Monthly Archives: February 2010

Kanye’s Winter

Yes, Mr. West has done it again. The rap artist once again stays away from the luxury cars, champagne bottles and clubs for his video, Coldest Winter, directed by Nabil Elderkin. For this one, Kanye really brings us in a surreal, dark world to illustrate the freezing winter. Some CGI shots look kind of cheap, but I think overall it looks really sharp. Plus, the slow motion cinematography is really the main focus of this vid, and it is a success.

Congrats Mr. West


Olympics advertising part 2

After some intensive web searches, I was able to find pretty much everything I wanted concerning the Olympic ads. First off, the Superbodies reports from GE. Wow ! I don’t even want to know the bill for those, because the production is insane and the CGI is super well done too. There are about a dozen different each more interesting and crispy looking than the other. They’re all on the CTV website.

Then the Royal Canadian Mint “A Moment in Every Coin” is another Olympic ad that is incredible. The concept is intelligent, the editing is on-point and the overall production just looks fantastic.

Another good find, via Olivier Languedoc, is the Proctor & Gamble “Kids” ad. Great emotion, clever idea, great production, thumbs up !

Still no luck for the Buick ad with the figure skater though, I’m still looking. UPDATE: I finally found the Rona commercial with the measuring tape. Julie Seidel, director of external communications at Rona, was kind enough to link me to Rona’s Olympic website. The ad is there:

A Moment in Every Coin

Superbodies “Moguls”

P&G “Kids”

Advertisers going strong during Olympics

First off, let me take the time to congratulate Alex Bilodeau for his gold medal in Ski moguls ! Allright, let me talk about the ads now. I’ve spotted a couple of really good ads, but I’m unfortunately unable to find links to them. One of them that I managed to find though is perhaps my favorite: the GE “Say Ahh” commercial. The concept is simple, yet the idea is brilliant and they managed to get some very good looking production with this.

Then, for those I can’t find, there’s the Canadian Mint ad, where they mix the construction process of the mint and the Olympic disciplines. There’s also the Buick ad where the figure skater merges with the car which is also amazing. If anyone can find these ads, please post links in the comments.

One campaign I’m really happy to see once again is the Newfoundland-Labrador one, which I wanted to blog-post before but forgot to. This campaign is strictly pristine cinematography, but they’ve done such a good job at achieving this that it makes me want to go there for my summer vacations. The images are unbelievable.

And the last thing that I can’t find, because I just can’t remember the name of it, are the different reports of bio-mechanics for each sport that are broadcasted from time to time during the Olympics. The production value is incredible, it’s instructive and makes you want to learn more about every single inch of your body.

Anyway, if anyone can help me find those missing ads/reports, please post them in the comments.

Nuit Blanche by Spy Films

How I love finding short films like this one on the web. Arev Manoukian from Spy Films directed a short called Nuit Blanche for the LG Film festival, and won the grand prize. And of course, he deserved it ! This short is brilliant. The cinematography is impeccable, and so is the compositing. When watching the making-of, there are a lot of shots I didn’t believe to be green screen that were, and that’s when you can say that a CG scene was well executed. The particle effects, the 3D rendering and camera work are all flawless. Good job for Canadian studio Spy Films !!

Nuit Blanche

The Making-Of

Superbowl XLIV ads

Who doesn’t like the Superbowl ? Personally I think it’s the sport’s greatest event, even if I like hockey 100 times more than football. But the Superbowl has the ability to generate the biggest buzz of the year, especially with its ads. It is the advertisers’ fest to empty their pockets and get the highest number of views they’ll get all year long.

This year, a 30-second spot sold at close to $3 million a piece, which is the highest all-time. Recession anyone ? Anyway, I don’t know if the match over-shadowed the commercials, because god knows this was one hell of a game, but it seems this year the quality of the ads was really sub-par compared to previous years. Although there were a couple that stood out, none of them made me stare in amazement or laugh at the point to cry. GoDaddy really, really needs to trash their campaign. The concept is getting so old I can smell it rot from over here. It was a good “viral” campaign at first, but wow does it suck now !

Doritos definitely had the best spots this year. They were all kind of absurd and really funny. But the best one was definitely the Google one. It was simple, clever, and really made you feel the essence of Google.

Still, I’m disapointed and really look forward to next year to see if advertisers are going to outdo themselves to compensate for the quality they put out this year.

New Nova Film motion design reel

Well, another year is done at Nova, and once again looking back at the company last year and today, it seems like we fast-forwarded in time 10 years. When we released the 2009 reel, about exactly the same date as today, we were 4 employees plus one part time employee in an 800 square-feet office in Ste-Foy, a suburb of Quebec City, working on a couple large scale projects, but mostly doing corporate videos for small local businesses. We’ll be six full time employees when Phil comes back from Thailand, in a 1800 square-feet loft in downtown Quebec City, more specifically in the St-Roch area, the new media and advertising center of town, where Ubisoft, Beenox, LG2 and a handful of other companies are. While our main field of work still is corporate videos, the amount of TV advertisement we’re doing is increasing every month, and our clients list is becoming more and more impressive. We just renovated the office to turn one open-space area into a closed editing studio with an 8-core MacPro with 16GB of RAM, two 23″ 1080p displays and a 37″ HD TV hanged on the wall to output the projects full-screen as we work, something we would only dream of having 6 months ago.

Enough about the history lesson, and on with the reel. I’m very proud of it, since this year the content is 100% from me, and I think it looks kick-ass. I’ve already been having a couple of questions on how I’ve done the intro shot, and here’s the answer. A while ago I learned about a technique called camera mapping, and found this tutorial which I thought was insane. My main objective was to do the signature with a 3D tracking technique, since I think what I’ve done up to now in terms of tracking has been good, but far from perfect. What sucks though is that right now the weather in Quebec is not super good, the full-of-brown-snow scenery isn’t particularly interesting, and I really wanted to do something outside to get the best light without too much setup. So I decided that it was time for me to take out this tutorial and try camera mapping once and for all. Coincidentally, Nick Campbell released another cam-map tutorial about the same time, so I had two sources to pick up techniques.

I’m really happy about how it turned out and I think it gets you hooked up for what’s too come. I’m really not a big fan of 3D, especially modeling, but this kind of type animation I’m really into. So take a look at this, and if you want to see the complete projects that are shown, hit up and take a look at the different sections.

New approach to safe driving by Sussex Safer Roads

It’s been the general idea in advertising in the last years to promote safe-driving by showing shocking images of unsafe driving, D.U.I, etc. While I believe this is still a good method that makes people react and take a minute to think, Sussex Safer Roads produced a commercial that goes in the total opposite direction. The ad emphasizes more on the importance of life than consequences of unsafe driving. It is beautifully shot, well directed and really delivers the message.

I have yet to find any info on the director, agency and production company of all this, so if anyone knows anything about it, please drop it in the comments.