Santa Monica, California-based COMPUTERCAFE recently created a pair of 3D animated characters for two new spots for Nerf. In "BallZooka," a boy is pitted against a towering wrestler who looks like he could tear him limb from limb, but he uses his BallZooka, a motorized toy capable of rapidly firing Nerf balls, to pin his opponent to the canvas. In "Power Clip/Wildfire," another boy, armed with a Nerf Power Clip DX 100 Blaster, unleashes a barrage of foam darts that helps him defeat his silver super-speedy foe.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has created a Godzilla-themed promo for ABC's TV series SPIN CITY, THE DREW CAREY SHOW and WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE? "It all started last May with a call from Michael Benson, senior vice president (advertising and promotion) and Alan Cohen, executive vice president (marketing, advertising and promotion) for ABC-TV (LA), on the referral of Fred Seibert (former president of Hanna-Barbara)," said animation director J.J. Sedelmaier. "They wanted a cool animation spot for one of these shows to break through the clutter and attract attention.
Vancouver-based Natterjack recently completed 19-minutes of animation for Cartoon Network's "Scare-A-Thon Sweepstakes" Halloween promotion, featuring characters from SCOOBY-DOO and COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG. The overall project involved the design and animation of 16 1-minute bumpers and 3 1-minute ads. The promos have the cast of both shows telling ghost stories, which frighten Scooby and Courage. Viewers, after witnessing the two dog's reactions to the various scary tales, are encouraged to call in and vote for the 'scardiest' dog.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has wrapped on a new spot for Novartis Nutrition Mexico. The 20-second spot promotes the C-1000-C, a supplement that combines Vitamin C and calcium, and benefits the respiratory system, teeth and bones. TOPIX/Mad Dog used a 2D-animation style completed in 3D. TOPIX/Mad Dog producer Diana D'Amelio explains, "The hand-drawn color-washed characters introduce the new vitamin in an entertaining, humorous and informative way by showing kids in various stages of play demonstrating the benefits of the product." Tyrone McFadden directed the animation for TOPIX/Mad Dog.
A.Film Copenhagen has finished up a new 30-second commercial with Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. The spot is part of a new European revisioning campaign for the Tony the Tiger character. In the commercial, Tony wears a handkerchief on top of his head and makes hip-hop type street-smart signs with his hands. A.Film combined traditional cel animation with live-action. Craig Frank served as the animation director and Easy Film's Thomas Buck directed the live-action. The spot was produced for ad agency Leo Burnett.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions animated its fifth 30-second spot for Old Navy. In the commercial "Tons of Ts," the animated Old Navy kids cut loose to the Jackson Five tune "ABC," as they model dozens of new T-shirts. The spot ends with an animated version of Old Navy's spokesdog Magic jumping into a T-shirt hanging on a clothesline.
Paris-based animators Mac Guff Ligne have created seven new Pillsbury Doughboy spots. According to Mac Guff Ligne executive Niko Trout, the main challenge faced by his company's designers and animators was learning proper respect for the character. "The only thing we had as reference was our own Michelin man," Trout said. "We had to be careful to understand the permutations of what we were dealing with." Working on the spots for Mac Guff Ligne were executive producer/CG and special effects wizard Nicolas Trout, visual effects supervisor Frank Baradat and executive producer/U.S.
Will Vinton Studios created two CGI spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. In "Splat," AT&T's blue-striped globe logo races forward several times splatting itself on the TV screen until in finally shatters the glass and disappears into space. In "Whirlwind," a blue whirlwind spins around a white ball until in finally wraps itself around the globe forming the AT&T logo. The commercials were done in Maya and started airing during the Sydney Summer Olympics. Jim Hardison directed the spots for New York ad agency Young & Rubicam.
