Kaiser PermanenteAbove the Waves

MPC teams up with Translation LLC on short film documenting NBA Star Klay Thompson’s recovery

In the film “Above The Waves”, Golden State Warriors guard, Klay Thompson, gives fans a rare behind the scenes look into the injury rehab of an NBA All-Star. Presented by Kaiser Permanente, the film chronicles Thompson’s journey back to the court after suffering a torn ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Directed by Floyd Russ, and shot by Jacob Moller, the film features VFX from MPC, which was led by Creative Director/VFX Supervisor Alvin Cruz and VFX Supervisor/2D Lead Tobey Lindback. The team brought the film to life using a combination of digital matte paintings, CG and compositing techniques, which helped achieve the surreal look to some of the shots.

Tobey commented, “Floyd had a great idea of how he wanted this piece to be visualized, and we managed to create something that felt…surreal…something that puts you in the world of what it might feel like to go through what Klay is going through.”

Speaking on the key technical or creative challenges, Alvin said, “We offered solutions to different challenging shots. We worked with Floyd and Jacob to help them visualize the shoot given that it was set up in two different cities with a very short time window to shoot with Klay. Some challenges were creating an ocean on a Golden State Warriors court, adding the flock of birds, and a basketball hoop in the middle of waves in the sea. Having the street basketball court on top of the clouds required some creative work too.”

The MPC team worked closely with the director Floyd throughout. Tobey added, “It was the first time for me working with Floyd, Jacob, Translation and the rest of the crew. I had a blast making the VFX for this. Great footage, Floyd is a super dude. Looking forward to more collaboration with these ones!