Saturday, 13 October 2007

Bernard Derriman & Shane Starr "The Mids' Big Adventure"

Bernard Derriman's five part animated commercials for the American Suzuki Motor Corp never actually graced UK television, sad because they are very funny with the sort of catchy jingle that is both appealing and teeth wrenching at the same time. Setting off for foreign climes in their "all new" XL7 the Mids family experience a series of comic adventures with bears, snow and unexpected inclines. Follow the family's adventures via YouTube or visit and navigate the link "Clients - Suzuki Mids". Labov and Beyond Inc. is a Fort Wayne, Indiana, based agency with one of the best Home pages around. (You can draw!) The animator enjoys a flourishing career having worked with Disney and alongside Adam Phillips the creator of the Brackenwood shorts. The Co-Creative Director at Labov, Shane Starr, who posted the episodes on YouTube, originally developed the Mids’ concept and the character descriptions, then Bernard developed the character style and animated the pieces. Bernard must have been some acquisition. Shane tells me: "I’m a big fan of Bernard’s style and the personality he’s able to capture in his characters. He was great to work with -- super-talented and creative, down-to-earth and a real professional." The commercials are interesting in that the figures and background are traditional, brightly coloured cartoons whilst the motor vehicle itself is rendered from a photographic image. There's a deliberate lack of affinity between the two that certainly throws the car itself into focus and lends a curiously amateurish quality belied by the rest of the slick 2D work. It's such a good idea this Mids family. The series commences with them setting off on vacation- only just remembering at the last minute to pick up one of their stray kids who frankly should have been left at home - and ends with the family photograph for the album used in the screenshot above. (Note the interloper.) There's mileage in this Mids family, you know - more episodes with or without the car please! Surely one of the networks could pick it up. In the meantime I intend to feature some of Bernard's animated animal songs in the next day or so. These are great fun and in a good cause.

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