The talented team at New York design and concept studio INTERspectacular have written and directed four, new animated commercials for Discovery The Science Channel. This exciting project featured the INTERspectacular team penning the channel popular new tagline: ‘A World Without Science is a World Without Discovery.’
This tagline serves as the creative premise behind the 4 new spots, as each one humorously tackles the question: what would the world we live in be like if we didn’st have the wonderful inventions science has provided? In ‘The Spirit of Invention,’ for example, a caveman attempts to fly by tying birds to his arms. Failing in his take-off, he says to his cohorts: ‘For lift off, I need more birds you Neanderthals!’ ‘The Art of Navigation’ shows Columbus at the wheel of one of his ships. When asked: ‘Where are we?’ He admits: ‘I don’st know’ and bursts into tears, as his three ships collide with one another. ‘Moon or Bust’ has a spaceman who thinks he needs more ladder; when in fact it is oxygen he requires. And in ‘The Wonder of Cloning,’ a scientist learns that you can’st really clone a sheep by pushing a mirror up to his face. Each spot ends with the channels’s new tagline and The Science Channel logo.
According to INTERspectacular Co-Founders/Creative Directors Luis Blanco and Michael Uman, not only was their team given creative carte blanche with the project direction and writing, but also with its choice of animation. They chose Illustrator Josh Cochran for the project, and as Uman says: ‘We used Josh drawings as the straight man to our comedy.’ Featuring a very 1950s palette with a little bit of retro thrown in, the illustrations have a ‘science pulp feel’ to them, similar to old science textbooks and education films.
Blanco notes too that this project emphasizes INTERspectacular continuing mission to diversify both in terms of its creative talent and client base. The studio has garnered numerous awards (including a series of Bronze awards at the 2006 Promax/BDA Conference) for its character animation for client Comedy Central. ‘We made an intentional and conscious visual departure with this project for The Science Channel.’
INTERspectacular looked at a number of animators and chose Ben Lee, who has his own toy company Nanospore. A fellow member of the ‘vinyl subculture,’ Lee was able to flesh out Cochran illustrations perfectly. Long-time friends, the duo attended college together but this was their first collaboration to date and a perfect pairing, explains INTERspectacular Executive Producer Greg Babiuk. ‘The key for this project,’ he says, ‘from a production standpoint was not getting in the way of the illustrations and animations. It took a delicate hand to stay true to the illustrations’s visual intent, and we achieved that.’ Other animators who worked on this project were Andrew Macfarlane and Efrain Cintron, with music & sound design by Human.
INTERspectacular was founded in 2003 by Creative Directors Luis Blanco and Michael Uman. Both Blanco and Uman have created brand and image campaigns for a variety of broadcast and commercial clients including the re-branding of Viacom Comedy Central Network in 2004. Under Blanco and Uman guidance, along with Executive Producer Greg Babiuk, INTERspectacular operates as part concept and design studio and part creative workshop. In addition to their work in motion graphics and print design, INTERspectacular work encompasses a diversity of projects including character development, interactive and alternative media, and the development of original content. The company was profiled by ‘Crain New York Business’ as an example of a 21st century company formed with a unique business model.
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