Here’s a very fun spot I did a while back for Red Bull/Audi; a little cross promotional effort to reinforce mutual branding and associations. Basically, it’s a mini-documentary of an extreme sports spectacle: a never-before-seen coordinated group of stunts with multiple flight technologies being expertly demonstrated, and beautifully shot.
This kind of event is more “captured” than executed according to shot list, so there’s some amount of looseness between what’s intended and final outcome- but I was able to help out by drawing up some nice presentation-style frames to help sell through the concept- and these shots were detailed very specifically by the director, who included great references for the planes, vehicles and locations. That helps a lot in making the boards come through as intended and being the most helpful in terms of advancing the production. I like that storyboards can be useful in a production like this, even though it’s also a known thing that on the day of the actual shoot, they’ll have to just roll with however things come out. If you ask me, that’s the REAL stunt! Ha! Here’s the boards:
Here’s a quick one today- sometimes I get contacted at the last minute to quickly sketch up a concept for a pitch, and it’s just a handful of frames to run by a client, and see what might stick. That was the case for this project- and I don’t know enough of the context or concept to really even say what’s going on here- I guess its about transitioning from being a baseball fan when you are young, to carrying that tradition into adulthood, while still retaining that childlike sense of wonder for our national pastime. How’s that sound?
Joking aside, theres a lot of difficulty sometimes in my job when the director briefly describes the shot but provides no context, like “A kid is facing camera at homeplate, about to swing at a pitch, when suddenly the screen splits with a bolt of energy and he becomes a professional athlete”. That’s nice, but how old is the kid? Is he in a uniform? Is it just him or are there many kids on his team? Are they at a stadium or neighborhood field? What’s the time of day? Right of left handed batter? Is there a PRODUCT or BRAND that I should be featuring? I don’t have the answers to these questions, all I have is the shot description, which is pretty darn vague! No background knowledge to fill in the gaps- I don’t even know if this is a humorous spot, or inspirational, I just have to run with it. Amazingly, according to the director, I always seem to nail it. So I have my immense work experience to thank for that, I guess. At the end of the day, I can always make an appealing drawing, and sometimes that’s enough. And I do like how these drawings turned out, even though I can’t explain them fully. Enjoy!
Looking back, I really like how I handled the ambiguity of detail in these shots- there’s just enough information to describe what’s happening, but really nothing is specified at all – minus the Angels team logo. There’s plenty of room for the client to bring their limited imagination to help embellish the concept- I guess that’s why the director finds my work so useful!
And I have no clue if these where ever used in a production! Many times I just miss the final outcome entirely, if there even is one. That’s life in the major leagues, folks.
Face it. You gotta work out, and you gotta look good doing it. Reebok’s got you covered- as evidenced by this fun spot I did a while back.
It’s beautifully shot (and storyboarded) and since it’s visually driven, it’s my favorite type of commercial. These aren’t shoot boards, so it doesn’t match the final spot exactly, but they door capture the concept very well. It’s speaks for itself and looks great, so lets check it out! Here’s the boards:
The challenge with this spot was there wasn’t a full day to spend on it, so I had to kind of keep things loose, but it was also important to get a close approximation of a cinematic feel- and I think it worked out great! Here’s the final spot!
I had a good run a couple of years ago getting hired to draw storyboards for an ad campaign for Labatt Blue, a Canadian Beer brand. They have a Bear character (just an actor in a bear suit) who is their Party Champion – a “Duff Man,” if you will- who shows up at opportune moments to take the party to the next level- and make it EPIC.
I think I’ve detailed before that I prefer commercials that don’t rely on dialogue or voiceover to convey the narrative- and so it is in these commercials that all the entertainment and message is contained the fun, active, silly visuals. In this campaign, I was called to draw sexy girls, sports, action, humor, nature, and of course, beer. It was very fun.
