San Francisco-based animation studio (Colossal) Pictures has signed two new directors to its roster: Jim Matison and Flavio (Kampah). Matison, based in San Francisco, has been a freelance director for the past five years, working with SGI, Mondo Media, Protozoa, Wild Brain and Nickelodeon. He previously worked with (Colossal) starting in 1989 as a staff production artist, and went on to direct Crazy Daisy Ed, a stop-motion segment on Liquid TV, as well as several music videos and commercials.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN, INC. has launched its first of a multi-spot animated campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants. The Young & Rubicam campaign, which combines 2D and 3D animation with live-action, introduces "The Colonel," KFC's new animated spokesperson, new KFC products and a new overall look for the fast food company.
San Francisco-based RADIUM produced a 30-second animation of the MTV logo for the network's annual MTV Movie Awards show. The sequence is being used as a lead-in to clips of nominees introduced in the show. Artist Alaina Goetz used Maya and Flame to create the piece, which was produced in just three days.
London-based PASSION PICTURES produced ten seconds of computer animation in two different spots for food supplier, The Co-op. Depicting realistic chickens and a pig, the 3D CG sequences were directed by Chris Knott, using software such as Morph Gizmo for facial animation and the Lightwave plug-in, Steamer for atmospheric haze.
New York-based J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS created the animation in a two-spot package for Griffin Bacal's client Tonka and their new product, Cool Tools toys. The spots combine live-action with animation of drawings by designer Doug Fraser, animated by Vinnie Bell. J.J. Sedelmaier Productions also created animation in an ad for Hasbro/Parker Brothers' ad for "Family Game Night." The animation is done in a childlike style, directed by Sedelmaier and animated by Tony Eastman.
Los Angeles-based Industrial Light & Magic Commercial Productions (a division of ILM parent, Lucas Digital) used animated visual effects in a commercial for First Union. Live actors were composited with a 3D CG environment featuring a floating piggy bank, animated money and other exaggerated elements of the finance world. The production team included director Steve Beck, visual effects supervisor George Murphy and CG lead Tim Stevenson.
Boston-based VIEWPOINT STUDIOS and HECK YES! PRODUCTIONS have redesigned the main title animation package for the History Channel's show, "Modern Marvels." The 20-second open was created with Flame, compositing motion control photography with animation by Mike Leone of ViewPoint.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN, INC. produced two new commercials for Ogilvy & Mather's Hershey's Kisses ad campaign. The two new 15-second spots were directed by Carl Willat, who has directed more than 15 Hershey's Kisses ads over the last decade. "Drag Racing," like all previous 15 spots, uses tried-and-true stop-motion. However, for the second spot, titled "Fishing," Willat used computer animation, marking the first time CGI has been used in this campaign. Willat insisted, however, that CGI will not replace stop-motion.
Montreal, Canada-based PRODUCTIONS PASCAL BLAIS completed a 30-second clay-animated commercial for J. Walter Thompson's client Kraft/Oscar Mayer Foods and their product "Lunchables." The spot, titled "Kitchen Hoops" was directed by Pascal Blais, and is the third in a series of animated spots for this client. It portrays a boy and his father playing a game of basketball, and celebrating afterwards by breaking out the product, "All Star Burgers and Hot Dogs." The commercial is airing nationally in the U.S.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN INC. produced "Super Mom II," a sequel to their original Clio-award-winning spot, "Super Mom," for Coca-Cola. The 30-second, cel-animated commercial was directed by Mike Smith and Dave Marshall.
CURIOUS PICTURES' San Francisco studio produced 30 seconds of computer graphics and collage animation as part of a 60-second changeable promo spot called "Countdown" for HBO. It was directed by Chel White ("Photocopy Cha Cha") using a combination of photographs animated on cels and Flame software.
New York-based J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS created a second animated commercial for Quilted Northern Tissue, working again with illustrator/designer Bonnie Timmons ("Caroline in the City" opening credits). The new, 30-second spot, titled "Grandma Mimi" was directed by J.J. Sedelmaier, and the head animator was David Wachtenheim.
Santa Maria, California-based COMPUTER CAFÉ recreated the opening sequence of "Armageddon" for an Aerosmith video titled "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Digital artists Brett Paton and Mike Bozulich used Lightwave 3D and After Effects software to recreate the asteroid and planets featured in the sequence.
Toronto, Canada-based TOPIX/MAD DOG created 22 animated effects sequences for the first annual Golden Marble Awards show. Director of animation William Cameron used 3D Studio MAX for 3D, and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects for 2D sequences, with final compositing done on Flint and Flame.
Automaker Lincoln Mercury, a major sponsor for Paramount and Nickelodeon's animated feature, "The Rugrats Movie," will spend approximately U.S. $20 million on tie-in advertising to launch a new minivan called the Mercury Villager in conjunction with the film's release in November. The campaign will include TV ads featuring the Rugrats characters in an animated version of the minivan.
ACME FILMWORKS director BILL PLYMPTON created two animatedPSAs as part of a literacy campaign sponsored by 7-Eleven. The two15-second spots will air as bumpers on the PBS series "Wishbone." Theagency was The Richards Group in Dallas, Texas, and the producer was DianaLawless. . . . New Zealand-based FLEA CIRCUS, represented in the U.S. byCURIOUS PICTURES, created a seven and four second bumper for Nickelodeon's"Toons From Planet Orange," a program showcasing animation from around the