They shoot. They animate. They create. And they call themselves SA's new school production company. Wicked's latest is a big production effort for PPC Cement. The result? A bold, homegrown commercial and a delighted agency and client.
The commercial was commissioned by The Jupiter Drawing Room, via Head of TV, Chloe Saunders, ECD, Pierre Odendaal and creatives Darren Kilfoil and Gareth Pretorius.
The script called for the story to be told via an engaging integration of live-action and animation. With the experience gained on directing large-scale visual effects commercials, like D&AD awarded, MTN 'Stickies', Craig Wessels felt at home directing this multifaceted genre of storytelling, "My forte is directing live-action integrated with animation, and the guys at Jupiter had a great idea and Chloe put a lot of trust in me. They were great, and that's all the inspiration I needed to keep pushing this project for those three months", recalls Craig.
The first stage was to design and develop the hero Elephant character, followed by weeks of planning the creative execution. Craig and his team at Wicked were able to carefully stitch many techniques together to give the commercial its unique and memorable feel; live action filming, green screen, time lapse photography, 3D animation, and in-camera stop motion animation were all used in the production.
Jupiter ECD, Pierre Odendaal comments, "Working with both Craig and the team of artists at Wicked Pixels was a wonderful creative journey and experience. When one considers the creative idea behind this beautiful TV ad and how we needed the PPC elephant to embody the very nature of the brand, and then the complexity of pulling it all together, I have to say they did an amazing job."
One month in pre-production, including the building of life-size cement elephant replicas and sets preceded the four day shoot, which was produced by Cat Lindsay. Then it was back to the Wicked studios in Joburg and Cape Town to begin animation and post-production, which was a three month process.
A long and challenging production is a potential nightmare for any agency producer, yet Chloe Saunders, Head of TV at Jupiter was positive, "Having Craig, Magda and the Wicked Pixels team on this exciting and complex project was a very rewarding experience. Craig handled the live direction skillfully, always keeping in mind the complexity of the animation to follow. The animation team worked tirelessly with loads of passion. Wicked Pixels has produced a memorable piece of work that both Jupiter and our client PPC are extremely proud of."
Wicked's previous project, the on air imaging of new TV network, Top TV and their eleven in-house channels, directed by Gavin Coetzee, Andrew Shaw and Craig Wessels, recently won 5 Gold and 2 Silver awards at PromaxBDA Africa, including the coveted Best Television Image Campaign, and Channel Brand of the Year.