Spot 1 – “Wakeboard”
Here’s the first spot! For all the spots, we start on a great beer/branding lineup. Always good to have some clear branding, but it comes at a cost- it clearly shows the viewer that they are watching a commercial, which is often something we’re called to make less obvious- but owning it upfront and then making a spectacular entertaining spot immediately follow is also a great strategy- either way, your mission is to keep them watching for what happens next.
We open tight on a lineup of the Labatt Blue beers, which are lifted from frame to reveal an awesome wide shot of a beautiful blue lake, and sport boat with wakeboarder coming right at camera- after a series of tight shots of boating and boarding, we reveal the Bear in a frozen epic moment superimposed with the message “Get Undomesticated”. This is their slogan/call to action/mnemonic – a brand message to reinforce association and clarify intent- this beer is for wild and crazy Canadian party animals and the sexy girls who love them!
We see more shots of extreme wakeboarding skills, and some party shots, and it’s on! Labatt Blue is the choice of the truly undomesticated. Here’s the boards:
And here’s the final spot!
Spot 2 – “Pond Hockey”
We open tight on a lineup of the Labatt Blue beers, cold as ice, which are lifted from view and reveal a frozen pond- and a bizarre sight- a bear in hockey skates and stick doing perfect puck handling and closing in on us- it’s our Bear hero and the message is clear – Get Undomesticated. He crashes the pond hockey game and single-handedly schools the other players, deft skills outclassing these hopeful amateurs. He shoots, he scores, they celebrate! It’s a hot time on the cold pond tonight! Here’s the boards:
And here’s the final spot!
Spot 3 – “Dune Buggy”
We open tight on a lineup of the Labatt Blue beers, which wipe frame, revealing our dune buggy race- a sexy flag girl starts the race and they’re off! We have fun action shots, quick cuts of dune buggy racing action, and we catch a frozen moment glimpse of the absurd- the lead buggy is driven by our hero, the Labatt Bear. He wins the race, the crowd goes wild, and it’s a fun, sexy part to celebrate right after. Win! Here’s the boards:
And here’s the final commercial – or at least, it would have been here- I can’t find it online, and I’m not sure if it was even made, or made but never posted, or posted but then removed. Probably the latter.
Sometimes things get muddled after the fact – as an example, limitations on music licensing, or perhaps more likely, revised guidelines on advertising standards and practices, or perhaps most likely, maybe it was “tested” by a focus group of viewers, and tested poorly, for whatever reason, and thus was cut. It happens all the time, and it’s expected. I’m only speculating, but maybe it was a bit of a conceptual reach to go with the Baja Beach / Sand Dune scenario- its kind of a disconnect from where you would normally think a Canadian Bear would spend his free time. So, maybe someone had a concern that this spot wasn’t as relatable to the target demographic as the other spots were. Just a guess!
Seems like everyone’s always rushing around, late for something. Hurry up! Finish faster! Boy, I hear a lot of that. Just kidding, nobody’s faster than ol’ Maxi. That’s why I was called to do this spot.
They needed shoot boards ASAY (As Soon As Yesterday) and … well… frankly, we did this project so quickly, I can’t remember much about it! I know there was a pretty good script, thank goodness, and I roughed it out, and they only needed a few changes, and they didn’t need a finishing pass, as that was that. I probably spent 6 hours at most on these, maybe less. It’s a 1:30 second spot, 3 times longer than a usual :30.
They are super rough, but that’s all they needed, and actually, they ‘read’ pretty well! It’s an action spot, so the narrative is told visually- 3 people, all late for work, all haulin’ ass along their improvised parkour-style routes! Their SafeTStep shoes make it all possible… available from Payless. Here’s the boards:
Man, I need to do some pushups or something, get back into fighting shape. You may not believe this, but I coulda been a contender… What’s that? You don’t believe it? Well, moving on…
Closest I’ll ever get to the ring, is drawing these MMA athletes for NOS energy drink commercials. It’s just a few frames, but I wanted to take the opportunity to inject a little testosterone into my blog, and balance out all the princess dolls and scented plugins and acne medicine commercials.