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Mr Happy sees red

Classic kids character Mr Happy turns nasty in a new Specsavers spot after he misses out on the optician chain’s biggest ever free offer.

Passion Pictures’ Darren Walsh was brought in by the creative director of Specsavers Creative, Graham Daldry, to recreate the exact look and feel of the original Mr Men cartoons.

In the new ad, Mr Happy wakes up in a grump (after missing out on the free glasses offer) and strides through the Mr Men world throwing a cake in Mr Greedy’s face, dumping a dustbin on Mr Messy’s head, pulling off Mr Bump’s bandages and tying Mr Tickle’s arms together.

Creative director: Graham Daldry
Copywriter: Simon Bougourd, Aaron Scoones          
Art director: Neil Brush, Michael Hutchinson
Agency producer: Sam Lock
Media agency: MEC
Media planner: Gary Caranay
Production company: Passion Pictures
Director: Darren Walsh
Production company producer: Debbie Crosscup
Post-production: Passion Pictures
Audio post-production: Simon Capes @ Clearcut
Composers: Anthony Hymas @ Joe Campbell

Posted 11 October 2010 by Jon Creamer

Pic Pic Andre Panic in the UK

Not To Scale directors Pic Pic Andre get a UK cinema release for their debut feature.

Pic Pic (Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar), best known for their Cravendale milk commercials, have bagged a UK cinema release for their 80-minute movie, A Town Called Panic.

The movie sprang from the five-minute TV episodes of the same name, that were produced through Aardman, and features the same cast as the series with Cowboy, Janine and Steven again taking starring roles.

"One of the biggest challenges was to write a story that would hold the audience's attention for 80 long minutes as opposed to the five minute TV episodes we were used to,” comments Pic Pic. “This meant adapting and adjusting not only our storytelling methods but also our way of working and animating.  We realised that if the film was to be shown on the big screen, we had to pay much more attention to the details and depth of the art direction so as to create a richer visual experience and a great deal of effort was therefore put into the design and construction of the sets.  That said, we wanted to stay as true as possible to the initial spirit of Panic, namely its spontaneous simplicity, its homemade feel and its childlike absurdity."
Panic will be on the streets of London and all around the UK from October 8th. 

Soho Curzon
Greenwich Picture House
Brixton Ritzy
Islington (Green) Screen
Everyman Hampstead
London Cine Lumiere
Birmingham Electric
Liverpool Picture House
Bristol Watershed
Brighton Duke Of York
Newcastle Tyneside Cityscreen Cinema
Sheffield Showroom
Edinburgh Cameo
Glasgow Film Theatre
Leicester Phoenix
Oxford Phoenix
Gate, Notting Hill
Manchester Cornerhouse
Little Theatre, Bath
Aberdeen Belmont
Exeter Picturehouse
Harbour Lights, Southampton
Birmingham Mac
Derby Quad
Nottingham Broadway
Norwich Cinema City
David Lean, Croydon
Regal Henley
Barn Dartington
Waterman’s Brentford
Flavel Dartmouth
Dukes Lancaster
Stamford Arts Centre
Campus West
Courtyard Hereford
Edencourt Inverness
Warwick Arts Coventry
Theatr Clwyd

Posted 07 October 2010 by Jon Creamer

Virgin Atlantic’s new spot

At last, a campaign that cocks a snook at recession with an ad that’s bold, inventive, fun, and, encouragingly, looks like it’s had a few quid spent on it. Virgin Atlantic’s latest ad – its first ever global TV campaign – comes courtesy of the same team that put together the airline’s award winning Still Red Hot 25th birthday campaign.

The 90-second TV and cinema spot was again devised by RKCR/Y&R’s Pip Bishop and Chris Hodgkiss, with Partizan’s Traktor again directing and MPC taking on vfx duties. Featuring the strap-line ‘Your airline’s either got it or it hasn’t,’ the campaign takes the viewer through a surreal and glamorous world of airline iconography that aims to dramatise “how it feels to fly with Virgin Atlantic.”

