Batelco “INFINITY” an astounding Canon HDSLR commercial with CG integration

by planetmitch8 Comments

Batelco “Infinity” is a new commercial that was shot on Canon HDSLRs – both the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (reviews) and Canon EOS 7D (reviews) for the telecom giant Batelco. Steffen Hacker (from Unexpected Postproduction) sent us a boatload of background info this morning and it just blew me away – so we just had to rush out and show you this. The production took almost 12 months – tho the shoot itself was only 4 days) and includes not only CGI on top of the HDSLR footage, but video from our friends at HeliVideo as well (see earlier planet5D post on them).

Redrock Micro

So, right off the bat, here's the movie:

Batelco – INFINITY from Alex & Steffen on Vimeo.

This is our latest commercial Batelco “Infinity” that created a huge buzz on​batelcoinfinity with more than 119.000 fans.

It was also Hotshot on and featured on among the top 5 commercials

Agency: FP7/BAH
Director: Alex & Steffen
DoP: Simon Coull
Production: City Films Production, Beirut
Executive Producer: Marc Hadife
Producer: Joyce Hadife
in collaboration with Spy Films, Toronto
Executive Producer: Carlo Trulli
Producer: Peter Oad
Postproduction: Unexpected Postproduction, Stuttgart
VFX Supervisor: Alex & Steffen
Lead 3D Artists: Sebastian Badea, Jörg Häberle, Harun Celebi, Alexander Kiesl, Marcel Kühn, Stefan Kleindienst, Johannes Wünsch
Lead 2D Artists: Claus Rudolph, Steffen Hacker
Music by: AOC Paris


The Behind the Scenes info and movie

From Steffen Hacker (co-director along with Alex Kiesl from “Alex & Steffen”)

BATELCO “Infinity” takes you on a journey through people´s minds in a visual effects-loaded interactive film which has been causing a stir on Facebook – and was almost entirely shot on Canon 7Ds and 5Ds.

At over three minutes long, the film shows several protagonists as they re-imagine the world around them, which marks the global expansion of Batelco, a leading Middle East telecom provider. Bahrain-based agency FP7/BAH teamed up with City Films, Beirut, Spyfilms, Canada, and German directing duo Alex & Steffen to create this film along Batelco's proposition of ‘Bringing ideas to life'.

After its launch on facebook with an interactive webcam layer it soon became more than 119.000 fans and even more views – over 2000 daily new ‘likes', 50% of Bahrain's Facebook community are fans, an average of 83,000 daily post views, over 1 million wall impressions up to date and fans from 43 countries across the globe.

Besides one single take where the RED camera was used (the shot with the opening elevator door and the skater) the whole film was shot by New York-based DP Simon Coull on Canons 7D with PL-Mount, Canon 7Ds with Canon lenses and 5Ds (it´s a wild mix of lenses and cams throughout the film) and the coolest gear like Eric Austin´s small camera helicopter from Alex & Steffen chose to go with DSLRs because they were convinced that you can shoot even shots that get heavy visual effects later, if you know how – and unimpressed by rolling shutter, line skipping and all other drawbacks they had so much creative possibilities in the streets with the Canon cams that would have been way harder with one or two big camera units. Several shots in the edit were “additional angles” that the directors shot by themselves while the main PL-mount camera was rolling (in the scene with the arriving subway you can even see Steffen Hacker standing on the left shooting the closeup of the driver), a way of filmmaking that would have been impossible before the DSLR revolution.

Take a look at the Making Of and see by yourself!

German-based studio Unexpected Postproduction produced over 100 visual effect shots for the film, ranging from small enhancements, sky replacements, digital animals and stunt-doubles to a big number of 100% full-CG shots to tell the story with angles and shots that are impossible to get in real life – of course rolling shutter did not make the postpro life easier, but as they tell us it was way easier to get around it than anticipated. And among several hours of material there was not a single-shot that would have had line skipping problems to a degree that it would have needed retouching. As a conclusion the effects team and directors said the the DSLRs were the perfect choice for that job since they technically delivered and gave everybody the extra amount of freedom in filmmaking that made the the film special.

Batelco – INFINITY | Making-of from Alex & Steffen on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes photos

Steffen included the following BTS shots as well.

Eric Austin from helivideo and Alex and Simon

Helivideo entering the apartment

Simon Coull setting up a shot

Steffen setting up a shot

Street seup with Canon HDSLR

Steadicam operator in the soccer scene

So, that's a big wow isn't it? Imagine what shooting on HDSLRs is doing to the industry where you can shoot that entire thing in just 4 days!

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(Photo credit: snap from the video)

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    1. Batelco is a Bahraini company. how many Bahraini faces r there n this ad? 1 or 2, max.

      i am Bahraini by the way!

    1. Hi, Tom!

      We shot most of the F1 car racing scenes slower (with normal city cruising speed) to eliminate fast motion blur and rolling shutter problems. To get the proper F1 speed later we speeded the shots up in post, sometimes only leaving walking people at normal speed (sounds easy, but is work as hell) not to have funny movements of pedestrians.

      The only real problems occured when driving over tracks or bumps, then heavy warping happened in the image which is still visible at some parts because it could not be eliminated.


  1. Pingback: دعاية INFINITY بتلكو البحرين- المصور حسين الدغريري | الهوس الضوئي | hosain photo

  2. is it mentioned anywhere on the description of the video where “Batelco” is from? or did i miss it?

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