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Charlex Points the Way for Verizon

Charlex recently finished a Spanish-language :60 promoting Verizon's FiOS fiber optic network.

Press release from Charlex:

Charlex recently finished an amusing and impressive Spanish-language :60 promoting Verizon's 100% fiber optic network, FiOS.

Fish Tank opens on a family living room, where a father and daughter sit on the couch, mesmerized by Verizon Internet and TV. Meanwhile, a tank full of amazing fish, unhappy with their position in relation to the action, swarm to form the letters "TV" and collectively twist themselves into an arrow, sending a not-so-subtle signal to the family's mother. As she points in amazement at the spectacle; the unblinking family, thinking she is referring to the Verizon feed, agrees rapturously. Exasperated, she angles the tank toward the TV, so that the amazed fish can watch along with the family.

Lopez Negrete approached Charlex with the basic fish tank concept. The studio then determined the species, number and look of the fish; working closely with the agency to decide the best symbols and words for the fish to use. Aside from the extensive fish tank work, Charlex also handled retouch, additional color correct, and a technical composite of the TV reflecting in the fish tank as the gawking fish look on.

The selection of the fish was particularly paramount to the spot's success. "Initially we considered doing completely branded fish, in Verizon colors, but ended up finding naturally colored fish to be much more interesting," noted Charlex Creative Director Dade Orgeron. "We also found that small fish were better for forming the words and symbols, you could have more fun with their flocking behavior and the forms were much more legible. Lastly, we looked for fish with naturally expressive faces, so we could avoid having to over-exaggerate their expression in the final shot."

Charlex VFX Supervisor Steve Chiarello traveled to Mexico City to supervise the shoot, ensuring that director Simon Bross of Cortez Brothers, captured the appropriate plates for the fish tank. Chiarello also shot reference of a live fish tank to ensure that the movement, light and color of the Charlex version would be as realistic as possible.

While the size of the job increased considerably after the agency considered a rough cut - jumping from four shots to ten - Charlex's CG department still managed to push the spot out by deadline.

This effort comes courtesy of the same Charlex creative team behind Alaska, an illustrated Verizon spot promoting the company's High Speed Internet service.

About Charlex:

Charlex is a full-service creative studio based in New York City. We specialize in visual effects, animation, design and live-action. We've thrown fancy mission statements out the window and simply embrace versatility. Our motto is design and build. We can take any seed of an idea and bring it to life.

Making great work is the product of forging great relationships. Our team prides itself on fast, efficient work at the highest level of excellence. Our reputation is founded on a commitment to creating compelling imagery, regardless of the assignment. We are experts at building a seamless experience from concept to completion, from client brief to end result.


Client: Verizon FiOS Spot Title: Fish Tank Air Date: January 2012

Agency: Lopez Negrete Creative Director: Mario Salman Producer: Gerry Rivera

Post Production Co.: Charlex Creative Director: Dade Orgeron VFX Supervisor: Steve Chiarello Senior Producer: Alex Jarman Senior Smoke Editor: John Zawisha Lead Flame Compositor: Marc Goldfine Additional Flame: Mike Mendizabal Senior Designer: John O'Callaghan Lead Modeler: Alex Cheparev Additional Modeler: Hung Ma Lead Animator: Tony Tabtong Additional Animators: Ken Music, Brandi Dimino, Carmine Laietta Lead Rigger: Steve Mann Additional Rigger: Andre Stuppert Lead Lighter: James Fisher Additional Lighters: Frank Grecco, Keith McMenamy, John Volny, Alex Scollay, Will Atkin Particle Effects: Daniel Mao CG Supervisor: Salar Saleh ECD: Ryan Dunn

Production Co.: Cortez Brothers Director: Simon Bross Editor: Alex Dondero Color Grading: FilmWorkers

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.