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.
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.
iXL Digital Video Group has finished promos for Nickelodeons mock presidential election for kids. Anastasia Kedroe, Nickelodeons director, producer and writer, said, "We started with the idea of doing something with the American flag, something complex and unique. We wanted to avoid being too cutsey but have kids be a key part of the spot. Going in we had no idea how complex it would be." Flame artist Frank Nemis and Smoke artist Chris Kreynus molded kids interviews about their hopes for the next president into a tile puzzle game design.
Composer and sound designer Andy Bloch tuned in the newest KeyCorp commercial for JSM. The 30-second spot, "Airplane," features special effects by Digital Domain and highlights KeyCorps retirement planning services. The airy tune follows the flight of a paper airplane on its journey from a New York office building to a sunny beach, where a man unfolds the plane and reads the message, "Im on my way!" Andy Bloch said of the project, "The picture demanded a lyrical approach, a feeling of lightness since we are following the flight of a paper airplane.
New York-based digital studio Spontaneous Combustion has created a 3D sequence for the seven and a half-minute Xerox promo entitled, "A Storm of Innovation." The sequence was created for Philadelphia-based interactive event and communications agency PGI, Inc. The promo debuted at drupa 2000, the worlds largest full service trade show and exhibition, on May 31, 2000 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The film was projected on nine screens in a round theater. "Opening in the midst of a thunderstorm, the viewer shoots through clouds, and makes a sudden descent.
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.
Duck Soup Studios recently produced both the 3D animation and live-action for the 30-second Wal-Mart spot entitled "Sunny Skies." The mixed media spot features Wal-Mart´s friendly mascot, Smiley, who appears this time as the bright sun behind dark stormy clouds and then flies down to a Wal-Mart store to rollback prices once again. The animation was created by using Alias Wavefront´s Maya and was directed by Lane Nakamura with the live-action directed by Gale Tattersall and produced by Jon Derovan. Executive producer for the spot was Mark Medernach.
Interface Media Group, a Washington D.C.-based film and video production house, created the 3D animated end tag for "Choose Your Cover," a campaign for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 60, 30 and 15-second spots stress the importance of using sun protection to avoid skin cancer. Utilizing 3D animated icons created for last year´s campaign by Interface, art director/3D animator Carol Hilliard and designer/Flint artist John Bennett created a 4-second end tag, which mimics the project´s print campaign.
Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog has created the visual effects for three 30-second spots for Visa´s latest campaign. The "Penguins" ad, which promotes the Visa Gold card, is currently airing in Canada. The commercial follows a family outing to the beach where a seemingly passive penguin pilfers the family´s Visa card. Likewise, the other two spots "Monkey 2" and "Cat Burglar," feature a Machiavellian monkey and crafty cat who walk away with unknowing victims´ Visa cards. TOPIX/Mad Dog Inferno artists had to replace the live-action animals with puppets.
iXL, an Atlanta-based Internet solutions firm, designed, edited and composited a 60-second spot to promote ESPN International´s coverage of the NBA Finals, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Triple Crown, the French Open, the U.S. Open golf tournament and other top sporting events. The "Champions of the World" spot opens with a golden hued 3D graphic of the ESPN logo and "Champions of the World." The camera moves quickly around the graphic, while an animated gold circle, like a medal, forms.
Keeping the look "clean and simple," animation director J.J. Sedelmaier of J.J. Sedelmaier Productions transformed the popular print campaign for Connecticut´s People´s Bank to a 15-second TV spot. In the spot, which highlights the People´s Bank on-line services, an animated male hand and computer mouse quickly perform a multitude of tasks on-line, including paying the mortgage, depositing checks and checking on investments, all at his unseen wife´s request. "People´s Bank has an ongoing outdoor campaign and they wanted a spot that was very similar.
Burbank-based animation house Renegade Animation has created the newest Chester Cheetah ads for Frito-Lay, entitled "Quiz Show" and "Ice Sculptor." The first spot pits Chester in a quiz show where the grand prize is a convertible filled with Cheetos Xs and Os snacks. Once his craving reaches its summit, Chester dives from his podium and starts to eat the scrumptious snacks. "Ice Sculptor" brings together two items that don´t mix: Flamin´ Hot Cheetos and ice sculptures.
