Thursday, 28 August 2008

"Sea Orchestra": United Airlines (2)

"Crossing the ocean will never be the sames" intones the rich sound of Robert Redford in the voice-over for one of United Airlines' new ads, part of the "It's time to fly" campaign about which I waxed lyrical last year. Sea Orchestra is the first piece to be considered. The premise is easy enough, in a visual style reminiscent of Hieronymous Bosch without the gore, a group of underwater creatures sing and play their way through the airline's themed music for the series, George Gershwin’s evocative Rhapsody in Blue. There's a fine opening as nesting seabird screeches with a ship's hooter sound before morphing into leaping fish, a feat that unleashes a host of fish buglers and cascading waterfalls. Now unless one is very unlucky flying over the oceans is unlikely to reveal the beauties of the deep, even in first class luxury, so the ad has little to say about the airline per se though it does raise awareness of the company and lighten up the evening's viewing as it was first screened I believe during the Olympic opening ceremony and that was digitally enhanced too - I guess the dazzling octopus is only miming and a gap toothed dogfish actually did the playing. This was the first major commission for the young South African company, Shy The Sun. Directors Jannes Hendrikz and Ree Treweek and producer Nina Pfeiffer have put together a stirring and visually ornate commercial. According to the airline's website the score was created using a range of instruments including tubas, violins, French horns and an Indonesian gamelan. The animation process was to commence with hand sketches, develop them via CGI and then to map textures onto the figures by hand again. The result is a vibrant sense of jewelled colour as befits coral reefs and the like. The 3D animation was created by Arri Reschke and Claudio Pavan for Lung Animation. As is usual the magic Italian IT student, Salvatore DeK, at No Fat Clips has a high resolution link. I often discover that researching animations is akin to peeling onions. Ree Treweek is some artist - click on this detail from her The Tale of How that I will be reviewing, belatedly, tomorrow alongside more of her output for the Black Heart Gang. I'll also return to more commercials in the United Airlines series. Finally, the reference to Salvatore is gleaned from a well written and informative site, The Inspiration Room, formerly Duncan's TV Ad Land (as in Duncan Macleod). I've placed it as a permanent link.

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