R!OT has created the CGI tornado for a new spot for Chevrolet's Monte Carlo. The spot starts out with a realistic tornado traveling down an urban street. The twister final stops backs up and parks in a parking spot. After the storm cloud settles and reveals the Monte Carlo SS, Warner Bros.' animated character the Tasmanian Devil hops out of the car and drops change into the meter. "The idea was to create a realistic tornado in order to take the audience by surprise at the end," said ad agency Campbell-Ewald's executive producer Craig Mungons.
J.J. Sedelmaier Productions has wrapped on a series of 1 1/2-minute interstitials entitled "A Stranger in Town," starring caped crusader Capt. Linger, who has a tendency to talk your ear off after saving your life. Stuart Hill sold the Linger idea to Cartoon Network and producer Lynn Slowinski presented the concept to Sedelmaier. At first the concept was written in a DUDLEY DO-RIGHT style, but Sedelmaier envisioned it with a flat comic book look. "Stuart (Hill) had a clear idea of what to retain from the original concept but he didn't hold onto anything unnecessarily," said Sedelmaier.
New York-based Rhinoceros Visual Effects and Design has completed the digital imagery work for three new Alka Seltzer spots. In the 30-second "This Cold Season" and two 15-second spots, "Just Picked" and "Dew Drop," legions unite as a single cold sufferer in one digital mosaic transition. The spots also contain a multitude of CG bubbles and a photo-real CG Alka Seltzer package. "The recent Alka Seltzer spots had a lot of challenging aspects that made them call for more CG than originally anticipated," noted Arman Matin, Rhinoceros' CG project leader.
DMA has completed new IDs for Hearst-Argyle stations featuring Salty the Parrot. Tony Caio of DMA Animation directed the animated shorts, which promote local broadcasts from sports to holiday greetings. DMA's design approach is a mix of CGI and traditional Warner Bros. style of animation. The Salty character is owned by King Features. DMA has worked with clients such as Nickelodeon, The Food Network, Noggin, Grey Advertising, Kidvertisers, Sesame Workshop, ABC, CBS and WGBH/Boston. To view the Salty spots, go to http://www.dma-animation.com.
Sideshow, a New York post-production and visual design studio, has finished a series of promo spots for the new syndicated TV crime series ARREST & TRIAL. Sideshow delivered two 15-second and 10-second teasers, three 30-second promotional spots and 4 15-second versions of the same. In addition, the company is working on a 30-second Jumbo-tron spot for use in Times Square and other outdoor viewing venues. The show is a reality-based crime series from LAW AND ORDER creator Dick Wolfe and produced by Studios USA.
Paris-based Mac Guff Ligne, a part of the Ron Soodalter Associates International consortium of post-production studios, has finished two 3D dinosaurs for a new Lego commercial. The 30-second "Dino's Dinner" spot combines walking and talking dinosaurs in live-action settings juxtaposed against kids playing with their Lego sets. Mac Guff Ligne, which produced the spot for New York ad agency Lowe, Lintas, used the Web as a means to deliver the images to the client. "I think this arrangement worked brilliantly," said spot producer Eve Frumkin of Lowe, Lintas.
Spontaneous Combustion, a digital studio specializing in the creation of visual effects and design, has completed the CGI effects and compositing for three 30-second spots for AT&T's "Boundless" campaign. The campaign plays on AT&T's logo as it touts its broadband technology and ends with typography that transitions from either "broadband" or "wireless" into "boundless," followed by "att.com." In "Push Pin," blue pushpins fly, hitting a white wall forming the AT&T globe logo.
iXL, a New York Internet consulting firm offering end-to-end strategic, creative and technology solutions, has wrapped on two new promos for Comedy Central's new series STRIP MALL, starring comedian Julie Brown. Produced by New York-based Fowler Media's David Fowler and edited by iXL's Rob Ortiz, the 30-second "Brown and Dirty" and "Headlines" highlights the antics of the new series. The spot mixes quotes from various reviews intertwined with clips from the series. "The key to the STRIP MALL spots was to synchronize the graphics showing the reviews with show content," said Ortiz.
