MTV recently tapped production and design collective Lightborne to create a series of on-air promo spots for the network’s popular “Spring Break 2007” coverage and themed shows.
Spring break is known as a time when the college-aged head to warmer climates with hopes of fun in the sun, drunken debauchery, and naughty experiences with their fellow co-eds. Playing off this virtual “mating season” for the young, MTV Director Soo-Hyun Chung, with creative assistance from Jessica Burstein, developed a jungle-themed script that takes a weirdly sincere jab at the wild youth and their crazy antics that MTV seems to capture each year.
Using clips of embarrassing footage from last year’s Spring Break, Chung’s script called for a “national geographic-esque” narrator, who cunningly describes the party-goers’ antics as a scientist would describe wildlife mating rituals. Uniquely painterly and dark, the jungle-themed graphics created by Lightborne give these spots an original look that is visually rich, organic, and enticing. Moody vines and moss overtake the screen giving way to blooming flowers and flurries of excited fireflies and butterflies — a visual expansion on the whole “birds & bees” experience.
“When designing the spots, I really played up as many virile, visual metaphors as I could, while keeping things in good taste,” said Lightborne Creative Director Chris Gliebe.
Using a combination of footage, particles, 2D & 3D graphics Lightborne’s team attacked the project like a jaguar in heat, giving the original spring break footage a distinct look, and augmenting the transitions and information with its original design approach. Soo-Hyun Chung explains, “Spring Break can be such a clich?¬¨¬©: the beach, the babes, the sun, the fun. It was time to turn the whole brand upside down. Lightborne found their inner animal and eschewed the animated computer graphic norm for something much more primal and organic feeling. They were extremely easy to work with and understood the vibe that I wanted to create instantly.”
Delivering one :30, and five :15 spots start-to-finish over the course of eight working days was a challenge, says Gliebe. “We had a lot of work on our plate, but Soo-Hyun’s concept and script had so much creative potential it made the task seem fun and easy. Hard work isn’t hard when you’re having fun with something.”
Wild life, indeed.
Along with developing the six spots, Lightborne also designed the “Spring Break 2007” branding featured within the spots. Music was composed by Alexander Frankel. Sound Design by Britt Meyers of Great City Productions.
Lightborne is a motion design and production studio, which has created cutting-edge and memorable work in commercials, broadcast design, and short films for clients such as ECCO Shoes, Lee Cooper Jeans, MTV, and Fuel TV, as well as music videos for artists including Death Cab for Cutie, The Raconteurs, Atmosphere, Bad Religion and Kenny Chesney. Made up of designers, directors, animators, editors, illustrators, sound designers and effects artists, this collective desires to practice and advance the discipline of motion design. Lightborne thrives on the exploration of the unseen and untested and uses its knowledge and experience to help clients navigate innovation.