Universal Images Wins Best-in-Show at 3rd Annual 'D Show' Awards
Press Release from Universal Images
DETROIT, MI, December 9, 2009 - Venerable visual effects and post-production house Universal Images took Best-in-Show honors at the third annual 'D Show'. In a ceremony held December 2 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, UI was honored for its work on the History Channel's "The Art of War," which received a nomination in the CGI/Animation category. Additionally, Universal Images won The Craft Award for "Battle B.C.," another History Channel presentation.
"As the complexity of the work grew, we expanded our toolset to meet it," said UI's said UI's Christopher Wirth, who served as Executive Creative Director on the project. "It's our duty as artists to bring it to the next level." A two-hour special, "The Art of War" explored the tactical theories of philosopher-general Sun Tzu as applied to the Civil War battle at Gettysburg, the Allied D-Day assault of WWII, and the Tet Offensive of Vietnam. These scenes, as well as ancient Chinese warfare from Sun Tzu's own time, were all dramatically recreated. "Each segment posed unique and distinctive challenges, requiring both 2d and 3d animation," Wirth explained. "We stylized the pieces to work together as a whole, while also giving each it's own unique look as the show moves through history. The goal is putting an audience deeper into the action."
When it comes to longform, Universal Images itself has been delving deeper "into the action." Well-known for its work in commercial post-production, specifically the automotive advertising field, UI has completed more than twelve hours of non-fiction entertainment programming in this past year. Based on roughly 40 minutes of VFX created by UI for its "Journey to 10,000 B.C.," the History Channel awarded the UI team 8 one-hour episodes of "Battle B.C.," followed by "The Art of War."
"It's wonderful to be recognized for our work in this arena," said Wirth, "and it's an especially gratifying feeling to bring work into Michigan." Wirth added that the artists at UI bring their experience in advertising to their longform work. "We're accustomed to high expectations, quick turnarounds, and other constraints, while keeping our focus on the creative aspect," he said. "We're now also taking our skill set from TV and applying it back into commercials, so it's always evolving, regardless of the medium."
In addition to the work for which it was honored, Universal Images brought its skills to the creation of the D Show opening sequence, employing an augmented sculpture technique that has been in development at the company. UI team members Dan Land and Gabriel Hall have created the opening for all three D Shows, beginning with the innaugural event in 2007. The D Show celebrates outstanding work done by the Detroit advertising community and the local creative community at large.