Earlier this year, The United States Air Force approached Melbourne-based photographer Colin Anderson about creating a series of promotional images after they saw some of his futuristic military work. Colin was thrilled to be considered for a project with the Air Force and quickly accepted the job. He received a comprehensive brief and the project began right away. He didn’t have a lot of time to plan and execute the shoot, but he worked together with their team to deliver great results on time.
The goal of the campaign was to create a series of compelling images that depict C2 (Command & Control) and Fusion Warfare and display how combat information sharing could look in 20 years. The main priority was to give the United States Air Force a futuristic look, but also make the technology seem possible in the future.
Colin began the project by creating several different backgrounds that show possible hot spots around the world that the military might find themselves in. He also had to obtain reference material for the most current vehicle and weapons systems the military could provide. Being in Australia, this proved to be a little tricky. Luckily, Colin was able to source some US military uniforms for the troops in his pictures. For the vehicles, however, Colin ended up using computer generated imagery to get what he needed.
I also had to design a futuristic H.U.D (heads up display) schematic to the provided Air Force specifications. This was time-consuming but an integral part of the images. Once all these elements were in place, I was pretty much good to go.
The shoot went fairly easy once the pre-planning was completed. The soldier elements were shot in the studio, but a lot of careful planning was needed to match the lighting and perspective to the background plates. They went through a little trial and error, but it did not take long for them to capture the perfect images they were looking for.
The biggest challenge of this project was the time frame and short turnaround. Four Star General Carlisle, who is commander of ACC (Air Combat Command) was conducting a briefing on C2 and Fusion Warfare, so the imagery needed to be completed within a 12-day period. Obviously, the military doesn’t have a lot of free time in their schedules to take photos, so Colin and the crew knew they could not squander any time they were allotted.
Colin definitely felt some pressure and was a little nervous about pleasing the client, but everything ended up working out really well. The Air Force was pleased with Colin’s results and the turnaround time he was able to complete the project in. They were amazed by some of the CGI additions that Colin was able to add and thought Colin did an awesome job capturing the futuristic elements of what they were looking for.
Colin was very modest when discussing the project and working with the military. To him, the best part of the whole experience was just being asked to be a part of it. He’s really hoping this leads to more work with other sections of the military.
When working with the military, one cannot discuss as much about the work as they would like, but Colin made it clear that this was one of his most enjoyable projects to date. He also mentioned that he can neither confirm nor deny if there are any future plans for this client and project.
Here’s a motion Gif showing Colin’s process!
See more of Colin at andersonproductions.com.au!