(Minneapolis, Minnesota--September 25, 2008) Broadcast design & animation studio motion504 recently completed a visually compelling campaign for Alberto Culver's St. Ives, created by ad agency Campbell Mithun and directed by Steve Downer of Pony Show.
The four :15 and one :30 spots are clean, sleek and simple with St. Ives facial products taking center stage. To view the campaign, please go to http://www.motion504.com/hype/St_Ives
"My experience with motion504 was one that I will never forget; their talent and professionalism went above and beyond my expectations," says Lee Allan, Campbell Mithun Creative Director.
motion504 took on the role of post supervision, designing and animating the type treatments, invisible VFX, rotoscoping and compositing.
"It was a great opportunity to team with people that we haven't worked with before," says Andy Reynolds, motion504 Owner/Creative Director. "We were able to bring in partnerships in editorial, color and finishing."
Collaborating with renowned commercial director Steve Downer, motion504 provided post supervision on-set during the four-day shoot. The spots were shot high-speed on the new Phantom Camera at 1000fps and 1500fps, which proved to be an interesting technical challenge. Working with the Phantom Camera involved huge amounts of data, and required a pipeline that could handle the terabytes of raw files and time-intensive conversions to more user-friendly files.
"With the Phantom being so new, we had to create an appropriate tapeless workflow for this cutting-edge technology," explains Scott Wenner, motion504 Creative Director/Designer. "Creative editorial was done using Apple ProRes versions of every shot, and then selects were converted to Cineon files in order to keep color data available throughout composite, design and finish."
Prior to shooting, motion504 created animatics to help with the pacing of the spots and to ensure everyone was on the same page. This was used in conjunction with shooting boards from Downer.
During the shoot, magnets were attached to the falling products, which were controlled by an electromagnetic ceiling. An air cannon was used to shoot the fresh flowers into the air as the bottles were released and fell past the camera mounted below.
"Often the products had to be dropped 20 times to get the right shots and positioning," continues Wenner. "The labels had to be readable. There are many nuances that you can't catch with the naked eye. The water was the most amazing part to watch."
For the type treatment, the goal was to make the graphics feel natural and organic, appearing as though they were shot in-camera. Subtle contrasts of color against the stark white background also helped to make the spots look cleaner and sharper.
"There were a number of invisible effects in the campaign," says Amy Schmitt, motion504 Creative Director/Designer. "The water and crystal animations involved a lot of layering and compositing. For one of the spots our challenge was to make the type look like it was in water, but readable at the same time. We also worked with [Editor] Randy Kramer on the speed changes, which made the beautiful slow-motion footage more interesting and dynamic."
"We had a great experience with Campbell Mithun," concludes Reynolds. "They were so complimentary of the past work on our reel, and they trusted us to understand the needs of the project. Our relationship with the creatives has been awesome and very rewarding. The campaign worked out so well."
Airdate: September 22, 2008
Agency: Campbell Mithun
Director of Production: Kathy DiToro
Executive Creative Director: Garry Valone
Creative Director: Lee Allan
Copywriter: Peggy Arnson
Executive Producer: Lisa Thotland
Production Company: Pony Show Entertainment
Director Steve Downer
DP: Steve Downer
Executive Producers: Susan Kirson and Jeff Frankel
Producer: Nicholas Unsworth
Where Shot: Hollywood, CA
Design Company: motion504
Creative Director/Designer: Scott Wenner
Designer: Amy Schmitt
Executive Producer: Eric Mueller
Editorial: Fischer Edit
Editor: Randy Kramer
Online: Tony Mills
Executive Producer: Kathy Yerich
Color: Pixel Farm
Colorist: Oscar Oboza
motion504 is a broadcast design and animation studio, which specializes in the art of motion. Featuring the talents of senior-level creative directors, designers and animators, the company has done work for film, TV, advertising and music clients including Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Target, Best Buy and mega artist Beyoncé Knowles. motion504, with its open studio space, is built upon the idea of collaboration through communication, critique and contribution amongst its artists and clients. This collective philosophy lends itself to the company's talent contributing to each and every project, and drawing upon their creative skills and technical experience in design, animation, 3D modeling, illustration and visual effects.