From i09: Eureka‘s Christmas special took the show into the realm of animation, with incredible results. The episode was a minor masterpiece, a thrill ride that was equal parts exciting, emotional, and hilarious.
While last year’s special, “O Little Town”, was maybe a little too obsessed with Christmas for its own good, “Do You See What I See” is all about making the most of the show’s new animated format, and it does not disappoint. The initial computer animation sequence is mostly just there to serve as a transition between the live-action and what’s to come, but everything that follows is pretty much one big triumph.
The very next sequence, in which they turn into old-school, 60-style animated characters, fully embraces the format, complete with four-fingered hands, cartoon physics, and anthropomorphic everything, including Carter’s long-suffering jeep – voiced quite excellently byThe Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons.
The big climax takes us into anime territory, as Carter, Jo, and their now flying jeep (which I can only assume is called C.A.R.L.) take on a gigantic ninja snowman who is terrorizing the town. The sequence is played much more straight than Futurama‘s recent takedown of Japanese animation, but there’s still plenty of shout-outs and homages, and you can tell everyone involved had a blast making it.
Here is a rare behind the scenes Work In Progress edit that shows the stages and process we go through to make cartoon magic:
We were really busy trying to wrangle the work we had leading up to the big game. For Super Bowl XLVIII we had no less than three campaigns we were fortunate to work on. We had the biggest part in the Newcastle ‘No Bollocks’ campaign under Droga5‘s brilliant direction.Their creative called for storyboards to be the final visuals for all the commercials, part of the #ifwemadeit concept. This is perhaps the funniest work we have been enabled to do in years. Anna Kendrick also ‘guest-starred’ in a few of our animatics… and we’re still not sure how that worked.
We also did the pre-production & ‘boards for the Mars M&M’s superbowl spot under the direction of BBDO. This commercial just has a great buildup and fantastic pay-off. Don’t blink or you’ll miss the easter egg… Selena Gomez is the mafioso’s gun moll:
And to complete the trifecta we had a small part to play in Mu//en’s campaign for Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which you can see if you just scroll down. It was a busy season and we look forward to completing your challenge next. Give us a ring today!
Um, wow… this was an absolute honor to work on this campaign for the fine people at Mu//en. So much awesome packed into one job. If you haven’t seen Jerry Seinfeld’s new digital series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee yet, start there. As you can see, it is blatantly Acura branded but in a way that only Seinfeld & gang could get away with. We were brought on to match the style and branding of the CICGC series and create a launch animation for the brand spanking new Acura NSX supercar. Not only that, but we were to make it such a way that each frame of the ‘flipbook’ style animation would be tweeted on the Acura Twiter so as you scroll down, you control the frame rate of the animation. Once you get the page scrolling fast enough you’ll reach persistence of vision and see the NSX rip around and then, hand you a free coffee. In fact, as part of the promotional campaign lucky re-tweeters got a free Starbucks coffee: #NSXCoffeeRun
He’s a spot we made that had a built in audience of just 169 million viewers. It’s part of a campaign we made promoting the merging two powerful platforms with the 145 million users of Tango and 24 million users from Spotify. The partnership marks the first time Spotify has been integrated into a platform like Tango’s, creating the first mobile messaging app to blend communication, social features and music. The partnership with Spotify adds an amazing catalog of music to the many ways in which Tango’s users can express themselves through messaging.
This is the launch teaser for the campaign with we developed with David Oh from the new digital agency SHEEP. In fact we left his scratch audio on our edit here just for fun. More sexy dancing animations coming soon!
We were proud to be a part of the first PS4 commercial ever made. Sony’s gaming brand is worldwide phenomenon, and the new console launch has been 7 years in the making. This is an epic moment for gamers. So the launch commercial had to be EPIC. Here is a quick 2.5D animatic built from our production storyboards working with BBH creative director Nate Able.
The Greatness Awaits campaign was developed at BBH, New York, by chief creative officer John Patroulis, executive creative director Ari Weiss, creative director Nate Able, copywriter Rick Herrera, head of integrated production Justin Booth-Clibborn, senior producer Jennifer Moore Bell, production assistant AJ Gutierrez, head of account management Armando Turco, account director Melissa Hill, account manager Georgie Gooley and account coordinator Marshal Kerns.
We had fun with the creative department at AKQA on this spot which is pretty straightforwardly put as: “A woman’s kickboxing practice jumps into cosmic mode as she rescues the planet from impending doom.”
or in ad speak:
“The Nike Women campaign Be Transformed is specifically targeting young women in the Asia-Pacific region. It encourages personal transformation with confidence and strength through sports, activities and training programs. It features personal stories form athletes in that region: Sonia Kong (beach volleyball) and Flora Hon (hip hop dance) from Hong Kong, Mel Lozano (ultimate Frisbee) from the Philippines and Hannah Lo (kick-boxing) from Malaysia, among others.” Basically, we just had a blast making this 2D cel animation commercial from script to screen. It’s made in a sort of modern, hyper anime style and all the effects are hand drawn. The music for this animated commercial wasn’t used in the final and was a track from our house band Roppongi’s Ace. So don’t fret if you’re wishing that track was unused, it’s still a virgin ready to placed into your animated commercial whenever you’re ready.
Click above to watch the Nike:Punching Bag spot (not final sound).
Ricky Engelberg, Nike’s digital director for Asia Pacific, sums up the theme of these spots real nice: “The ‘be transformed’ initiative celebrates the revolution across all aspects of women’s lives. Nike aims to inspire them to take control of their own personal development and understand the value in training.”
This was quite an honor. We got to produce the visuals in Josh Sapan’s Keynote address for the opening of this year’s MipTV. Josh is arguably the most brilliant CEO in the industry. He’s the guy that’s greenlit Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Portlandia, The Killing, Hell on Wheels, and well… we could keep going. He’s a true bad-ass allowing creative minds to make television that other networks wouldn’t touch with with MTV’s d*ck. Below you can watch the 2012 MipTV Keynote and Q&A in it’s entirety. It is a very interesting look into how AMC Networks and other Pay TV producers have been successful with great content in the age of the Digital Demon.
We’d like to thank Will, Adam, Judd, and all the rest at FoD for seeing the humour in John Oates reuniting with his mustache. Here is our little teaser that got released a short while ago, for the show J-Stache:
Yes, that is John Oates as John Oates. Dave Attell is quite the dirty voice of an even dirtier mustache. John may have crafted countless chart topping hits, but his true calling is to star in an animated show were he embraces his former iconic self… for better or worse.
We went with a more retro 80’s cartoon look (read as poorly drawn) with the animation on this one, and purposefully let the director, Jesse Norton, draw most of the animation on this. He grew a handle bar mustache and went on a bender of cheap blended scotch, Clint cigars, elk jerky, and reruns of the 1988 season of Geraldo’s talk show. This was the result.
Click above to watch the Nike Women : Be Transformed campaigns’ Bike spot (not final sound).
The campaign runs exclusively in the Asia Pacific region across cinema, TV, digital (mobile and website), print, out-of-home and in-store. It includes a 110-metre long building wrap of Beijing’s International Plaza, one of the largest department stores in the city. (check out our Print & Design section to see that work and the 2 story sculpture of the punching bag monster!)
This campaign was designed to challenge women to understand the value of training and to rally around a manifesto to become stronger and more confident. We’re very happy that Nike and AKQA chose the medium of animation to execute this creative vision… and even happier that we got to build the animation for them.