The Colony (www.the-colony.com) director James Rogers recently lensed two new advertisements for the Australian energy drink V Energy in collaboration with Post Modern Sydney.
The national campaign, released in Australia and New Zealand, gives a new
spin to V Energy's familiar brand theme of extreme sports and insects in
their spots. In the first spot, Rogers animated bug characters invent a
new game called Mothball (inspired by baseball). This game uses actual
moths as balls that are hurtled through the air squeaking and squealing.
Rogers says "We needed to be family friendly but at the same time
tongue-in-cheek to keep with the energy drink's branding. We looked to
famous baseball films such as Bull Durham and The Natural as inspiration
for setting the scene. I wanted to nod to the powerful visual language in
those films, there are some very distinctive camera angles and framing we
wanted to salute without directly copying."
Rogers continues, "The most fun part of the collaboration was working with
the animators. They brought a lot of nice, unexpected moments to each scene
little things like the insects eyeball movements and odd hand gestures
that affect the pacing."
Regarding the technical process, he says,"We worked primarily in Maya 3D,
Nuke 2D and finally in Flame. I also added quite a few real elements such as
dust in the air and actual shot lens flares. We then worked a lot with
shaders to make sure we got the light just right for the characters. I think
you can see this atmospheric grittiness in the final spot."
Rogers uses insect-themed branding again in his second spot for V Energy,
titled Beetleball. This time we are introduced to Barry "The Bullet"
Kowalski, an athletic bull ant who drinks V energy for strength to play with
his ball, a slater beetle.
Rogers remarks, "The spot apes overly slick sport-endorsements with much
inspiration coming from the 1980¹s." Key lighting was essential in achieving
this effect, he says. "I looked to light it in a way you don't often see CG
characters lit. I approached the lighting like you would a real set in that
situation, as I imagined one would in the 80s."
He continues, "The chance to make an animation piece which pretty much
revolves around a single character was fun. There are odd challenges in
that, such as not being able to edit around a scene as much. To create a
compelling character and establish him in 15 seconds was important too."