Sunday, December 31, 2006

Commercial MADNESS!

During your career you do a lot of things. Doing commercials is kind of interesting because while they have brutal deadlines and don't always pay great they do offer you opportunities to try some different techniques and see the effects. Powwow Worldwide ( Dave Smith ) offered me a set of three commercials for an insurance company. The first one was just around a week to in actual animation production , the rest ended up around a week and a half.

The interesting part of it was we had another artist who would go over my drawings an put an ink line to it. So basically I could animate the way I wanted and it would be put through that filter, dropping whatever detail they felt they didn't need . She would straight ahead the ink line so it would be whatever came from that. The first one was fun because I got to do a few set ups. Wendy did a scene as did John Williamson (the car backing up ) .

The second was interesting because it had some weird ideas to it. This pic kind of shows the kind of translation. Oh yeah the jacket lines were dropped and they had me make the online phone guy look more threatening and evil. Anyway the first two went quick and everything got approved. Fast fast jobs.

The last one I have to show because something funny happened. It was going to be the one with the most time and all of a sudden the ad agency decided they wanted to do the board. The concept was .... well odd. It was called "Cover you ASSets". Get it, ASS, cover your ASSets. Uhuh, this was going to be a weird one. On top of that the characters were male and female and they were .... uh .... naked. Oh boy, nudity, and crude humor in one job. How fun !

Ok, so the agency took ten days to come up with the boards (eating a week off our schedule and leaving me just 6 days to animate it. Not horrible but it's 25 seconds. Long shot , cut in, cut out , cut in , cut out, cut in. Honestly, that was like something anybody could have scribbled out in a half hour. Also , the boards weren't in any way reflective of the designs being used . They were the most cartoon proportion and indecipherable movements . Totally confusing. So ok, I do it and I have just days before I start LTBIA . Next I hear they want a scene change , ok so I go in ( like a week later, they were dragging their feet ) and the ad exec gives me this big long spiel on what he wants for this little scene redo. I began to get confused because , well what he was asking for was a lot longer than they had time for. I asked him to act it out and we would time it . But the way he acted it out was 10 seconds or so. I was honest and said "this will gut the center and you will have to lose some other scenes to do it". They weren't happy with that .My problem was that I had no time now and had to start on LTBIA in like 4 days. So we hear nothing, I get paid in full ( Powwow works like that because they are very specific with clients beforehand about what's being done so there are no loop holes). I hear nothing and so off I go to LTBIA and I'm done.

So, like 8 months later it airs, they apparently got someone else to do the revision only, just as I said, they had to lose a couple of the scenes around the middle ( yes , I think that they had a block and tried to make their ideas work by torturing another company, good , as long as it wasn't me ). Not that my animation was great but , this was really pretty stiff. It still didn't do what they wanted . At least they got finished ...... nearly a year later. I feel sorry for who ever they got to do it , I have no doubt they made it a bad time and rode them around like a prize pony. My scenes are at the beginning and end but .... hmmm. It's actually funny but for the wrong reasons. Life huh.

Anyway , just for fun here is the original pencil for "Cover your ASSets". Most likely the strangest concept for a commercial I've ever worked on (oh well there was these two Shreddies torturing a small boy, Michel Gagne was my inbetweener on that one and always reminds me of it) . Oh ignore the contract, that was just rough placement as it was to be CG'ed in later. Hmm.

  • ASSets

  • Oh , please notice they have wedding rings on, this makes them being completely naked A-OK !


    Keelmy said...

    Great animation and funny story. Sadly, I'm sure many of us can relate.

    I love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    roque said...

    I always wondered who did these commercials. Thanks for posting all your insight.

    Jun said...

    Happy New Year to you and all your naked people commercials!

    chuck said...


    TotalD said...

    Chuck, don't tell everybody. It's hard to corrupt youth as it is. I'm trying my best to , cover my ASSets =)

    Cecelia said...

    Wow. Funny. :-)


    GREG MANWARING said...

    great stuff big Dave!