Headlight Reinterprets a Classic With Wolfie

From New York-based Design + VFX house Headlight comes Wolfie, an inventive interpretation of the classic The Boy Who Cried Wolf fable. This animated two-minute short was stylishly crafted for the second annual Twenty120 film collection.

The 2008 Twenty120 collection features works from renowned commercial directors, designers, television creatives, art directors and fine artists; spanning from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, London and Cologne, Germany. This year’s theme: Truth Vs. Deception.

Wolfie features a family of Russian nesting dolls enjoying a leisurely winter afternoon at the park. When the youngest daughter tries join in the activities of her older siblings and is rebuffed, she sulks in a dark corner of the park, only to shriek at a pretend boogieman. The family rallies to her scream and each one hops into the other, typical of Russian Babushka dolls, for protection.

When they realize there is no threat they shoo the pesky figurine away, but it’s not long before she’s screeching in faux terror. The family swoops in to answer the call, only to realize they have been fooled again. Before turning their backs on the pesky prankster, she’s sent away with a stern warning. When she sees a shadowy figure lurking, she realizes it’s something more menacing than she could hope to conjure up, and her cries of terror fall on deaf ears.

“We were approached by Connor Swegle at ClickFire Media, who organized the event, for a screening at the BDA’s. This year’s theme for Twenty120 was Truth and Deception, so we hashed a number of ideas and got really excited about exploring a more traditional narrative”. Susan Armstrong, Headlight Design + VFX CD.

The important thing was to choose a story that everyone was familiar with and then turn it on its head. Who doesn’t know the story of ‘The boy who cried Wolf?’ Ariel, our lead compositor for the animation, brought in photos of his mother’s trip to Russia which included photos of a set of Russian stacking dolls, and we immediately felt that this could play perfectly into the theme.

We chose not to use any dialogue, which meant that the dolls had to carry the narrative through their movements and expressions. The 3D guys found inventive ways to create tension by augmenting close-ups and cutaways with lots of little details in their movements; like having the doll move only her top section or holding a gesture for a beat. It created more drama and added a heightened sense of suspense that really propelled the story forward.

About Headlight:

New York-based Headlight Design + VFX is a creative, award-winning design, VFX, animation, and full service production company specializing in commercials, music videos, emerging media, feature and long-format clientele. Headlight’s recent projects include: creating show opens for CBS’s Kid Nation, ABC’s Men in Trees, 3D worlds for Ogilvy’s American Express Lost campaign, and executing the VFX for Vidal Partnership’s Sprint Holiday campaign.

Title: Wolfie
Air Date: July 2008

Headlight Creds:
Susan Armstrong
Steve Zourntos
Ariel Altman
John Clausing
Tico Kanzaki
Brian McGee
Jeremiah Morehead
Eric Konon
Amanda Amalfi
Lana Aklilu

Editorial: 89 Edit
Editor: Lynn Bousquet

Audio Post: Analogue Muse

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