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WATCH: 4 New Claymation ‘got milk?’ Spots from 1stAveMachine

Creative studio shares their latest work, a set of humorous 15-second commercials extoling the virtues of drinking milk.

1stAveMachine, the creative studio behind a new “got milk?” series of four stop-motion animated spots, has shared their latest work with AWN.

Produced with the agency of record, Gallegos United, for the California Milk Processor Board, the organization behind the famous milk commercials, the four humorous, 15-second character-driven, clay-animation pieces were created to show the positive impacts of drinking milk.

Each spot focuses on a specific benefit. In one, a fun, goofy handshake between milk and a heart shows that they make a great team. Another features a wrestling match where milk beats the living sauce out of hot sauce to highlight how milk is a good antidote for spicy foods. In a third, a skinny girl knocks down an alien spaceship after drinking a carton of milk, emphasizing how milk improves muscle strength. And, in the fourth, sheep counting meets its match in a night-time glass of milk. The amusing narratives captivate, engage and highlight the benefits of drinking milk through gentle, engaging stop-motion animation and entertaining characters.

The animation was produced by Tronco, with Becho Lo Biaco and Mab Bergara on board as directors as well as stop-motion animators. According to 1stAveMachine executive producer, Peter Repplier, “Becho & Mab were so excited when these scripts came in and jumped on the opportunity to bring these vivid and humorous characters to life. Looking at the spots, it’s really hard to believe they started as mounds of clay!”

All told, from initial project briefing to delivery, the production took about 10 weeks, with around 20 people involved, which included producers, artists, modelers, animators, post producers and directors. Clay was used primarily for the puppets, though tools like Sculpey, resins, 3D printing and paint were also employed. “One really cool aspect of production was how we developed 3D printed cores to rig the limbs of our main characters, as well as tie them to larger rigs that served to hold the whole puppet in position,” Becho & Mab share. “You won’t be able to see this in the animation, but it really became the soul of our main puppets.”  

The project came together quickly, because, as fate would have it, many of the artists the studio hoped to use were actually available. “The stars really aligned for us on this project as so many of our beloved artists and friends were available to work with us on it from the beginning -- which is really special,” the directors add. “Whenever we all work together, we reach a kind of mind reading status that elevates our work to new levels.”

Because the animation required especially squishy characters, the puppets were primarily made from clay. “We designed a very cartoony animation with lots of squashy and stretchy movement, so we needed the characters to be mostly clay,” Becho & Mab explain. “And when it came to white clay in particular, things got a bit tricky. This is because we needed to keep it clean from frame to frame, and since white-anything is notoriously easy to get dirty, animation took a bit longer. But we are extremely happy with the outcome, so it was totally worth it! We really enjoyed the process.”

1stAveMachine is known for their work with Google, Apple, and Rag & Bone, among others, and specializes in creative development and production in live-action, animation, mixed media and 360 / VR.

Project Credits:

Client: California Milk Processor Board (got milk?)

Executive Director: Steve James

Advertising Agency:  Gallegos United

President / Chief Creative Officer: Harvey Marco

President / Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer: Andrew Delbridge

Executive Creative Director: Dino Spadavecchia

Creative Director: Sharon Cleary

ACD / Art Director: Aaron Onsurez

ACD / Copywriter: Jeb Quaid

AD / Type Designer: Arthur Amiune

Head of Production: Harry Lowell

Senior Producer: Valeria Maldini

Group Account Director: James Kulp

Account Supervisor: Carol Carlos

Director of Communications Planning: Angel Xie

Director of Strategy: Catarina Goncalves

Social Media Director: Aldo Chuc

Production Company:  1stAveMachine

Partner/Executive Producer: Sam Penfield

Executive Producer: Peter Repplier

Executive Producer: Michaela McKee

Head of Production:  Christos Mountzouros

Post Producer:  Malu Rodriguez

Service Production Company: Tronco

Executive Producer:  Leticia Christoph

Director:  Mab Bergara & Becho Lo Bianco

Line Producers:  Mercedes Serrano & Valeria Gigli

Assistant Director:  Victoria Ripoll & Rafael D’Andrea

Studio Involved:  Can Can Club

Pitch Creative:  Sole Torres, Flora Camilleri, Belen

Design Team:

Character Design:  Mab & Martín Santos

Background Design:  Juan Barabani

Types Design:  GanzToll

Storyboard Artist:  Iván Lublinsky

Shooting Production Team:

Production Chief:  Gabriela Robles

Assistant Producer:  Susi Mota

Assistant Director:  Victoria Ripoll & Rafael D’Andrea

Stop Motion Animators:  Mab & Becho

Stop Motion Animation Assistant:  Hernan Bruno

Stop Motion Animation Assistant:  Yarupa

Accommodation Set:  Julia Conde

Director of Photography:  Sergio Pineyro

Electric:  Lautaro Isern

Prop Manager & Grip:  Sebastian Hojnade

Character & Modeler:  Maximiliano Canosa

Art:  Leonor Garcia Versillo

Puppets Construction Lead:  Maximiliano Canosa

Set Construction Lead:  Leonor Garcia Versillo

Character & Backgrounds Construction Team:  Maximiliano Canosa, Porchi, Veronica Arcadi, Natalia Lopez, María Zambolli, Natalia Aguilar, Julieta Lavalle, Juan del Prado,

Florencia Colo, Hernan Bruno, Julia Iacono, Elian Pittaro, Nini, Analía Rodriguez, Sebastian Hojnade, & Elian Formula

Editorial & Post-Production Team: 

Editor:  Marcelo Gottifredi

Post-Production Coordinator:  Valeria Gigli

Digital Composition Lead:  Marcos Pezzani

Digital Composition Team:  Rodrigo Vivas, Juan Ignacio Lamonaco, & Joaquin García

Music and Sound Design:  Papa Music & Papa Post

Color Grading:  Anahí Piccinin

Source: 1stAveMachine.

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.