Acme Filmworks director Peter Chung (AEON FLUX) has finished his fourth spot for Rally´s and Checker´s hamburger stands. The anime style spots all feature the fast-driving femme fatale, Holly. In the newest commercial "Johnny Law," a cop clocks Holly doing 243 mph in her car. The sly seductress races through a Rally´s/Checker´s drive-thru nabbing two Bacon Cheese Champs. Once cornered by the copper, the cunning character hands over her license conveniently placed between the buns of a burger.
Film Roman Inc. has launched a major expansion of its commercial production activities. As a result, Kathee Schneider has been named vice president of creative affairs and the commercial division's executive producer. Joining Schneider as executive creative director will be three-time Emmy-winning director, Eric Radomski. The artists featured on Film Roman's animation Web site, Level13.net will also be involved with the commercial division. "We are drawing on this vast new pool of talent who create avant-garde work for Level13.net," said Schneider.
J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS helped Major League Baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. try new "Sportz" (crackers that is). The 30-second spot for new Nabisco "Sportz" snack crackers integrates cel animation and live-action footage. "We haven't produced many projects integrating animation with live action, but on 'Griffey' we were teamed with the creatives from the Slim Jim spots, so we knew and trusted each other," said Sedelmaier. "But this kind of spot can't be as free-wheeling because the animation occupies a very specific area and requires a very particular look.
SIMEX returns to Toucan Sam with new Kellogs' spot. In the 30-second "Nose Detector" commercial, SimEx artists created the 2D and 3D animation for an adventurous spot, where Toucan Sam follows his nose to Kellogs' delicious-smelling new cereal, Froot Loops with Cherry Berry Swirls. This spot is the sixth Froot Loop commercial for SimEx and paired them with long-time creative partner Peter Lohmeier of Chicago-based ad agency Leo Burnett. The animation director was Jean Perramon and Christina Cox produced.
QUIET MAN raps on the newest Barrons spot. The visual effects driven spot, entitled "What's Coming," was filmed almost entirely on a bluescreen, which remains visible, mimicking the colors of the Barrons' logo. The spot begins with a man standing with his face buried in a copy of Barrons. Without lifting his head, he takes out an umbrella right before rain begins to fall. After the rain stops, the man takes a step to his left just avoiding a grand piano crashing down on the spot where he was just standing.
CHARLEX founder and creative director Alex Weil has created "Casual George," a 30-second spot to introduce the new "gold dollar" coin from the U.S. Mint. Charlex brings the stoic face of the first U.S. president off the dollar bill and places it on a lean young body. George gets jiggy with friends at a club, scuba dives with the fishes and drives a classic car along the freeway. "This project was about creating the character of George," said Weil. "We wanted to give him as much humanity as possible. When he reacts to the new one dollar coin, we wanted a reaction everybody can relate to.
WILL VINTON STUDIOS has delivered a new spot entitled "Choices" promoting 989 Studios' video game SYPHON FILTER 2. Mike Wellins directed the CGI commercial for San Francisco-based ad agency, Butler, Shine & Stern. The spot is designed to look like a scene taken directly from the game. The ad starts with the hero running on top of a speeding train firing his machine gun at approaching enemy. When the valiant hero corners the villain, the evil foe suddenly asks whether he can be "done in" with something less painful than a gun.
BLACK LOGIC wins big with new visual effects commercial for the Wisconsin Lottery. The spot highlights the new FastLucky5.com, a cutting-edge on-line game from the Wisconsin Lottery. Black Logic's Michel Suissa directed the ad. The fast paced spot begins with the declaration, "We have seen the future, and it's digital." The colorful spot bursts with floating digits and 3D animation and promises "a whole new way to play the numbers." Suissa said, "The challenge was to appeal to a younger audience, while remaining coherent and relevant.