This beautiful animation about cheese-makers will melt your heart

Canada cheese makers are anticipating new trade laws soon to be introduced, which will make imported cheese more accessible to Canadians. US creative production company Gentleman Scholar teamed up with DDB Canada and Dairy Farmers of Canada to create this beautiful animation promoting the home-made, local craft behind Canadian-made cheese over other exports.

You’ll fall in love with the film’s friendly but ageing cheese maker Morton, his over-enthusiastic, encouraging daughter Mia and their fluffy cat Monty.

The campaign centres its narrative around the idea that what separates Canadian cheese from imported, European cheese, is the creativity of Canadian cheese makers. DDB’s creative director Paul Wallace says the team wanted to stray away from the “well-worn 'traditionally crafted, artisan quality’” storyline typical of cheese advertising, but rather play up the idea of the freedom of Canadian cheese-makers to be creative and craft new cheeses to their heart’s content.

The father and daughter work together to make delicious-looking cheese by hand in their traditional brick cheese shop, delivering it to various areas with their cheese truck. But Morton never quite comes out on top of the annual international cheese championship, much to his disappointment, until inspiration from Mia and Monty helps the family unit to bring home a momentous grand prize.

The animated short-film, beautifully rendered with cherry, lovable characters, will debut on the brand’s YouTube channel together with several cut-down versions to coincide with the campaign launch this week. It will also be part of the Canadian Cheese microsite.

Gentleman Scholar’s William Campbell and Will Johnson wrote the script for the film, working on character development and communicating the changes in relationship between Morton and Mia as time passed. The two Will’s were in charge of creating the characters, what their story was and the nuances of their performances.

They, alongside the team at Gentleman Scholar, spent time in the pre-vis stages to keep the visual story simple and authentic using Autodesk Maya for modelling, The Foundry’s Nuke software for compositing and Adobe After Effects for finishing.

The biggest internal challenge was keeping quality control, of which the Redshift GPU-accelerated 3D rendering software plays a big part.

"Animations always look different from the greyscale pre-vis to the render; there are always things you only notice once you see things fully rendered," Campbell said. "By performing so much faster than tools we've used in the past, and thereby allowing us to iterate and see more works-in-progress earlier on, Redshift had a big impact on the way this project turned out."

Gentleman Scholar is based in both Los Angeles and New York, working across disciplines of live-action production, animation, digital exploration, print, and VR.

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