A NUMBERS GAME FOR STARHUB

THE SKINNY StarHub Cable Vision came to Intense Animation Studio seeking a unique creative and technical execution for their upcoming channel renumbering campaign. There are well over 130 channels available on their network so this was no small matter. The campaign needed a creative direction that would immediately get viewers’ attention and gradually help them replace erase what they currently remember about the present system while appreciating the convenience of the new numbering system. With the new system, they would be able to fully appreciate the depth and breadth of content available on StarHub TV as well as remain loyal to the service in the face of mounting competition from other pay TV operators. It was a tough request. THE PRODUCTION The final direction was a parody of Men in Black movies. At the end of every MIB alien adventure, a ‘Neuralyzer’ (memory-erasing pen) is produced and flashed in the face of those who don’t need to recall the details. Swap the pen for the remote control and flash this in the face of viewers. Substitute Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, create new versions of the aliens and we are in business. Intense started by converting the written scripts into screenplays and storyboards and then director’s boards. Scheduling was everything. Only one day’s studio filming was possible, and the initial slate of 14 spots with speaking parts was planned to the minute. The entire shoot was completed on a blue screen set, as all environments were CGI. Intense completed pre-visualization for all spots before camera was turned over so the direction on the day was precise and efficient. There was little choice; so much content required filming that unless the shoot was planned to the maximum degree possible, the entire project would fall apart. Du DaSheng, VP of Starhub’s Multiplatform Solutions Unit who commissioned this project agrees. “The great thing about Intense was the energy and efficiency they brought to the project. Not only did they fully understand our needs, but they value-added in terms of creative execution as well overall planning,” he said. THE POST Intense created six principal character models for the project, with a few small variations of each one for specific versions. There were vast amounts of animation. Intense Head of Production Jason Desjarlais was very particular about the character performance. In total, Intense produced 21 separate spots, all with a unique theme and different animation requirements. There are eight genre-specific spots, two generic and a further 11 short versions (or tags as they are known). “As we began combining the characters with live action, we saw many places where we needed more animation, or we just felt we could enhance the job by adding different characters and performance.” Sealy said. “So we made several animation passes before we were completely happy”. For the Intense team, the most enjoyable aspect of the campaign was being able to create a series of expressive characters and animate them without the regular constraints of commercial work. “Generally commercial animation, or the style we are ordinarily asked to create for advertising, revolves around products or environments” recalls Jason Desjarlais, “but on this job we got to create a whole bunch of cool little dudes and the more exaggerated their behavior was, the better. That’s why we do animation after all.”



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