HUSH Slows It Down For Amex

New York-based content creation studio HUSH has teamed up with advertising agency Momentum Worldwide on a lightning-fast live action, design and animation production. The effort is part of American Express’ new focused campaign showing on 20+ screens at the popular LA Live outdoor space adjacent to the Los Angeles Staples Center. Each of the six original pieces, bookended by the AMEX card graphic, show close-up live action shots framed as if from the perspective of a privileged fan. The pieces show basketball players, hockey players, and musicians suspended in time at the apex of their extraordinary performances.

“We wanted to really capture the feeling of front-row access that American Express customers are used to getting,” noted HUSH Co-Founder/Co-Director Erik Karasyk. “By zooming in tight and shooting our subjects at high speed with the Phantom HD camera, we created `frozen moments’ that capture the experience of being in the middle of the action.”

The close-up framing and beautifully simplified actions also served to save money and time, an important consideration on a deadline-intensive project. HUSH had only six weeks to take the entire campaign from concept to completion. To ensure its fluid execution, the team took control of every aspect of the production, from live action to editorial and VFX to finishing.

“Given the multifaceted nature of this effort, with its mix of live action and VFX, we are really proud of our team for pulling all of this together on such a short timeline,” said HUSH Co-Founder/Co-Director David Schwarz. “I think we achieved a nice balance between creative concept and production efficiencies. In order to stand out amid the frenzied 24-hour shuffle of rapidly moving imagery ripping across the 20+ media screens, I think our use of extreme slow motion will separate AMEX from the other sponsored media being showcased.”

For example, rather than recreating an entire sporting event or concert, HUSH put the spotlight on one or two characters, creating an abstract action scene that retained the intensity and power of an athlete or musician operating at full throttle. By corralling all of its creative resources, HUSH’s team was able to use its experience producing TV content to adapt a successful print campaign that Momentum Worldwide had already established.

“We worked closely with the creatives at Momentum to expand upon the great ideas they’d already used to make this a successful campaign,” stated HUSH Executive Producer Casey Steele. “We were able to create the style, flavor and feel of the content to mirror their existing campaign.”

About Hush:
HUSH is a New York-based content creation studio led by Co-Founders/Creative Directors Erik Karasyk, David Schwarz and Executive Producer Casey Steele. HUSH develops powerful brand-driven stories, award-winning design, animation, and interactive content for TV commercials, music videos, broadcast, and integrated campaigns. With over a decade of ideation and execution experience, HUSH pushes creative limits to build brand awareness and audience loyalty.

The Creds:

Client: American Express
Content Title(s): Rocker, Hockey, Hair, Diva, Basketball, Ticker
Launch Date: December 2008

Agency: Momentum Worldwide/NY
Creative(s): Benjamin Bailey, George Tannenbaum
Agency Producer: Karen Song

Production Company: HUSH/NY
Directors: David Schwarz, Erik Karasyk
DP: Zak Mulligan
EP: Casey Steele

Design Co: HUSH/NY
Lead 2D/3D Animation: Navid Bagherzadeh
3D Animators: TK Tanaponn / Brian Cobonpue
Designers: Fred Kim, David Schwarz
Live Action Producers: Submissive Films, Mario Romeo, Kenneth Greenblatt
Producer: Mei-Ling Wong

Editorial Co: HUSH/NY
Editor: Amilcar Gomes

Sound Design:
Composers: Wilson Brown / Polly Hall
Executive Producer: Sean McGovern

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