Florida, U.S.-based AARGH! ANIMATION, Inc., one of the largest independentcel animation houses, has produced a series of national spots for Cold-Eezecold medicine that combine live-action with cel animation. The celanimation was directed by Mark Simon and Dave Kallaher of AARGH! Nowrunning and continuing through the cold season, these spots, three :10spots and two :30 spots, are running in heavy rotation on major U.S.networks. The spots feature live-action actors whose sneezes morph theminto animated characters.
London-based production company AKA PIZAZZ and Internet designers EDWARDSCHURCHER have announced the arrival of the world's first fully interactiveanimated commercial for Compaq. Following on from AKA's recent animated TVcampaign for Compaq, the interactive Web version of "Bird" was created byNeil Churcher, James Stone, and Javier Garcia Flynn of EDWARDS CHURCHER.The spot is now available on the Compaq website. The commercial features afully interactive, realtime animation in which one's cursor movements
Director/designer Jerry van de Beek and co-designer Betsy de Fries ofLITTLE FLUFFY CLOUDS, the San Francisco digital animation and designstudio, finished an all CGI commercial for Lugz athletic shoes entitled"Annakii." The 30-second spot features a video game like scenario, repletewith a hip-hop soundtrack, where the hero moves through a futuristic NewYork City.
INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC just finished up the new Will Smith video WILL2K forColumbia Records and Sony Pictures. Robert Caruso directed the vid that sendsmega-star Will Smith on a Millenium eve time traveling spree. The futuristiceffects were created with ILM's newest motion capture software.
Read Heather Kenyon's interview with ILM's Seth Rosenthal in AnimationWorld Magazine.
TROLLBACK & CO., a newly formed visual effects and design studio, finisheda new spot for ROWECOM, a start-up internet service company. The commercialfeatures a fast-paced mix of books, maps and other layered images in conjunction withlive action footage by director Elena Colombo. The spot was produced for thecreative team at Boston-based McKay Communications. The spot started airing October18 on CNBC North America and Europe (including the United Kingdom).
To introduce KELLOGG's new Cereal & Milk Bars for Leo BurnettInternational-London, England, TOPIX/MAD DOG completed the 3D animatedproduct demo and box sequences, and integrated them within 2D animation fora vibrant :30 spot. The commercial began its global run in the UK, France,and Ireland in October. The spot will make its debut in Germany, Mexico,Iceland, Belgium, and possibly Canada in the new year.
New York animation studio, DMA with director Tony Caio finished up two'60s-style spots for Zowie Intertainment, Inc. new fantasy game ELLIE'SENCHANTED GARDEN. The commercial, featuring psychedelic-spinning wallpaperflowers and highly stylized gardens appearing around live-action actors, isaimed at attracting young girls to computer games. The spot started airingon Nickelodeon and other kid-friendly networks in early November.
J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS, with J.J. Sedelmaier serving as director, hasproduced a second Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers "Family Game Night"30-second spot. The commercial features classic board games like Monopoly,Clue, and Scrabble. This incarnation is entitled "Special Night" andfeatures the same child-like crayon style from the previous Milton Bradleyspot.
THE MILL, a London-based post house, recently finished up a new Daewoo carspot. The 30-second commercial, entitled "Aerial Fantasy," is directed byDaniel Barber of Rose Hackney Barber and produced by Duckworth Finn GrubbWaters. The Mill's Flame artist Jason Watts set the piece to a base-boomingmix of rock and rap music. The spot features the new Daewoo "Lanos"thrashing the world's largest skateboarding half pipe. The spot will airaround Europe in November and arrive in England come January 2000.
London-based HRA has completed "Eddie Spaghetti," a :30 for Heinzspaghetti and agency Leo Burnett, Chicago. The spot depicts the journey ofa piece of spaghetti from plate to boy's mouth, inside of which a party isin progress. The ad, directed by Kim Burdon, features 3D computeranimation, traditional cel animation, live-action, and puppetry.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based A.FILM has finished a :40 spot for Daloon SpringRolls, Denmark's largest Chinese frozen food manufacturer. In the spot,which unveils a new product called Funsters, a dragon, called "daloon" inDanish, presents the product like a wise and distinguished old man, but thechildren's crazy antics off-screen cause him to lose his cool. The CGI spotwas animated using 3D Studio Max with a few live-action props. Craig Frankdirected. The word from Denmark is that after the spot aired for threeweeks, the product sold out.
Hollywood, California-based ACME FILMWORKS has completed two :30 spots. In"The Challenge," a live-action commercial for commemorative Pepsi cans thatpromote the return of the Cleveland Browns to competition, images offootball plays appear in the stormy sky above Cleveland Browns player ChrisSpielman who asks the viewer, "So are you ready to be a Browns fan?" Thevisual effects were composed, layered and rendered using Adobe Photoshopand After Effects. Scott Ingalls directed the spot for Dallas, Texas-based
West Hollywood, California-based RING OF FIRE completed the visual effectsfor two spots for the new Infiniti I30 luxury sedan and agency TBWAChiat/Day. For "Rain" Ring of Fire added time-lapse clouds, individuallyrotoscoped each raindrop and added visual enhancements to the car and itsenvironment. For "Aspens" they created the mirror's reflection, compositedclouds and birds in trees, and added shadows to the trees.
