Pleix's nucleus is a group of graphic designers, 3-D artists, musicians and filmmakers who have been co-creating visuals and installations since the late '90s. Beauty Kit, a short film dissecting the societal pressures on young women to adapt to the universal standard of feminine beauty, was created in 2001. In 2002 Pleix created "Itsu," a music video for Plaid that caught the attention of record labels and production companies, and they were soon signed to nascent music video powerhouse Colonel Blimp, now part of Blink/Furlined. The Pontiac project had its roots in an idea Pleix had for a U2 promo about "creating a city of light and using long-exposure light trails to connect the band's movements to their environment." Working from three briefs, Pleix and the Leo Burnett creative team, Jon Cymbal and Brian Cusac, fleshed out the idea and the team then headed to Vancouver and shot the cars with DP Gary Waller in an enormous industrial space. Waller "built a unique lighting rig that was basically enormous adjustable soft lights," recounts Pleix-er Eric Augier. "This allowed us to utilize tracking vehicles, cranes, rigs and the full repertoire of car shooting equipment to get dynamic shots, while always keeping the car in a uniform beauty light. We did five days of shooting without a single light change."
The spots are easily the most sophisticated 3-D/composite job yet for Pleix, and the Mill created a temporary dual Flame/3-D suite to finish the job. The collective had already done a French Audi spot, which mirrored the splintered city effect they had first created in their landmark 2004 video for Kid 606, "Sometimes." The Pontiac work is now airing in the U.S. and the Pleix group have turned their attentions back to a personal project, a new short-film piece that is already the subject of much anticipation in the digital arts community. But advertising work is increasingly a primary focus for the group.
"We met Diane McArter in Paris earlier this year when she was setting up Furlined with Blink in the U.S. and we decided to go with them," says Augier. "Pontiac came up immediately, so it's a very promising start, but, ideally, our next job in the U.S. will not be for cars."