We have been totally bowled over by the positive response to our very first TV ads. It’s a big deal for us, so we’re very glad to see lots of you really liked it! Because some of you have asked, and because we’re feeling a little bit like proud parents, we thought we’d give you a look at how we created all this stop-motion finery as well. And so, we’ve made a video and asked Stu (yes that’s him in the superhero pose below) from Creature (the creative team behind the ad) to explain a little more:
“It’s no easy feat talking about the making of an ad. As proud as we all are of the final result, the truth is the process behind it is hardly the stuff of Hollywood behind-the-scenes. But here we go.
Way back in March we pitched the devilishly smart, fragrant, well-dressed and handsome guys at moo.com an idea for a series of ads, where instead of just telling people what made moo.com such a great product and site, we would get the amazing people who used their service to tell their stories, and dispense remarkable advice – all on the back of a business card. We thought they were exactly the kind of ads that young entrepreneurs like us would be interested to see.
Our first challenge was to make sure that we could find some brilliant business people who were willing to do this. Luckily for us, if there’s one thing moo.com isn’t short of it’s talented entrepreneurs who’ve used them for their business cards (that’s kind of where the idea came from). So, we drew up a long, long list – whittled it down to eight, interviewed each of them for an hour, whittled it down again to four and cut those four hour long chats down to just twenty five seconds.
These twenty five seconds worth of stories and advice then gave us the narrative to animate too. And so the paper folding fun began. Working with the young animator genius that is Steven Briand, we began to scribble and knock about all manner of interesting paper visuals to bring to life these stories.
The beauty of working with stop-frame animation is almost everything needs to be agreed prior to shoot. With this in mind, storyboards were then drawn up, taking us and MOO through each step of the ad. Then tests were created, bringing to life a number of these ideas and timing them for precision planning. Then it was on to the detail – planning, planning, planning – from the colour of wooden table to the suitability of the hands holding the cards (each of these being the hands of the different animators working on the ad).
Then the shoot – sadly, this didn’t involve speed boat chases and flights to Brazil. Instead, with each 30 second ad taking two whole days of shooting to complete, just a lot of sitting in a small studio in Paris watching someone fractionally move their hand, take a frame of film, move their hand a fraction, take a frame of film and so-on, and so-on, and so-on.
Eight days of art and craft and far too much coffee later we had four rough ads ready and waiting to go into post-production. Whilst the ads paper gymnastics were entirely created in camera, some of the effects created required rigs and clamping structures to hold the cards in place (you try holding your hand perfectly still for 4 hours). Therefore, in post production all of these were removed and then picture graded up to give us a crisp and clear final picture.
All that was left was to lay the voiceover and sound effects over each ad, send them out to the TV stations and ring our mums to tell them when to tune in. Remarkable.”