Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.4, July1997


Spotlight On Spots

Colossal's Factory.

Colossal Pictures created a 30 second 2D animated commercial for Coca-Cola through Edge Creative. Factory, as it is titled, emulates the style of 1920's "rubber-hose" style black and white animation. "It's a style that comes out of the naive era of early cartoons," commented spot director and Colossal senior creative director George Evelyn. Now airing nationally in the U.S., the spot also features the handiwork of Charles Gammage Animation and Little Fluffy Clouds. . . The End director Sean Sewter animated Stone Family and Dollhouse, two clay-animated commercials for Culligan International's "Water for Life" ad campaign. Of course, the spots close with the classic cartoon Culligan lady, calling out "Hey, Culligan Man!.". . . . . Manhattan Transfer designed a broadcast package of station id's, bumpers and opens for Tele-TV Media's new video-on-demand/cable/satellite service debuting in mid-June. . . . . . . Blue Sky Studios created a 30 second 3D computer animated commercial for Rayovac Renewal batteries which brings various battery-operated devices to life as they stand in line to be filled with fresh batteries. Entitled Filling Station, the spot was designed and directed by Mark Baldo, and aired heavily in the U.S. in mid-June as part of a Father's Day promotion. . . .

Renegade's Serengeti.

Renegade Animation created Serengeti, a new 30 second commercial for Cheetos brand snacks featuring the 2D cel animated character Chester Cheetah, combined with live action footage shot by Rhythm & Hues. Darrel Van Citters directed the animation and ink & paint was handled by Virtual Magic. . . . Curious Pictures created two 15 second commercials for Martini & Rossi vermouth, inspired by 1960's optical art and experimental film. The spots, titled Bianco and Rosso, are currently airing on televisions around Europe. . . . Curious Pictures also recently completed two 10 second animated commercials for British Airways, Slumbering Moon (two versions) and Stop Sign. Directed by Garett Sheldrew, the line-animated black and white spots were commissioned after the MC & Saatchi agency was impressed by Sheldrew and Wild Brain's recent Nike spots featuring a cow jumping over the moon. . . .

Curious Pictures' Slumbering Moon.


Speaking of which, San Francisco-based Wild Brain just took home a Silver Clio award for the above described commercial, Destination Moon (see complete list of Clio winners in this edition of Animation World News). Wild Brain also recently signed animator/director Ed Bell, adding his talents to the roster alongside directors Gordon Clark, John Hays, Phil Robinson and Robin Steele. Bell, a veteran of Colossal Pictures, most recently completed directing HBO's animated series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child. And Wild Brain also has a new sales representative in Los Angeles, independent rep Darr Hawthorne. . . .

Duck Soup's Hair Raising Day.

Los Angeles-based Duck Soup Producktions teamed up with director Maureen Selwood to create another line-animated commercial for El Torito restaurants. Hair Raising Day is a 30 second spot depicting the restaurant as a place for people, in this case, two women, to relax over some chips and guacamole to escape the stresses of everyday life. The assistant animator on the job was Jenny Walsh, and the colorist was Isabel Heguera, both former students' of Selwood at California Institute of the Arts. . . .The Front, Duck Soup's new media/live-action production arm, recently completed a colorful new animation and live-action commercial for Coca-Cola's Fruitopia beverages. Origami (not to be confused with a Hershey's spot of the same name from a few months ago) features color prints of live-action footage scanned and altered in Adobe After Effects, then cut-out by hand and transformed into paper sculptures which were then animated in stop-motion. The agency was Leo Burnett, with a production crew that included director Jamie Caliri, executive producer Nick Bates, producer Darryn Smith and stop-motion director Mark Osborne. . . . New York-based Magnet Pictures recently completed Jekyll & Hyde, a 30 second animated commercial for the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Protection. The 2D and 3D animated spot portrays a man who throws trash out of a car window, and is literally transformed, a-la-Kafka, into a "litterbug". The director/designer was George Englebrecht, the key animator was Igor Mitrovic, and the 3D animator was Orlando Robles. . . . New York-based design and animation studio, Telezign, recently completed a 3D computer animated movie opening for and in collaboration with HBO. Depicting a water droplet that leads into the HBO logo, the ten second spot will be aired nationally on the HBO cable network and internationally in theaters, as an opener for HBO Pictures' original theatrical programming. Telezign also recently completed several on-air promos for King World's game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Designer/director Jean Shim started with 16mm film then animated it with 2D graphics on a computer.

Vinton Hosts "Camp Animate". Portland-based Will Vinton Studios hosted their second annual "Camp Animate" in late April in Portland. The event brought together an exclusive gathering of 35 ad agency producers for a two-day session of talking and learning about animation with the creatives of Will Vinton Studios, whose efforts in producing commercials have become increasingly high profile with their animated campaigns for M&Ms and Nissan. Attendees included executives from agencies such as Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi and J. Walter Thompson. They were treated to tours of the stop-motion and CGI studios, as well as a studio tour of animator Joan Gratz, whose signature clay painting technique is represented commercially by Vinton Studios. On the second day, the guests were given a chance to do some hands-on animating, the results of which were screened at a brew pub party that night.

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