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J. J. Sedelmaier Teams with Spike Lee on State Farm Spot

J. J. Sedelmaier Prods. has finished the animation for Spike Lees advertising agency Spike DDB on the new State Farm Insurance spot, BORROW. The commercial opens on a guy in his apartment watching TV. His buddies come in and ask if they can use his car. Hes about to say yes when his mind turns begins to imagine the cartoon hijinks of Terry & Phil.

We were looking for a cross between a STARSKY & HUTCH and DUKES OF HAZZARD cartoon show -- a certain stiffness and dumbness, explains J. J. Sedelmaier.

The eight-second animation sequence goes into a helicopter POV showing the characters executing an urban stock car-style pass; drive through a brick wall; then take off beyond the stratosphere before plopping safely into a desert and screeching to a halt.

Nothing suspends reality like animation, and Spike did a great job underplaying those scenes, says Sedelmaier, whose studio built the character animation from digital photos he took of the actors.

The live-action sequences were directed by agency principal Spike Lee.

For J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, J. J. Sedelmaier was director/producer. The spot was designed by Sedelmaier and staff animator Dave Lovelace. The character animation was handled by Lovelace and car animation by Dan Madia, with Photoshop backgrounds by studio artist Andrea Gonzalez.

For Spike DDB, Desmond Hall was creative director, Adam Hessel was senior art director, Alex Flint was senior copywriter, Donnell Johnson was copywriter and Dale Bramwell was senior producer. The spot was produced by Lees production company, 40 Acres & a Mule, with Butch Robinson exec producing and Tom Siegel as director of photography. Tom Scherma edited at Cosmo Street in New York. The spot was scored by Dan Morocco at Duotone Audio Group, also in New York.

J. J. Sedelmaier Prods. is a tradition animation company working in commercials and television production. The studio is located at 199 Main Street, White Plains, New York 10601. For more information, visit

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Rick DeMott
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