We catch up with Davy McGuire, one half of the husband-and-wife duo behind Courvoisier's stunning new papercraft installation
The fires of the French Revolution were still smouldering, they say, when Emmanuel Courvoisier and Louis Gallois decided to open a wine and spirit company on the outskirts of Paris.
That was in 1809. Over two centuries later, Davy and Kristin McGuire were charged with bringing Courvoisier's long and colourful history to life. The result is a paper diorama and light projection piece, Alchimie de Courvoisier, a modern reimagining of the cognac house's prestigious Paradis cellar.
"We were approached by creative agency White Label who saw the Icebook, one of our earlier installations, on Vimeo. I think they saw the connections between the meticulous and detailed craft that goes into making Courvoisier and the precision that also goes into our work."
Alchimie de Courvoisier
The McGuires' skill with paper and light combines for a full-scale theatre production that opens up like a popup book: "We wanted the show to be animated by projections as well as actors so we created a small paper model of this idea and projected a story into it in order to show producers the concept. We found that paper and projections work really well together and were hooked from there. "
The award-winning husband-and-wife team have build a reputation for innovative, indelible works – blending animation, projection mapping, theatre, film, dance and papercraft (check out their Vimeo channel to see more).
Alchimie de Courvoisier was put together using a combination of: Adobe Illustrator, to design the paper models; Adobe After Effects, to key and composite the footage, animate moving elements and map the projections; Adobe Soundbooth, to create the soundscape; Final Cut, for editing; Madmapper, for final mapping and tweaks; and Blendy VJ, to blend the two projectors used together.
"The rhythm of the entire installation was very important to get right," says McGuire, "because it was crucial to correctly guide the viewer through the 1.8-metre long model with sound and movement. Once the model was completed, we fine tuned the positioning and the timings in After Effects, which usually takes a long time due to rendering.
"After a big fat render we added the final music and sound effects and discussed amendments with White Label. We finished it all off with another big fat render and complementary bottle of Courvoisier."
Davy and Kristen's amazing Alchimie de Courvoisier installation made its debut as an in-store pop-up at Harrods of London. It remained in place for one week.