The campaign was filmed over six days at Pinewood Studios with four post experts on set throughout. MPC’s VFX team was led by Rob Walker and Tim Civil and was involved from an early stage starting with a complete pre-viz to help determine the timing of the shots, camera moves and transitions between scenes.

Most of MPC’s work focused on the ad’s complex composites with all the various elements shot green screen using motion control and then put together in post.

And here are some of MPC's "making of" pics

Posted 01 October 2010 by Jon Creamer

The Apprentice: the new season

And so to the launch of the sixth series of The Apprentice where a screening of the first episode, in which contestants had to make and sell sausages, reveals that the show and its format have sensibly not been changed by one little jot.

Nick Hewer’s back still tutting from the sidelines, Margaret, of course, is off studying parchments but Karren Brady looks like a worthy replacement despite being yet to develop a shtick to rival Margaret’s raised eyebrows. And, of course, there’s Surallan, who’s now morphed into Lord Sugar, a name that sounds more suited to a Mr Big character from a 70s Blaxploitation movie than a businessman and Labour peer.

The 16 contestants are the usual bunch of shy, retiring wallflowers describing themselves variously as “supremely intelligent”, “charismatic” “fantastic” and claiming that “everything I touch turns to sold” and that “my first word wasn’t mummy, it was money.”

To reflect straitened economic times, the line up includes those who’ve been hit by recession including people made redundant, or who’ve gone bankrupt and graduates who can’t find a job to “prove it’s possible to come through and be a winner,” said Lord Sugar at the post screening Q&A.

When asked about the danger of ending up with a group of candidates more interested in getting on telly than working for him, he said the show had “overcome that a long time ago. Occasionally one slips through the net” but “generally I can spot them a mile off.” He said that this series he’d “insisted on some credible people that had achieved something” and that he was “very conscious of having contenders who are potentially good business people.”

The series TXs on BBC1 on Wednesday 6th October at 9pm with The Apprentice: You're Fired, now hosted by comedian Dara O'Briain, on BBC2 after the main show

Posted 28 September 2010 by Jon Creamer

Aardman sets tiny record

Aardman has set a Guinness World Record for the 'Smallest stop-motion animation character in a film', with its new short Dot for Nokia.

The film, directed Aardman collective Sumo Science (Will Studd and Ed Patterson), was shot on the new Nokia N8, with the film showcasing the phone’s 12-megapixel photography capabilities and also the CellScope, an invention by Professor Daniel Fletcher that can attach to a Nokia handset and help diagnose fatal diseases in remote areas of third world countries.

The film features Dot, a tiny 9mm girl who wakes up in a magical, magnified world to discover her surroundings are caving in around her. She escapes the encroaching wave of destruction as her world unravels via a path made up of tiny, familiar objects such as coins, pins, pencil shavings, nuts and bolts, until she finds peace by knitting herself a blanket from the very matter that pursues her.

To create ‘Dot’, Aardman’s in-house production technology engineer, Lew Gardiner worked alongside the Physics Department at the University of Bristol to create their own CellScope production camera. Aardman used Rapid Prototyping 3D printing technology that uses a computer-generated model of an object or character and then prints it in full 3D using a plastic resin material. The entire set was no more than a metre and a half long. The film was painted under a microscope by modelmakers and animated using tweezers. Heather Wright was the executive producer. The agency was W+K.

Posted 16 September 2010 by Jon Creamer

Sky Arts' particle perfection

Brighton's Artillery Design produced and animated the 3D and effects for one of Sky Arts' new series of channel Idents. It was directed by Jon Yeo from BSkyB. Artillery's Val Wardlaw used bespoke scripting and N Particles in Maya to produce the spot and render farms had to be used to cope with the immense weight that the large HD particle systems generated. It was composited in Nuke by Mike Connolly.

