New York digital effects studio Charlex has finished work on a new 60-second ID spot for Nickelodeon, which began airing April 21, 2001. Featuring a kinetic montage of Nick shows turbocharged with special effects and set to a zany classical score mixed with house beats and sound effects, the Because We Can themed spot showcases the networks entire range of programming in a mix of live-action, animation and effects. According to Niels Schurmanns, VP of on-air creative for Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., We realized that when kids play or when kids want to be entertained, they want no sense of constraints. Why do kids think this way? Because they can. And thats exactly how we see Nick. Why do we go live sliming kids? Because we can. Why do we show cartoons? Because we can. We give kids what they want, when they want it, and the spot had to reflect that. Charlex and their creative director Alex Weil had previously done many ID spots for the network, and were given complete creative freedom. Weil and Charlex editor Kevin Matuszewski aimed to present Nicks entire program lineup in 60 seconds, re-packaging the network, according to Weil, as a brand thats bigger than the sum of its shows. This newer, edgier branding made use of a very different color palette and typography than normally used at the network. Charlex Flame artist Burtis Scott created the animation for the Why graphics, and souped up the Nick show footage in a variety of ways, including adding new backgrounds to animated segments and compositing them with live segments to highlight the action.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.