DUCK Director Jan Chen just released a zany animated short featuring a communal home of anthropomorphic condoms promoting safe sex as a universal message for everybody to understand regardless of their age, language, education or social status. The film is done in a vibrant, fantasy-like palette that evokes the surreal excitement of real-life sex.
The animated prophylactics are distinct characters with personalities ranging from the brainy professor to the stumbling dufus to the self-absorbed meathead who live together in an urban loft-like space. Their satisfactory but mundane lives ramble along in relative peace, cycling through the different parts of the day – from activity to late-night sleep – until an alarm startles them into action.
The friends launch into a merciless race down a twisting series of tunnels and chutes toward an unseen goal, each wrapped in an expression of pure joy and anticipation. Their destination is a cavernous space that is quickly revealed as a dresser drawer.
The bureau sits amidst an active room, where the silhouette of a couple in the midst of pre-sex passion is visible in the shadows moving across the wall. An animated human hand then fumbles for the drawer and plucks a smiling Rubbud from the abyss.
“This is a PSA above anything else, and the concept here is simple: use one, no matter what your choice,” noted Chen. “I wanted to evoke the beautiful and special character of life that emerges when you are about to get some, and the Rubbuds evoke that inner happiness.
But in the end, we were trying to convey a very important message in a very adult and humorous way. There are a few important messages embedded in the storyline that hopefully most viewers will pick up after multiple viewings.”
Los Angeles-based DUCK, formerly Duck Soup Studios, is a continually evolving creative studio producing commercials, music videos, short films and web content. DUCK offers a wide range of services, including live action and integration, character design, film title design, 2D and 3D animation, digital compositing, digital/traditional ink & paint. In recent years, the studio has expanded, adding an original content division that works with writers and animators on unique ideas for film and TV.
Software toolbox used for Rubbud animated short PSA: Autodesk Maya 2009, Adobe Photoshop CS4, Adobe IllustratorCS4, Adobe After Effects CS3, RUSH render engine.
Prod Co: DUCK
Director: Jan Chen
Story/Design: Jan Chen
Executive Producer: Mark Medernach
Producer: Dan Ridgers
Character Animation: Daniel Erwin, Eric Molina, Dony Permedi, Dave Vander Pol
Character Modeling/Rigging: Daniel Erwin, Dave Vander Pol
Set Modeling/Texturing: Alex O’Donnell, Patrick Warner
Rendering/Lighting : Patrick Warner
Additional Shader R&D: Huyen Dang
Editing/Compositing: Jan Chen
Assistant Editor: Jason Dopko
Production Artist: Bryan Nigh
Production IT Support: Andrew Lee
SFX Design: Jason Dopko, Hoa Mai, Lane Nakamura, Dave Vander Pol
Music Score I (opening – silence): Stephen Tompkins
Music Score II (picture frames – Ending) + End Credit: Alexander Tovar