Boy, those viruses, huh? They’re everywhere, trying to wreck our lives. Luckily Sophos is there to scan and sweep them away. From our computers, at least.
This was a fun, quick job that needed a very specific tone in order to convey the sense of dystopian angst- the directors sent references that were very film noir, very old school sci-fi, and it was pretty inspiring. What resulted was I think a very effective hybrid of modern tech and monolithic awe.
This was also a great fit for a new set of brushes I’d developed recently, it’s a more square and hard-edged feel, as opposed to my more fantastic and cozy style. It fit really well and made things a little easier on my execution. This was a 3-day job. Take a look!
What are we looking at? We zoom in from overhead and find ourselves in a massive stark technological landscape. Things are orderly and calm- until a creepy little bug/virus finds a weak spot and weasels in. He quickly grows and seeks to evade the AI sensors, but is soon detected. The AI deploys countermeasures to destroy the virus. But immediately, from the dead husk of the virus, a new bug evolves and emerges, rapidly multiplying even faster than before. A new swarm of bugs converges on the AI and the battle is joined in an explosive burst of light… the eternal struggle between good and evil continues.
I had a lot of fun with this. Thanks for checking it out! -Max
I’ll leave out the specifics on what product/company these frames were advertising for; suffice to say, it was a collection of short spots of families and loved ones reflecting on the nature of their relationships (with some product placement tastefully featured in the periphery). Rather, Let’s consider these boards an example of how I really try to bring a sense of acting and characterization to my drawings- bringing forth a sense of deep human connection when called for. I think the work speaks for itself.
Just as often as I’m called upon do depict amazing action scenes, or elaborate fantastic worlds, I’m then called upon to draw a tender moment of kindness, or humor. That’s the world of Storyboarding Commercials- you draw everything and it’s thus I believe it’s the best artistic training ever. The work demands you never get too comfortable drawing the same thing every day- I draw vehicles, animals, people, places, animation, live action, humor, horror, sci-fi, and even in new media like VR! It’s a new challenge every day and I love it.
Woohoo! In addition to the previous Nutella spot, I happened to do the boards for the most recent follow up- “Spread the Happiness!” Once again produced by my great clients at Brand New School.
They are playing this spot a LOT on TV right now- which is great, since it rocks! It’s fun, it’s pop, it’s delicious.
The challenges involved in this spot were finding a fresh take on simple transitions and how best to style them in an appetizing way and choreograph them best to the music. I drew a LOT of frames for it, as we would build many animatics to see what worked best- there was a lot of experimentation with different kinds of wipes and reveals. But that’s the best way to get things perfect!
I always enjoy drawing families having fun. It turns out though, one thing that is hard to draw is people sitting around a table. It sounds simple but it’s really tricky because you have to draw in near perfect perspective just to get the height and distance relationships right between the chair and the table, and then again for the people who actually sit in them. If you draw it wrong, all your chairs will look like they are different sizes, or even like your actors are sitting on phonebooks or booster seats. It’s tough! One of those things that you only notice if you do it wrong, and since I think mine turned out pretty decent, I have to make a point about it 🙂 I left the extra “empty” space at the top of the frame because at one point we weren’t sure if there would be text, logo, or slogan superimposed there.
Here’s a great drawing of a product shot- always important to draw the product really well!!!
Here’s the full board sequence:
And for comparison, here’s the final commercial! Turned out pretty cool!
It’s a fun song, but when you work with the editors and animators that have to cut the commercial together, you have to listen to the song over and over and over and over again until it loses all meaning. Yup, there’s a limit to how much happiness one can take! Ha!
Here’s a fun spot I worked on earlier this year for my great clients at Mirada. It’s a charming commercial for lemon-scent Pine Sol, and to provide a brief backstory: the agency had “tested” a wacky concept of small soldiers and ballerinas chanting “powerful clean” and “lemony fresh” as they jumped into a Pine Sol bottle. And it tested well. Like, CRAZY well. So we were asked to put together a pitch on how we might take that concept and flush it out into a fun character animation spot.
The concept is super simple so all the nuance and storytelling is in the directing and camera angles, and really making sure the characters are on target and doing their thing, and so the success here would come down to the execution of the concept. Aside from the storyboards, there were character designers and concept artists working as well, but we were working concurrently so I didn’t have any direct reference for what anything should look like, so I had to charge forward as best I could.
We actually did have an “angle” if you will- the director was very interested in attempting to channel some of the very popular Taylor Swift video for “Bad Blood,” as in, to make sure we charged the lemony fresh ballerinas with a kind of kick-ass spin. Something different! I thought it was a great twist, and you can see in the frames, especially in this one:
Hardcore Freshness Ballerinas and Scrub Soldiers (complete with assault mops), in Pine Sol style, and miniaturized, in a typical household kitchen. I could picture that pretty easy. Here’s the boards:
The client apparently loved the boards, because they were not only awarded the job, but they ended up not needing me to revise any of the frames- which is a pretty awesome deal! Here’s the finished spot:
Not bad! Looks like they did away with the “Bad Blood” references- we are back to cutesy ballerinas, but I think that might be a good move, given the overall timing. Spot looks great. And I’m glad they kept in the “lemon” parachutes- that was my idea!
Here’s a quick sweet little project I boarded a while back – one of those synergistic multi-product subtle mega-mercials masquerading as a network PSA – tips for a fun “date night!”
Here, a couple starts out there morning routine as usual- but then in a moment of whimsy, it strikes them to spice things up a bit and go on an impromptu date night! All with the help the Hallmark Channel’s suggestion of a “Date Night” jar of fun date activities, and of course, great products from Proctor and Gamble, like Crest toothpaste and Pantene hair spray.
They dress their best, pick from the date night jar, and the winner is: ‘Rent a Convertible and Buzz up the Coast for some Seafood!’ Sounds like fun! Here’s the boards:
What I like most about these boards is the great way I pulled off a natural depiction of the “everyday couple.” The first couple frames of the pair brushing their teeth, being casual/typical/routine, and then simultaneously coming to the same notion- “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Blowdrying their hair, picking out clothes, checking their makeup- it’s really important to be able to convincingly draw the normal, everyday stuff, and making it appealing, and I was lucky to have this practice.
I don’t know if they ever did make this commercial, so I don’t have the final vid to show you either way, but no biggie, it’s all about the boards anyway! See you next time!
Here’s one I’ve had on ice a while now- an old pitch, that we didn’t get awarded, and thus I’ve not really been able to present, but enough time has passed that we can risk a look at my work, and hope nobody minds. It was a rare “throw your best efforts and time at this project” kind of assignment, and I had 3 days to turn around some serious quality work- presentation quality board for a pitch on Duracell, for an anthem-style spot, something epic and inspiring and durable- something to remember.
The creative concept for this project is a little abstract but also very effective- the engineering and precision that goes into Duracell batteries on the micro scale goes on to influence the engineering and precision on the macro scale further down the line. Through juxtaposition of imagery, micro and macro, we see point by point comparisons of how the dedication of craft is passed through from creator to creator. The narrative is driven visually so I encourage you to view the whole sequence and see if you can pick up on the intent. I’m proud of this work and happy to show it to you, here’s the boards!
Hope you liked it! On this project, the direction for whole spot was detailed out in dozens and dozens of vignette descriptions as provided by the creative director- shot by shot, and so I just did my very best to draw what was written. It’s always amazing to me how talented directors can see the entire spot in their minds, and when partnered with a talented board artist, can really put together something special. I loved this job, and what a shame it never got made. Oh well, that’s how it goes!