Monday, 28 September 2009

"Storm" Psyops (UPS Store 2009)

The brief from UPS Store for Psyops wasn't so difficult really. Four different worlds were to be created, epic in plot and visual grandeur, oh, and they had to have a hand made look, and oh they had to be made out of cardboard. Simple really. So here's the scenario for Storm, an ad that is sadly not aired here in the UK. A guy's at his desk when a tsunami approaches, smashing up building and city. Lucky for him, sturdy desk acts in lieu of raft so, swept into a towering ocean, he can use his laptop to summon up help from UPS helicopter. Rescuers dive into ocean. Hand guy book. Book used as propeller. Desk and man ride out giant wave. Skyscraper city in background, possibly submerged. Whale and dolphins. Delivery of parcel. There are three earlier movies from the series, West, Circus and Gladiator, the titles giving the various epic settings away. I wondered at first how the corrugation effect, such a part of the world, was achieved - it might conceivably have been stop motion and actual cardboard models. In fact the series is entirely CG using Maya. There are too many credits to give here but Eben Mears was Creative Director for Psyops, Jimmy Kollin performing a similar function for ad agency Doner. It leads me to consider the role of animation in advertising. Two leading animators, one from the States, one Europe, told me last week of the paucity of animation work in the industry at the moment. UPS have a mini movie series on their hands, entertaining, state of the art, something viewers will want to see again, memorable and getting the product message across in spades. Would a celebrity walk through have achieved the same effect?

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