Blind Takes Talking Sloth to Costa Rica
Press Release from Blind
NEW YORK, NY (October 17, 2011) - Costa Rica is home to five percent of the world's biodiversity, two oceans, friendly locals, and… talking sloths? Yes, at least one talking sloth, a character production company Blind brings to life in three new videos that promote Costa Rica's Million Dollar Gift of Happiness campaign.
Created in partnership with Atlanta-based advertising agency 22squared, the trio of Gift of Happiness spots features the laidback spokesanimal hanging in front of iconic Costa Rican scenes - rainforests, mountains, and stunning local architecture - and delivering happy-go-lucky encomiums to his native land in a relaxed, surfer dude-style voice.
"We won the pitch on one of our initial animation tests, which used sound bites of a laidback Owen Wilson," noted Tom Koh, creative director, Blind. "Our focus was to create an iconic figure embodying the character profile 22squared had developed, and our specially developed 2D and 3D approach brought us the style and production efficiency we were looking for."
After 22squared drafted scripts for the three videos and created a profile of the sloth's character, Blind conducted an extensive character design of the sloth, focusing on maximizing the body and facial performance. Once the sloth's look was agreed upon, Blind went to work with Cinema4D, After Effects and Photoshop using stock footage and photography to bring to life a unique 2D and 3D animation style. They used lip-syncing freeware applications Papagayo and LipSync to convert audio into corresponding phoneme images in After Effects.
At their studio, Blind shot the team's artists acting out the sloth's performances to provide a reference for the subtle body gestures and nuances throughout his dialogue. After a two- to three-week grind handling front-end character development and CG on the first spot, Blind cranked through the second and third spots in a week and a half each; a one-week edit perfected the comedic timing and tone they had worked toward from the beginning.
"We pride ourselves on finding creative solutions to pretty much any issue, and this project was no exception," stated Koh. "Of course, it helps to have a great creative partner like 22squared."
The first two spots debuted online on October 6.
Client: The Costa Rica Tourism Board
Campaign: Costa Rica's Million Dollar Gift of Happiness
Spot Titles: Different Places, Introducing
Air Date: October 2011
Chief Creative Officer: Scott Steinberg
Creative Directors: John Stapleton, Curt Mueller
Copywriters: Curt Mueller, Kevin Botfeld, Molly Crawford
Art Directors: John Stapleton, Stephen Bridges, Dustin Tamilio
Strategists: Brandon Murphy, Andrew Jones, Phil Heuring, Ashley Keetle, Christina Blanchard
Social Strategy: David Rollo, Christopher Tuff, Natalie Espinol
Producers: Robert Berris, Connie Newberry, Jodi Godwin
Editorial: Parker Davidson, Bryan Jameson
Production/Post Company: Blind
Creative Director: Tom Koh
Executive Producer: Dave Kleinman
Producers: Keith Bryant, Jamey Kitchens
Lead Animator: Michael Relth
3D Animators: Wesley Kandel, Chris O'Neill, Markus Madlangbayan, Calvin Prieto
2D Animator: Thomas Home
Designers: Wesley Kandel, Gregg Gunn
Editor: Sean U'Ren