Adam Taylor, partner and creative director for Topanga, California-based Taylor Entertainment Group LLC recently completed three new PINK PANTHER animated promotional shorts for MGM Studios. Animated in Flash, these 90-second shorts promote PINK PANTHERs worldwide consumer products and licensing business. Adam animated, storyboarded and directed these special edition promos.
Visual effects studio Moneyshots has completed design and compositing work on ICE CREAM, the new music video from hip-hop group JS. Director Dave Meyers wanted a glossy and vibrant 3D environment filled with colorful heart, star and clover shapes to surround the members of JS. Created by art director Charles Enfante, the pattern was inspired by the new Louis Vuitton designs and first appears in the video on a white ice cream truck, transforming into a 3D environment.
In an effort to help cultivate new talent, A52 provided its services to recent Art Center College of Design graduate and rising director Ania Hoffman for work on her Nike spec commercial. As a result of the 30-second spot entitled FULL MOON, the Russian-born Hoffman received representation in Japan by production company Size. The relationship was kicked off when Hoffman was introduced to A52 producer Leighton Greer.
A pink washing machine drops from the sky, heralding a new way to get clothes clean in a clever 30-second television spot produced by Click 3x for SPRAY 'n WASH and Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, New York. The spot, combining computer animation and digital photography, promotes new SPRAY 'n WASH In-Wash Laundry Stain Remover, known as SPRAY 'n WASH Pink.
Portland, Oregon-based Happy Hour Entertainment has delivered a 30-second cel-animated television spot for RealNetworks RealOne NBAPass online media subscription service. The spot, entitled TIMMY, features a sports-inept boy with a computer for a head, who becomes very popular because of his classmates can watch NBA highlights through RealOnes NBA Inside Ticket on his noggin.
Millimages has announced that it has wrapped its first assignment in its new venture into commercial production. Advertising agency BETC Euro RSCG appointed Millimages to produce a new campaign for mobile telephone operator, Orange. The project was managed by Serge Ewenczyk. Illustrator Lewis Trondheim, who is well-known for his cartoon work, teamed with young director, Merwan Chabanne, on the series of 30-second 2D animated spots, which started airing June 30, 2003 in France.
Venice, California-based Blur Studio has created the vintage Atari video game-looking graphics for this year's Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, the only awards show dedicated to kids' favorite movies, music, TV and sports. As part of the package, Blur produced a main title, headers, monitor fills, lower-thirds, as well as other elements.
Digital effects and design studio Ring of Fire brought out the beast in the average household cat in a captivating spot for Whiskas in a clever mix of stock footage and live-action, with a few CG tricks to make viewers believe that the family feline was running down a huge water buffalo on the African veldt in a wildlife documentary.
Broadcast design and animation company Humunculus produced two colorful musical broadcast spots promoting Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures' RUGRATS GO WILD. The two :60s are titled SPIKE SPEAKS! and TOGETHER! The first debuted May 15 and the second premiered on May 26.
Utilizing a cinematic approach, R!OT Santa Monica recently set the scene for a new 30-second TV spot promoting two Master of the Universe action figures. He-Man and Skeletor, part of Mattel's new toy line, trade swords and spears in a fantasy fight sequence set on a dusty plain under crimson skies. Conceived by Young & Rubicam, Irvine, the high-energy spot invites kids to "live the ultimate battle."
Matt Jones, in-house director for Uli Meyer Animation in London, recently completed a new promo, CLAPPING SONG, for Nickelodeon UK. Animated in Flash, it promotes the Nick Junior shows DORA THE EXPLORER, THE HOOBS, LITTLE BILL, BLUE'S CLUES and YOU DO TOO.
Jones designed all the new characters and storyboarded the promo, working with Nick Jr. producer Maria Timotheou, in just under six weeks. The colorful & simple style is intended to appeal to kids under five years old. Flash animation was produced by Jon Jones and Jason Kotey.
While real life twisters were rolling across the mid-west of the U.S. this spring, visual effects company Colorado FX in Santa Monica, California created its own mighty CG tornado with multiple composit elements for director Bob Newcomb of Boulevard Films and the client Husqvarna.
Clio Award-winning A52 recently completed VFX work on Goodby, Silverstein & Partners/San Francisco's Goodyear broadcast campaign. The campaign's first :30 spots - one entitled BALLS and a second entitled SCREW continue airing nationwide, and a third spot will debut soon.
This campaign for Biscuit Filmworks and director Noam Murro features dramatic scenarios in which harmless, mundane objects become threatening... thereby revealing the advanced safety features of Goodyear's products.
RadioShack's Broadcast Communications division has been using MotionStar Wireless from Ascension Technology in the production of three 60-second spots for Shack TV. The motion capture system (used in JAY JAY THE JET PLANE and STARSHIP TROOPERS) allows animations to be mixed with live-action scenes featuring Battery Man and Charge Boy, two informational characters that help customers find the right accessories for their RadioShack products. The spots are shot on 35mm film and produced in-house at the Broadcast Communications Center. They are used internally and by agency clients and corporations nationwide.
The decision to go with MotionStar was based on the system's capabilities and onsite training, according to Ed Delaney, senior director of broadcast. "After looking into other systems with software interface and what the motion picture industry was using, it was a clear choice to go with MotionStar. Also, the support from Ascension, with onsite training, allowed us to produce a spot to see how it worked. That was a great selling point." Delaney adds that the MotionStar system is now "another great tool" for the talented animators at the Circle R Group.
