Acme Filmworks recently wrapped production on a new 2D Flash-animated Vegas-themed ad for the Wisconsin Lottery. Designed by Emmy Award-winning animator Dave Wasson, the spot features retro graphics and a jazzy score recalling the 1950s Vegas style. Beginning with a quick impression of the Strip, the ad moves through roulette, 7-11, blackjack and slots, positioning Wisconsin's new "scratcher" card in the middle of the screen.
Wasson said, "I feel like I've been waiting for a spot like this to come along since I first started directing commercials. Wisconsin Lottery's CASINO was a fantastic combination of several of my favorite things: snappy animation, the neon glitz of the 1950's Vegas strip and the terrific big-band music of that era. The inspiration for this spot stems from the highly stylized animated title sequences created by Saul Bass for movies like IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and the original OCEAN'S ELEVEN. The great thing about working in Flash with this classic graphic style is that it allows for a much higher quality of animation than you would ever have had time for if you were to animate the same thing traditionally."
Exec producer Ron Diamond said, "Dave successfully bridged the gap between the UPA animation of old and the newer approach of 2D and Flash animation. The incorporation of these modern treatments into the graphic approach based on a traditional technique is flawless."
Creative director/copywriter for Hoffman York/Milwaukee, Mark Catterson, adds, "Dave had just finished the animation to the title sequence for the feature film, DOWN WITH LOVE, which also featured 2D animation. Those titles were amazing. We liked Dave instantly, because we both agreed the illustration should have a somewhat 'crude' feel. A lot of animators would have wanted to pretty it up and make it more effect-y. But Dave really bought into the vibe and the direction of the Saul Bass reference. We had a limited budget and an even more limited timeline, but Dave worked around that and never complained (at least on the conference calls.) The agency is in Milwaukee. Dave is in L.A. Working long distance often results in communication problems. But that was never an issue here. This was one of those rare projects where the final product turned out better than what you pictured in your head."
The production included producer Kiki Hayes, art director Matt Driscoll, Catterson at Hoffman York/Milwaukee plus exec producer Diamond and producer Holly Stone at Acme Filmworks.
Founded in 1990, Hollywood, California-based Acme Filmworks represents more than 40 award-winning directors from around the world including Bill Plympton, Peter Chung, Joanna Quinn and Oliver Harrison. The production house offers a multitude of animation styles and techniques including stop-motion, typography, photo collage, design, traditional character animation and computer graphics. Acme has produced commercials, IDs, title sequences and short subjects for a host of corporations and organizations such as Nike, Toyota, Nabisco, Nescafe, Starbucks, NBC, Campbell's Soup, Tower Records, Pepsi, Honda, Crayola, Whiskas and Charmin.