Shilo builds a charming, vibrant Community

Shilo’s latest spot is an utterly charming piece for the US Census Bureau that aims to get people from the Latino community to take part in the 2010 Census. Community has the feel of stop-motion, but was created using some impressive CG animation and visual effects.

The film sees a warmly coloured toy city grow and move around a girl in her bedroom.

“We wanted to have more of an aspirational look and feel,” says Shilo’s co-founder and creative director Jose Gomez, “something that blurs the line between reality and a more dream-like fantastical projection of it. We wanted this to be the community of her dreams, and with that goal, we went for a more stylized approach.”

Watch a 'director's cut' of the spot with an English voiceover above. The broadcast version is in Spanish.

The vibrant colour scheme was chosen as it was felt to have the right tone to match the narrative and message. Shilo tried various colour ranges, but in the end decided on a slightly desaturated base range with an overall warm hue.

To create the piece, Shilo first filmed pre-viz movies in ‘true’ stop-motion to get the feel right.

“Having the pre-viz in place before we shot the live-action was key in getting the performance from our main character,” says Gomez “And from a directorial standpoint, it helped her performance tremendously to have the ability to see what was going to be happening around her beforehand, and being able to get her actions down quicker with that knowledge.

Gomez says the choice of a stop-motion feel wasn’t just because it’s hip right now.

“We look at stop-motion as another brush in our palette; it really has an innocent quality to it as well, and feels as if it was crafted more by the main character than anything else. There is just something so pure and tactile about stop-motion. I love to bust it out from time to time.”

Gomez has provided us with some of his initial sketches which Shilo used to develop the characters.

Watch a behind-the-scenes video above about the project.


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