Posted 14 September 2010 by Jon Creamer

This Is England 1990 lines up

It looks like Shane Meadows' first foray into TV won't be his last. And it looks like the next show could be another This Is England, but this time set in the rave era of 1990.

In a Q&A following a screening of the first episode of the upcoming Channel 4 TV sequel to Meadows' Bafta winning This Is England at the Edinburgh TV festival, the director said he'd love to do another series.
He said 1990 was a major turning point for him and that it was a time that was "his era" as he'd been just a "plastic skinhead" in his younger teenage years.

Get ready for Woody, Shaun and Lol doing the big fish little fish on Channel 4 soon. 

Posted 31 August 2010 by Jon Creamer

September's storyboard

In this month’s Storyboard, The Mill takes it slow for Turner; Not to Scale’s art imitates life for SCIB; Smoke & Mirrors and Big Buoy get fresh with Trident; Stamp Films gets on its bike for Fuel TV; Stink and Mainframe play fair with Huggies; Square Zero makes sweet dreams for Sominax; Airside goes barking up the Gumtree; Roughcollie counts sheep for S4C and Thirty Three & Swift and Wonky make planning easy for Tower Hamlets 

Turner Broadcasting and The Mill teamed up to create these five 15-second idents for TCM shot in super slow mo with 35mm and Phantom cameras. Noah and the Whale composed an original track for the spots. The creatives were Simon Goodrick, Ben Campbell and Adam James.

Not to Scale directors Ubik created, Your Story, Your Wall, two 30-second commercials for Egyptian paint company SCIB through Leo Burnett Cairo. Each commercial tells a story of an empty room waiting to be decorated through paintings of the people that live there and what they plan to do with the room. The sets for both rooms were built and filmed at 3 Mills studios. Each camera move was filmed using a Canon 5D on a motion control rig. The animation was all created in Flash, artworked in photoshop and composited in After Effects. Lisa Hill was the producer.

Trident Senses: "Burst" TVC from Jon Yeo on Vimeo.

Smoke & Mirrors and Big Buoy teamed up for JWT’s current campaign for Trident Chewing Gum. The ad has a group a friends watching a beautiful meteor shower that hits the earth and releases cool minty freshness into the air. The agency producer was John Cheesemore and the director was Jon Yeo. Senior vfx producer was Jordan Andreopoulos and the lead Flame Jim Allen. The cgi was completed by Smoke & Mirrors’ Gerald Chrome, Jon Wood and Chris Bore and the grade was by Mark Horrobin. The editor was Colin Sumsion.

FUEL TV: Excite Boost from FUEL TV on Vimeo.

Stamp Films’ Justin Harder built this homage to classic Nintendo video game Excite Bike as a promo for extreme sports network Fuel TV. The DoP was Brad Rushing. JP Rooney and Ford Spencer built the bike and Marina Toybina the suit.

Stink’s Christian Bevilacqua brought in Mainframe for the 2d, 3d, matte painting and compositing on his new world-wide spot for Huggies nappies set in a funfair. The producer was Molly Pope and the agency was Ogilvy, Johannesburg.

Thirty Three & Swift Films’ director Maria Lee brought in Wonky Films to animate this film that was ordered by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and explains how  local residents can have a say in planning applications.

Classified ads website Gumtree’s first TV spot comes courtesy of Airside. Agency Beta London’s brief was to create a simple 30-second piece about the ease of buying and selling locally via Gumtree. The designer was Dick Hogg.

Square Zero’s Sarah Klan designed and animated this 2d/live action commercial for the Sominax sleeping remedies. The agency was  Sudler London. The live action was directed by Dave Wood at Toast. created this graphics package, including titles, break bumpers, stings and maps, for S4C show Y Porthmon (the Drover), a week long live show reenacting the journey of the last drover in Wales.

Posted 25 August 2010 by Jon Creamer
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