Santa Monica, California-based SIMEX DIGITAL STUDIOS has completed thecomputer animation for "Glitch," a spot for Repairnow.com, an Internetresource site. West Los Angeles-based Rhythm & Hues produced the spot forad agency Millenium Communications, and Richard Taylor directed it. Thespot depicts the impact of a mini whirlwind of destruction, which is named"Glitch," as it passes through VCRs, CD players, and other household items.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based A.FILM has completed "Jumbo Book," a :30 forDisney Scandinavia. The spot touts JUMBO, a collection of Donald Duckcomics. The spot mixes 2D animation and live-action. In the spot, alive-action maid stumbles across all sorts of 2D animated figures includingDonald Duck's beak, Uncle Scrooge's hat, etc. The figures tease and provokethe maid into opening a closet from which spill hundreds of Donald Duckcomic books, burying the maid. Live-action was directed by Michael Hegnerand animation was directed by Craig Frank.
New York City-based THE ATTIK created the visual style and animation for"Sailing the Globe" and "Getting Ready," two :30 spots designed to showcasethe John Player Goldleaf Voyage of Discovery, during which a sailboattraveled to 17 countries in 170 days. The Attik added animated nauticalimagery to live-action footage, shot by Los Angeles-based Robert Steadman,of the real John Player Goldleaf cigarettes sailboat.
Chicago, Illinois-based TRICKY PICTURES has completed "Hello Kitty," a :30spot for Target Stores and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based agency PetersonMilla Hooks. Tricky Pictures used After Effects to composite thelive-action footage and the animated characters. Bruce Alcock directed thespot.
Orlando, Florida-based AARGH! ANIMATION, INC. (not related to the abovecompany) is co-producing a series of :10 and :30 spots for Cold-Eeze coldmedicine that combines live-action with cel animation. Mark Simon and DaveKallaher directed the animation. The three :10 spots consist of a celanimated plane that swoops into frame over a six layer multi-plane ofmoving clouds. The computer generated product packages fly out of the planeand are presented close to camera. In the :30 spots, live-action passengers
New York City-based THE ATTIK has completed two :30 spots for Sol Beer andagency Amster Yard. In "Disco" a beer acts as a disco ball, emittingstrobing lights. In "Rock N Roll" the can emits electrical charges,creating a pulsing energy field. James Sommerville directed, and both spotswere created with After Effects, Infinity, Studio Pro and Media 100. JulieWatkins of New York City-based Manhattan Transfer completed the compositein Inferno.
New York-based SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION has completed "Cold Start," a spotfor Prestone antifreeze, for agency Grey Advertising. Spontaneous used 3DStudio MAX to create the engine and antifreeze. Live-action footage wasproduced by New York-based Zero 2 Sixty.
Mumbai, India-based GRAPHITI MULTIMEDIA has completed two :15 spots forLimca soft drink. In one of the spots, an animated version of Indian moviestar Shah Rukh Khan is chased by a dog while on a date with his girlfriend.In the other spot, a cricket player is taunted by a duck. In both spots,the characters are encouraged to "take it easy" with a Limca soft drink.Graphiti used Cambridge Animation Systems' Animo software to composite thehand-drawn characters with the backgrounds, which were created using AdobePhotoshop.
Santa Monica, California-based SIMEX DIGITAL STUDIOS has completed "IceCliff," a spot for Dunlop Tires and agency Dentsu, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan. Inthe spot, five luxury sport cars race on rapidly eroding, digitallygenerated, ice covered cliffs. The camera moves back to reveal that thecliffs are created by a giant digitally created Dunlop tire. CGI ArtistJeff Chung used Alias Power Animator and Maya Media Illusion to create theeffects.
London, UK-based RICHARD PURDUM PRODUCTIONS has completed three spots forNestle Polo mints. In "Aliens," which was designed by Robin Heighway Bury,the mint is chased by aliens. In "Cement," which was designed by John PaulEarly, the Polo mint is hounded by a mob, and in "Beach," which wasdesigned by Adrian Johnson, the mint is chased by muscle men into a ladies'changing room. The three designers brought their individual styles to eachof the spots, which were all directed by Richard Purdum for agency J.Walter Thompson.
San Francisco-based CURIOUS PICTURES has finished "Decide & Conquer," a :30spot for Lugz athletic shoes. Directed by Jerry van de Beek, the spotresembles a video game and features Fantm Sklz, a hip male character, whomaneuvers through the obstacles of New York City, scoring points as hemakes his way to his final destination. Curious used 3D Studio MAX, AdobeAfter Effects and Discreet Paint for this project. New York-based AmsterYard was the agency.
New York City-based THE ATTIK has created the new visual style for UnitedParamount Network (UPN), the sixth largest network in the US, to help brandits new identity for its fall season. This includes promos, opens,transitions, and ids. To create the package, The Attik developed a seriesof models formed from translucent plastic and glass, and photographed themon an animation bed. The elements were edited to generate a sense offluctuation in the energy of the UPN logo, which was then combined with a