Lights, Camera, Cartier: A Virtual Production Photobooth for the Met Gala
In the heart of New York's glittering social scene, the Met Gala stands as a symbol of style, opulence, and artistry. For the 2021 event, PHNTM collaborated with the venerable Maison Cartier to craft a visionary photobooth experience within the confines of The Mark Hotel's historic architecture. Dive into our journey, where technological prowess met classic elegance, crafting a surreal world that ensconced celebrities amidst a shimmering panorama of diamonds and iconic imagery. This is our story of redefining luxury, merging past with future, and reimagining boundaries for Cartier's moment under the Met Gala spotlight.
PHNTM was tasked with helping Cartier celebrate their impact on style and pop culture at the 2021 Met Gala. Our goal was to create a virtual production photo booth inside The Mark Hotel — a challenge due to the limitations posed by its old New York architecture and infrastructure.
Based on initial design and concept sketches provided by Matte, we designed a plan to transform a fully furnished hotel room into a multi-faceted, immersive photobooth. Leveraging our expertise in virtual production, we built an XR booth that made the set appear limitless and dreamlike.
We blended hours of archival footage with machine learning software to create immersive archival worlds and performance spaces. PHNTM developed abstract content based on materials and textures found in Cartier products, blending it with images of diamonds, celestial shapes, and iconic cityscapes. We also worked with iconic pieces of jewelry and locations from Cartier’s history, incorporating them into our design. We assembled a full technical rider, ensuring a seamless load-in over the course of two days.
Our efforts culminated in the creation of five unique, fully immersive worlds that enveloped the event's high-profile talent, including Billie Eilish, Leon Bridges, Troye Sivan, Maisie Williams, and Fineas. We delivered a complete virtual production booth, including a camera and lighting package, all within a six-week timeline. The result was a spectacular, immersive experience that reinforced Cartier's iconic status and celebrated the maison's place in style and pop culture. Our project was praised for bringing "Met Gala magic" and was lauded for showcasing the talent amidst almost 7,000 diamonds.
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