“One of the problems we had was that a lot of our guys got so excited about the job they all started working on making very complex, almost finished animated sequences,” says Price.
“Then we had to try and get them to retime sections when we had final music... I think I would have liked to create more of an animatic at first, and then flush it out from there.”
London-based production company Strange Beast – the new sister company to Passion Pictures – coordinated the project and produced it.
Price says that the time difference between Strange Beast’s London office and Transistor in New York caused occasional wrinkles in the process.
James Price says that if he could have done the project differently, “I’d not have Gabriel and Kayt, the producers from Transistor and Strange Beast respectively, work in different time zones, to avoid early-morning meetings.”
Price says that the spot offered some unusual creative opportunities, which the Transistor team seized with both hands. “I have two favourite scenes in this project. One is the marketplace with all the skeletons. I love the sense of Death being a celebration,” he explains. “It reminds me of the way Tim Burton made death feel like fun in The Corpse Bride.”
He continues: “My other favourite scene is the Tower scene, where all the content animates like a kaleidoscope. There’s so much going on, I could watch that part for days.”
The spot aired recently. Price says: “I’m very proud of it for a couple of reasons. It was my first project with the fine people at Strange Beast, so I’m happy to do something so unique and show the folks in the UK what we can do.
"Also, I can see all the blood, sweat and tears that my team put into it. We are all perfectionists, and could have worked on it forever, but we’re very happy with the final product.
“It’s also the first job I’ve ever done that features both Jesus and Satan,” he says. “How can you not love a job with such polarizing characters?”
A skeleton brief
When Transistor’s creative director James Price realized he had the opportunity to include dancing skeletons in the trailer, he jumped at it: “Skeletons and skulls are just really cool and not a lot of advertising work calls for a skeleton. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of marketing meetings where they sit around and say, ‘I think we need a skull in there to really drive home the brand’.”
Using a palette of images that blended medieval styles with 1960s and 1970s rock posters, the project evolved from a series of scenes to a mini-narrative.
Project: Medieval Mind Trip
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Producers: Strange Beast, www.strangebeast.tv
Studio: Transistor Studios, transistorstudios.com
Software: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Maxon Cinema 4D