This piece was originally conceived as a part of CG set for a commercial spot about hamburgers throughout recent American history. However, the potential also existed for the set to be the stage for a visual exploration in lighting, composition, and cinematography. So the assets were repurposed to try and achieve that goal.
The lighting was originally intended to evoke a sense of an old game show stage after hours, think Price Is Right Showcase after the lights have gone down. Although it did evolve, it should still capture that low-lighting feeling.
Color correction was performed in After Effects to try and achieve the look of an old photograph. The popular “Instagram” presets were a big inspiration.
Mental Ray was the primary renderer and Adobe products were used for texturing, compositing, and editing.