New York-based animation and design house, So! much, has created a 3D animated 30-second spot for MCI Worldcom and Blockbuster Video. The "FreeFlix Follies" campaign highlights the free movie bonuses of signing up for MCI with a send-up of vaudeville shows. The commercial reunites Abbott and Costello-like characters Seymour the Movie Ticket and Answer the Telephone, which were created for a previous spot by So! much three years ago. "Were really committed to marrying thoughtful, passionate design work with top-quality CG animation," says Jennifer Yeh, executive producer at So! much.
Quiet Man unzipped the tuxes of some penguins for a new Pepsi ad "Zoo," which introduces new lemon-flavored Pepsi Twist (currently being test marketed in Texas and Minnesota), and has some plucky penguins strip down to their Speedos to take a cooling dip in a pool. Quiet Man creative director and the spots visual effects director Johnnie Semerad used Discreet Logic Inferno software to remove the black from the penguins' bodies, and tack on new arms to allow the movements of a simulated striptease. "The key was to determine how to make the penguins look naked," said Semerad.
The first commercial for the Center for Digital Imaging and Sound (CDIS) includes a clip from VANCOUVER UNDER ATTACK, created by CDIS Visual Effects and Digital Animation (VEDA) Program graduate Sean McQuarrie. The excerpt shows a monstrous alien space craft hovering above Vancouver Science World before unleashing a laser beam that blows up the centre. "It involved two days of filming in DVC Pro and miniDV formats," said McQuarrie. "To get the mix right, I used Maya, Maya Live and the Discreet Station for building up 20 layers of visual effects in total.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has wrapped up the 3D animation and design elements for the new 30-second spot for Kelloggs All-Bran Buds. "Chart" features an anatomical poster of the insides of a healthy woman, who leaps from the wall when no one is around to enjoy a bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran Buds. TOPIX/Mad Dog producer Diana D'amelio said the 3D character "began as a real woman shot on set, wearing a body-stocking, actually going through the actions in a series of takes. We then recreated her as a glass figure, with a skeletal structure and a stylized heart and circulatory system.
New York-based Charlex was brought in by British Petroleum to give a face-lift to their image. "The challenge was to make an interesting commercial using only the British Petroleum logo," said Charlex founder and spot director Alex Weil. "It was an idea originated by BP themselves, but nobody has been able to make it sufficiently interesting until we got hold of it. As [creative director] David Fowler put it, The idea went from the trash can to Charlex. Its a good thing too.
Eyeball has woven live-action dance footage together with graphic design elements for the new PBS documentary FREE TO DANCE. "We were provided with live-action footage, which we incorporated into a stylized environment that allowed the dancers movements to be shown to best effect, taking our inspiration from classic art deco posters," said creative director Limone Shur. Designer Tatiana Arocha created the simulated spotlights, which the dancers appear in. "I began by thinking about the colors and about stage lights over dancers," said Arocha.
The New York-based design and production studio hey! has wrapped up 22 thirty-second animations for Arista Records. Presented at Bertelsmann Music Groups marketing conference, hey! created musical sequences highlighting Arista artists Whitney Houston, Santana, Run DMC, Toni Braxton, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin and many more. "Essentially, we have made stills of the artists come to life by creating 2D animations in inferno*.
ATTIK shot, designed and produced three 15-second spots previewing Sonys Digital Network Recorder with TiVo service. The product allows TV viewers the chance to record programs digitally while they watch something else. ATTIK creative director/designer/director Aporva Baxi said, "We enhanced the existing agency concept with dynamic animated visuals that were specifically designed to reflect the copy line of each commercial. It was also vital that the visuals appear authentic.
Class-Key Chew-Po director Voltaire has wrapped up his first national spot for Kelloggs PopTarts Pastry Swirls. The spot features cherries parading in a chorus line then diving into a pool of cream cheese. Innovative Business Communications provided the CGI cream cheese so that the fluid nature would be more believable. The commercial was produced for Chicago-based ad agency Leo Burnett.
Ring of Fire has finished two spots for Sonys Walkman entitled "Spaceship" and "Dorm." Both spots center around the space alien Plato. In "Spaceship" after downloading tunes onto his Sony Memory Stick Walkman, Plato fights Los Angeles traffic in his shuttle on his way to his new college. In "Dorm," Plato enters his room after a shower to find that his female over-night visitor loves the mini disk of songs Plato has made her on his MiniDisk Walkman.
Eyeball has livened up the newest spot for Nikes latest shoe line, Presto! The spot that airs in Nike stores shows off the bright colors of the shoes with slick retro style. Director Limore Shur said, "We were after a moving, driving, fun-looking piece to exemplify what the shoes are all about. I think we achieved that. There was a nice aesthetic appeal to the whole thing." Curious Pictures used Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and Discreet edit* to blend the graphics with the colors and product shots.
Curious Pictures has completed the opening for the new Cartoon Network series THE BOB CLAMPETT SHOW. The spot highlights the mix of Clampetts styles from his Warner Bros. shorts to his later puppet work. In Flame, the Curious artists created smiles on the puppets faces and a film transition into a puppet theatre. Steve Patrick was the creative director for Cartoon Network and Denis Morella directed the open for Curious Pictures.
