light. Whether it’s the spherical competition ball, round sequins on our gymnast’s costume, hypnotic camera strobes, out-of-focus dots of light representing audience members, or bokeh lens elements captured in and around our gymnast’s other-worldly routine, perfect circles were the constant visual touchstone in our storytelling.
There’s something almost ritualistic in the repetition of these circular elements in our frame, mirroring the meditative quality of the Dots game. After all, if our character is dreaming — she’s dreaming in the world of Dots. The language of light is as important as that of movement here.
Camera strobes further fed the narrative with the element of light, adding to the stylized beauty of our world. They also represented the magnitude of the gymnast’s competition, alluding to the vast amount of media present. We used backlighting, rim lighting, and long exposures to create gorgeous, brightly beautiful imagery filled with artful framings. Anything that wasn’t a glowing orb or a cinematographic trick that simulates one was richly shadowed, creating a thick atmosphere in the space that allowed the light to feel completely controlled, even at its most fluid state.
The story line of traveling to Mexico City for a week with two of your dearest and most talented friends is rich with enthusiasm, laughter and fond memories. The three amigos had to adapt on the fly to collaborate with an unfamiliar crew, trying their best to pull off a live-action miracle within the restrictions of an unexplored culture. They had Rhythmic Gymnastics legend Laura Zeng flown in from Los Angeles, and captured her talents on a rather modest production budget 10 strict hours of shooting, working incredibly hard to maximize the opportunity.
2016 Watch the Laest Video Collab Between App Game DOTS and U.S. Gymnast Laura Zeng
2016 Play Beautifully: 5 Questions with Dots CMO Ondriona Monty
2016 Play Beautifully II is a collaboration with director GMUNK and the US Olympic gymnast Laura Zeng.
2017 What You'll Find At The Intersection Of Technology, Movement And Design
DOTS PLAY BEAUTIFULLY CREDITS LIST
Live-Action Executive Producer: Olivier Fuselier
Executive Producer: Brad Johns
Head of Production: Ian Falvey
Executive Producer Tonic: Susan Neil
Production Controller: Rodrigo Rodriguez
EP Assistant: Ara Aviña
Line Producer / UPM: Victor Albarran
Production Coordinator: Pablo Icaza
Key Production Assistant: Juan Antonio Muñoz
1st AD: Frederic Henocque
2nd AD: Patrick Heyerdahl
Script PA: Sara Ramos
Director of Photography: Dr Joseph Picard
VT Pro Creative Director: Michael Fullman
1st AC: "A" Camera: Juan Pablo Ortigosa
2nd AC: Per EFD
Steadicam: Gerardo Manjarrez
Camera Lens Technician: Per EFD
DIT: David Bahena
Gaffer: Joaquin Medina
Staff 1: Francisco Quiroz
Staff 2: Cristo Angel Dominguez
Staff 3: David Zuñiga
Staff 4: Omar Cruz
Staff 5: Manuel Melo
Staff 6: Sergio Cuauhtémoc Quiroz
Location Manager: Omar Zuñiga
Location Assistant: Marco Becerril
Cleaning Services: Elena Sánchez
VTR: David Bahena
VTR Assistant: Per David Bahena
Art Director: Rafael Mandujano
Set Dresser: Luisa Guala
Art Department Coordinator: Yosafat Delgado
Swing 1: Edgar Israel Chavez
Swing 2: Gabriel Aaron Rodriguez
Swing 3: Alejandro Muñiz
Wardrobe Stylist: Patricia Delgado
Makeup & Hair: Lucy Betancourt
Extras Casting: Elke Garda
at Tool of North America