Vee Pee Cartoons, the broadcast design and animation division of Virtual Persuasion, turned out 75 :30 spots for Nicktoons "Summer Beach House," which airs Monday-Friday in four-hour blocks beginning at 2:00 pm through Labor Day. The weekly lineup of animated hits features daily marathons dedicated to SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, RUGRATS, HEY ARNOLD! and ROCKET POWER. Vee Pee also produced a :10 tune-in and a 1:00 intro that heads up each afternoons marathon block.
Sterrett Dymond Stewart Advertising in Charlotte, North Carolina chose Buzzco Associates, Inc. to create a :30 spot for AnMed Health Care state-of-the-art heart health care facility. The spot needed to be a springboard from the print and billboard ads featuring a man carrying a big heart balanced precariously over giant lettering saying "Don't Trust Your Heart to Anyone Else." Co-creative director Lee Stewart said he knew that Candy Kugel and Vincent Caferelli were the folks to translate illustrator Paul Zwolak's painterly design into animation.
Bringing a theatrical quality to a slate of USA Network movie premiere trailers, Broadway Video's DesignLab has finished its animated work for the channel's rollout of eight movies.
San Francisco-based Phoenix Editorial has completed editorial and effects on the first two spots in a new campaign promoting Yahoo!'s revamped search engine. Each spot is linked by the idea that the new search application is so habit-forming, people literally carry it with them wherever they go. Five-foot long Yahoo! search bars, with flashing cursors and personalized queries, play a prominent role in the spots. The 30-second spot SUBWAY and the 60-second ANTHEM were completed by Black Rocket, San Francisco, with Smuggler's David Frankham directing.
Vee Pee Cartoons, the broadcast design and animation division of Virtual Persuasion, recently completed production on MAD CAPS, a series of 60-second educational interstitials for Nick Jr. The spots will be featured as part of Nick Jrs. fall 2003 line-up and introduce the 3D animated characters Rip, Rap and Rippity Doo. The lively animated shorts employ a hip-hop attitude to teach pre-school kids about colors, shapes and sounds. The interstitials feature the voices of Eastern Conference Records rap artists Mr. E-On, Tame One and The Dutchess performing to hip-hop rhymes written by Nick producers Greg Alkalay and Lisa Versaci along with writer Samantha Berger.
The characters were based on designs by Nickelodeons Manny Galan. "Originally Mannys designs called for 2D characters," according to Vee Pees director of animation, John Siciliano. "But once we did a test of them in 3D, everybody preferred them in that format. We modeled all the characters with Newteks LightWave 7.5. Then we combined the character animation with 2D graphic elements and text in Adobe After Effects to create some really eye-catching spots. The hip hop music and the animation really move together nicely." Vee Pee is located in Fairfield, Connecticut. For information call (203) 332-0184 or check out www.veepee.biz.
Teaming with Backyard Prods. and ad agency TBWAChiatDay, Happy Hour Entertainment has completed two 30-second animated TV spots for Sony Computer Entertainment America's WAR OF THE MONSTERS PlayStation 2 video game. The spots, which are titled BARRACKS and DRIVE IN, depict CG monster characters interacting with live-action characters.
In BARRACKS, an oversized Cyclops cowers and stands at attention while being harassed by a drill sergeant. DRIVE IN, meanwhile, features a loud-mouthed, wisecracking monster interrupting a drive-in movie for two young lovers.
Bent Image Lab has just finished production on the first Reese's Pieces ad in more than two decades for Hershey's and agency partner DDB New York. For the CENTER OF ATTENTION CAMPAIGN, it was Bent Image's job to bring to life an action-packed world where the center of the frame always contains a Reese's Pieces candy as the focal point. The style has been done in live action before where camera harnesses lock the person attached to camera in the center of the frame like in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, but this is the first time it's been done in mixed-media or 3D stop-motion animation.
Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment has produced the logo, branding, and original animation segments for this year's superhero-themed MTV Movie Awards. The work includes category introductions, as well as opening and closing segments for the awards show, which will air June 5, 2003. Typically, using a live-action/design combination for the awards gala, this year MTV decided to go with a custom CGI animated approach in response to the growing number of superhero-inspired films. Promotional spots for the awards also feature animation.
New York-based Click 3x recently finished up production on a spot promoting Food Network's "Dine In Dine Out Sweepstakes." The idea for the 30-second spot germinated with the cable net's in-house creative staff, after which Click 3x's Creative Director Iain Greenway and his compatriots were enlisted to design the visuals and produce the ad. The commercial interjects Food Network personalities into a stylized 3D kitchen and/or restaurant setting. The visual concept is reminiscent of architectural blueprints, featuring objects rendered in stroked outlines.
Perception has created an intense new promo for ESPN Classic's celebration of The New York Yankees 100th anniversary that involved a huge amount of digital compositing, 2D graphics and organic texture creations. Perception was challenged by ESPN Classic to create a promo that would encapsulate the Yankee legacy in just 30 seconds and grab viewers' attention with arresting visual effects and graphic design.
Riverstreet Productions, a leader in creative television production, and Blur Studio, the Santa Monica, California-based computer animation and visual effects studio, have teamed up again to develop an image campaign for the Kids' WB! 2002-2003 season. For the fifth consecutive year, Kids' WB! tapped Riverstreet Productions to develop the network's branding and ID campaign. The ongoing creative collaboration between Kids' WB! and Riverstreet Productions has earned the companies 14 Promax Awards, including four Gold Muses and one Promax World Class Award. Blur Studio is on board again for the fourth year incorporating its irreverent creativity through computer animation, visual effects and post-production to help win several of the awards.