Turner Classic Movies asked creative agency Exopolis to breath new life into the much-loved “Sunny Side of Life” promo that first aired on the network 13 years ago. Using modern-day animation techniques, Exopolis brought viewers into a moody Edward Hopper-esque cityscape. The :30 animated piece entitled “TCM Now Showing” introduces films on the classic movie channel.
While none of Edward Hopper’s actual paintings were used in the promo, Exopolis referenced several of his most well known works, including 1942’s “Nighthawks,” in which solitary patrons sit at the counter of an all-night diner. Said Senior Creative Director Brien Holman, “The original promo was animated years ago by cutting out still imagery, and creating movement through parallax. TCM came to us with the desire to maintain the mood and atmosphere of the original, while ‘re-imagining’ that promo with today’s technologies in motion design.”
The promo features a lived-in and slightly run-down urban setting, filled with sparsely populated subway trains in which people sit moodily under long shifting shadows. A sweeping camera pans across buildings, revealing the people inside woman dresses herself. The closing shot glides to a coffee shop window, on which the TCM logo and words “Now Showing” are applied to the glass.
To achieve this dramatic and cinematic 3D world, Holman oversaw a team of designers and animators using a software package consisting of Autodesk 3ds Max for modeling, Adobe After Effects for compositing, and Ambient Design ArtRage 2 to create the oil painting-like effect. Using ArtRage 2, designer Lorin Wood custom painted textures for each scene from which 3D objects were then modeled in 3ds Max.
To achieve the stylized painting effect in scenes featuring people, and to give the characters an almost realistic, lifelike quality, several layers of footage from Getty Images were rotoscoped into separate passes of light and shadow. Animator Richie Sandow then treated and composited each layer in After Effects, hand-painting some detail back into each character to create each final “custom-painted” individual.
Exopolis is a creative studio combining the strategic and conceptual capabilities of a traditional marketing consultancy with the technical and design chops of a broadcast and interactive production company. With a focus on an integrated, organic approach, Exopolis ignores traditional media divisions reflecting the inevitable future of communications. Operating from its headquarters in Los Angeles, the studio has generated award-winning broadcast, interactive, mobile and print work for clients including Universal Pictures, Disney, Nickelodeon, IFC, HBO, McCann-Erickson, JWT, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, TBWAChiatDay, Publicis, Toei Animation World Wide, The Atlantis Hotel Group and The Coca-Cola Company.
Title: :30 “TCM Now Showing”
Airdate: April 14, 2007
Client: Turner Classic Movies
Senior VP – Documentaries and Original Production: Shannon Davis
Creative Studio: Exopolis / Los Angeles, CA
Partners: Daniel Arcana, Kat Egan
Executive Producer: Jason O’Leary
Senior Creative: Brien Holman
Designer: Lorin Wood
Animator: Richie Sandow
Stock Footage provided by Getty Images
Music provided by TCM