“What is Smart?” Vizio

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So this was a great project to be a part of.  The producer at Mirada knew me from my time at Brand New School and recommended me for the storyboards on this spot- :60 commercial introducing the “Smart” TV from Vizio.  This was another one of those “come up with something nobody’s ever seen before” projects that usually make you want to stick your head in the microwave.  This time, though, I was up for the challenge, as I had just finished storyboarding this Brain Games spot and thus my mind had been primed for some mental heavy lifting.

Conceptually, the spot was simple:  We move through fields of colorful pixels floating in a void, and within each field is an icon of creativity and humanity.   Nice, but how do you storyboard that?  Clearly, typical black-on-white line art is not going to cut it.  No, instead the script called for millions (seemingly) of points of vibrant color on a dark background.  I had to rely on some rarely-used Painter brush settings and paper textures to achieve the pixelated look, but before long we had established a quickly-executed visual language that had the client excited and from there it was just a matter of specifying the camera moves and transitions.

Luckily, since we were basically dealing with globular star clusters of pixels as the subjects, we didn’t have to be constrained to traditional/rational sense of up, down, left, right, big, small, or whatever.  There was a lot of freedom with the camera moves and in the end it resembled a free-floating feeling akin to what you might see in a film like Gravity.

Here’s the boards.

Probably the trickiest thing was getting a good sense of the anamorphic imagery reveals within the pixel clusters.  Anamorphic images are pictures that are “out of shape” until you look at them at just the right angle, and then you are delighted because you have sort of “solved the visual puzzle.”  So for these board transitions I had to draw frames that showed seemingly random fields of pixels, and then fields of pixels that seemed to be coalescing into something that might resemble something familiar, and then the perfectly aligned image made of pixels, and then the reverse of that process as we transition to the next pixel field.  It was really fun challenge to basically come up with optical illusions to keep the audience interested.  Below is the final spot.




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