One of the most unique pleasures of directing is getting the opportunity to take on new challenges and tell stories in different ways. Often – if you don’t have it on your reel – you aren’t in competition. Getting a chance to build and flex new muscles is a rare delight.
This recent piece for Hovercraft is a great example of something that was outside of the “Norm” – but still in our sweet spot. It’s something that we had a lot of fun making.
The story unfolds in an unorthodox, design-centric way, and the characters are pushed to the very edge of frame. The way the message is conveyed – in animated slides presented to the viewer on a series of computer screens, phones or tablets – screen-within-screen – supports the message of the spot in a cool way.
The real fun was found working with an awesome creative team, highlighted by the talented and prolific Drifting Creatives. Their designs struck the perfect between “fun to look at” and “easy to read.”
In some cases – lines of the script inspired very specific ideas that we all thought were important to pursue; we tailored slides, sets and characters specifically around those ideas. But, as always, the flow of ideas moved in all directions, and we often found ourselves inspired by a location, or an idea for a character, or as we discussed the piece, someone would say something funny and it would give us an idea on how to introduce a wink into the piece.
Luckily, the people we teamed up with to execute design and animation are full of great ideas, they’re very patient people, and they’re very fast, hard workers.
In terms of process this project was really quite unique. Because we wanted to shoot all of the animated slides practically – on real devices in real environments – we executed all the design work and animation in the time leading up to our shoot. Then we loaded our assortment of phones, tablets and computers with exports of our animations prior to our two day production. It was like executing a good portion of the post-production process before even unpacking the camera. Editing and finishing went lightning fast, and we’re really proud of how the piece turned out.
Hats off to Mike Gerberding for his restrained yet expressive sound design!
Design – The Drifting Creatives
Animation – Kasana
Director of Photography – Kyle Bainter
Assistant Camera – Cory Popp
Gaffers: Jon Arturi & Mike Pisani
Sound Design: Michael Gerberding @ Noise Floor
Casting: Atmosphere Casting
Production Coordinator – Yajaira Quinto
Directed & Edited: Norman Brothers
Executive Producer: Pete Williams