Adam Marsden & I were commissioned to produce a live action animation film for financial advisor firm Prestige Financial Solutions.
They opted for an animation film as they were keen to put across a complex message in a simple to understand way.
Why not check out the film first and then see how we made it!
The key to creating the best film we could was planning, planning, planning. Unlike the usual corporate film, full of interviews and b-roll, we have to work out a script and detailed storyboard ahead of filming, as the filming would consist of filming our illustrator drawing the pre-designed frames.
We set to creating a script based on their brief and messaging, using key phrases and all the important information they wanted to include in the film. Once this was in a rough draft form, Adam set to creating a story around this script. He focused on following a family through their house buying journey. He drew some rough frames to get approval from the client. Once signed off we drafted in our very skilled illustrator to bring these frames to life!
The illustrator started the process by creating two drawing styles, so the client could choose the look they would get throughout the film. We settled on one and the illustrator set to turning Adam’s rough drawings into pieces of artwork!
The production posed several challenges, mainly the requirement to film an illustrator creating artwork from overhead. I knew we would have to make use of an overhead camera setup so I decided to use my lightweight Sony NX80 Camcorder. I knew making use of a lightweight camera would keep the amount of ‘rigging’ we required down to a minimum. Equally, it would allow us some flexibility with its built in servo zoom lens, enabling us to fine to the frame with the lens rather than the position of the camera.
Next I needed to consider lighting, I knew we wanted to create an even wash across the frame, but equally it needed to be ‘shadow free’. I knew the only way to achieve this was also lighting from above, therefore throwing the shadows away from the camera. Therefore I needed to be able to mount my lights from above, therefore something lightweight would be required. I decided to use my 2x Falconeyes Flex LED Panels mounted either side of the camera. These created a lovely soft light, however I could still see some shadows. Therefore I needed to soften the light further to soften off the shadows. I managed to use my 1x1m trace frame mounted under the lights with a hole cut out of it for the camera lens to ‘peek’ through.
We filmed each frame being drawn in its completeness, and worked chronologically, just to make it easier for us to understand what had and hadn’t been drawn!
Each frame took around 20 minutes to film, therefore the first job was for Adam to work out how much to speed up the footage to make our one and a half minute film! Through a combination of speeding up footage, cutting in mid drawing plus some animation effects on the drawings we created our finished film.
We recorded a place holder VoiceOver for Adam to pull the edit together and get approval from the client before paying for a professional VoiceOver recording, which was selected by the client during the Pre-Production process.
The film was finished off with some upbeat music and sound effects to bring the drawings to life!
Animation Film Production
I’m sure you agree, the finished film is both informative and entertaining and ultimately provides a great marketing tool for our client. If you’d like to create something similar please don’t hesitate to get in touch!