Wild Brain has finished three spots for Sony Music Entertainments "Pass It On" campaign. "Adventure," "Love" and "Street Party" air exclusively on MTV and highlight several of Sony Musics top artists by combining live-action music video footage with traditional cel animation. Creative director Ed Bell brought to the project his futuristic hip hop/anime designs, while director Robert Valley helped bring to life the surreal tone of the spots. "Ed Bell created a new genre of animation that isnt confined by stylistic boundaries," said Valley.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has created the visual effects for a 30-second spot entitled, "Stuntman" for Clearnet Communications Inc. Highlighting their new wireless phone, Mike, the commercial is airing in Canada. The ad features a stuntman jumping from a building and making phone calls as he descends. Director Chris Wehfritz brought the spot to life without having a real stuntman jump from a building. Wehfritz took footage of a free-falling parachutist and rotoscoped each frame.
Ring of Fire has created the newest completely CGI spot for Suntrust. "Sunrise/Sunset" is a 30-second commercial that brings to life fire-flies dancing, thunderstorms and a brilliant sun to ring in the banks name change from Crestar Bank to Suntrust. Using Maya 2.5, Ring of Fire created motion test rough landscapes for advertising agency West Waynes approval. Once the thumbs up was given Ring of Fire artists, led by creative director Jerry Spivack, added richer detail to the long tracking shot that changes from night to day.
Spontaneous Combustion has designed, directed, produced and edited a 30-second spot for Estee Lauders new skin refinisher, Idealist. The commercial started with a wire-rail globe spinning and changing into a square, triangle and back to a sphere then finally revealing the new laser technology from Estee Lauder.
hey!, a design and production studio, finished new opens, bumpers and background elements for five History Channel shows. The firm created an open for SPY WEB, revised opens and bumpers for HISTORYS GREATEST BLUNDERS and WEAPONS AT WAR, and opens for MOVIES IN TIME and HARDCOVER HISTORY. For SPY WEB, hey! used a mainly gray palette and added bits of color to evoke a feel of coded messages. "We had this coding going on in a textured background, with letters that cycle and change and evolve into the SPY WEB logo," said creative director Laura Tolkow.
Ring of Fire finished the visual effects for two 30-second commercials for Unisys. "Pigeons" starts with a man sitting down on a park bench next to a Unisys specialist. As the ad progresses, the female specialist gets wrapped up in telling the man all about e-business, and her head becomes encased in a monitor. When she calms down the monitor disappears and the tag line says, "At Unisys, we eat, sleep and drink this stuff!" Again in "Golf," Bob, the Unisys specialist, has his head encased in a monitor as he tells his friends about e-business on the golf course.
Eyeball has created eye-popping effects and animation for two spots highlighting Forum Credit Union. In the commercials showcasing the banks change of name from Telco Credit Union, Eyeball artists created an underwater feel with floating numbers. The spots open with numbers, icons and computer symbols streaming rapidly across the TV screen.
Spontaneous Combustion has spruced up the CGI product shots and on-line edit for two Aube Cosmetics ads. "Lipstick" and Eyeshadow" were produced for Aube, one of Japans foremost cosmetic companies. Creative director Sam DeWitt said, "We built models and textures for the new compacts containing the make-up.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has finished a new commercial for Clorox Clean-up spray cleaner. "Side-by-side Houses" shows two houses, one cleaned by Lysol and the other by Clorox. The voice over says, "Both houses are clean," but then the Lysol house sneezes, and the narrator continues with, "Clorox Clean-up spray destroys ninety-nine percent of all allergens." The spot ends with the Clorox house smiling happily. Sedelmaier brought in designer/illustrator Bonnie Timmons to bring her watercolor style and sweet sensibility to the characters.
Diecks Group created the 15-second teaser for the Showtime television series, SOUL FOOD, based off the 1997 feature film by the same name. The challenge for creative director Brian Diecks and art director Michael Waldron was to form a smooth and effective teaser from stills because the series had not yet begun production.
Eyeball finished a series of two-minute promos for USA Network. Creative director and art director Jory Hull created a slick style for the project that showcases USA Networks fall line-up of original movies, first-run Hollywood features, sporting events and USAs demographics. Eyeball created the design elements that linked the footage provided by USA. The promos were used as a visual representative of USA Networks for media buyers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Shur said, "This was somewhat of a departure for USA Networks.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions brings the green world of Pete the Gardner to life again for Ortho. The spot entitled, "Bookworm Pete," starts off with Pete reading a book about the hungry hordes of bugs nibbling on his lawn. Finally, in frustration Pete throws down the book and grabs Orthos Bug-B-Gon. "The concept underwent some development during production," said director J.J. Sedelmaier. "The client wanted the bugs to appear more threatening than they did in the initial boards.
Director Tim Burton tapped Ring of Fire for the visual effects on two Timex spots. The first spot, "Kung Fu," features a hero jumping from roof-tops in pursuit of the villains. However, the villains corner the hero. In the midst of a battle, the hero sets the alarms on the villains watches. Once the alarms sound the hero is given just enough time to defeat his advisories. Airing in the U.S. in the fall, "Mannequin" features a cat-suit-wearing heroine running from a devious villain.