Black Logic has created a new spot for Ben Gay and New York ad agency Cline, Davis & Mann. Making his directorial debut on the spot was Black Logic's Patrick Ferguson. "The idea was to take individual parts of the human body affected by the soothing relief of Ben Gay, and integrate them into a 3D environment, where the body could interact with medical graphics, charts, and, ultimately, the product itself," said Ferguson. Floyd Gillis of Black Logic's creative partner, AFCG, created all of the CGI.
Blur Studio recently provided motion graphics design and production services for a new 60-second spot for the U.S. Army Reserve. The spot entitled "Dot You" promotes opportunities in the Army Reserve and highlights the service's Website, goarmyreserve.com. Typography animates over the live-action, echoing values such as "leadership," "dedication" and "adventure." The spot culminates with a series of hero shots over which appears the Army Reserve's Website address.
Quiet Man searches for "Intelligent Life" in two new 15 and 30-second spots for K'nex toy company. In the commercial, two animated aliens are sent to Earth to search for "signs of intelligent life." When they arrive, they ignore human beings and concentrate instead on a robotic toy built with high-tech plastic blocks called K'nex. The robotic toy has a Cyber Key device used to program it to perform different types of behavior such as that of a guard dog or a battle robot.
Director Peter Nydrle of NYDRLE, West Hollywood, California, has transformed Cadillacs into Olympic swimmers for a new commercial. "One of the challenges of the project was to give the cars the personality of an Olympic swimmer," explained Nydrle. "It's an attempt to blur reality in a way you rarely see, particularly in a car spot." "Desert Storm" begins with a fleet of Cadillac cars all bearing the names of Olympic Gold Medal swimmers, such as Weissmuller and Spitz, on their license plates. In front of the cars are Olympic styled swimming lanes.
Black Logic has completed its second spot for Lexmark Printers. The first Lexmark spot was directed by famed fashion photographer Herb Ritts and created by BlackLogic, NYC and Warwick Baker O'Neill, NYC. "This is the second spot we've done for Lexmark," said Black Logic designer/director Patrick Ferguson. "For the Z52, they wanted to maintain the Ritts' style, but point out that this printer is much faster. Essentially, the Z52 is the best of both worlds." The spot opens to the telltale sounds of a jet aircraft preparing for take-off. The camera slowly pans along the Z52.
Steele VFX, a Santa Monica, California-based special effects firm specializing in non-linear online editing and visual effects compositing, has wrapped on a new 30-second spot for Jeep. The commercial shows a Jeep moving out of the way of a stampede of elephants. Visual effects artist Jerry Steele had to increase the amount of elephants in the herd to create a more thunderous impact. "The way we did this, was the elephants were photographed at different depths in the scene," said Steele.
ViewPoint Studios has created an on-air identity package for Animal Planet Network. The creative team spent a week at the Chapman Leonard Studio in Orlando Florida filming 34 different species of animals for blue screen compositing. Filming the animals on blue screen allowed the ViewPoint Studios design team to incorporate the footage within the environmental backgrounds. In some cases the animals interact with graphic elements in the scene, as with the prairie dog pushing up the Animal Planet logo as he pops up and down out of his burrow.
To promote the NFL retail shop on NFL.com, Spontaneous Combustion, a digital production studio, designed and composited a campaign for NFL Properties. The campaign consisted of five 30-second spots, eleven 15-seconds spots and four 10-second spots. The various spots highlighted the inspirations that several great NFL players have made on current merchandise. Spontaneous Combustion executive creative director/director Tony Robins collaborated with NFL Properties art director Paul Iannacchino to create the concept, which integrates archival footage with NFL shop merchandise and typography.
TOPIX/Mad Dog has just finished a new Alka-Seltzer ad for the Mexican market. Combining live-action and 3D animation, the 20-second spot, "Termita," features a hungry termite, who cures his upset stomach with Alka-Seltzer. TOPIX/Mad Dogs animation director Richard Rosenman said, "Our priorities were to illustrate the termite eating wood, plastic, becoming ill, and, of course, being cured by a dose of Alka-Seltzer.