Nice Shoes Rolls Out TD Ameritrade Campaign

Nice Shoes, in conjunction with long-time clients Go Robot, Form, and Ogilvy & Mather NY, is in the midst of a six-spot campaign for online broker TD Ameritrade, its latest work in an ongoing relationship with the financial giant. The initial three :30s, starring Law & Order’s Sam Waterston, are examples of the kind of outstanding work that the reshaped Nice Shoes – which recently absorbed sister visual effects company Guava and design studio Freestyle Collective – will be putting out on a regular basis. The all-star team behind this project is Nice Shoes CD Aron Baxter, visual effects Artist Jason Farber, Colorist Chris Ryan and Producer Dave Moore. Baxter, an experienced visual effects supervising pro, oversaw the shoot for Form’s Gary McKendry.

“This was a collaboration on set right from the beginning. We’ve been working with Go Robot, Form and Ogilvy for years as Guava, so now, as the Nice Shoes visual effects division, we’re all totally comfortable working together and collaborating to find solutions as we go,” noted Baxter. “Plus we’ve forged such a great relationship with Ameritrade and understand their business so well that we are better positioned than anyone to inject the exact tone and atmosphere that Ameritrade required.”

Objectivity, Straightforward, and Green Shoots each take place on a pristine stage dominated by a simple, bold element representing one part of TD’s business philosophy – a giant “O” for “objectivity”; an equally large “S” for “straightforward”; an oversized photograph of green shoots, representing renewal – while Waterston trots back and forth extolling the company’s virtues with his reassuring oratory. The campaign’s final three spots will follow a similar format.

McKendry shot the spots entirely on green screen with nothing behind Waterston. Baxter and the Nice Shoes team then designed the backgrounds as a full virtual environment, creating and placing the giant letters using 3D text, geometries and projection. The textured environments presented a particular challenge – to choose the optimal final product Baxter sorted through more than 50 original looks. “TD wants strong backgrounds and textures that tie into their brand, and after so many campaigns we have a gut feel for what they’re looking for,” noted Baxter. Nice Shoes handled all of the visual effects, design and animation, and the color grading on the campaign, with each department collaborating closely throughout the process to create a comprehensive solution for this complex project.

“We’ve been working with the same internal artistic team for years, and that gives us a huge advantage when dealing with clients,” noted Colorist Chris Ryan. “With Nice Shoes, clients don’t have to go through multiple rounds of approvals with various shops – we all work together and have everything laid out between departments before we even start. And we trust one another implicitly. I don’t have to worry about color grading a random green screen because I know the visual effects department is handling it, which is something you can never be sure of if different shops are handling each component separately. That’s a primary reason why clients such as Ogilvy come back to us again and again – they’ve come to rely on this streamlined process to save them time, money and headaches.”

“This latest shoot really shows how powerful the new creatively collaborative studio – with the talent of Nice Shoes and Guava finally together under one roof – will be,” noted Moore. “Having everyone so close has really sped up and enhanced the creative and production processes.”

About Nice Shoes
NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Partner Joe Bottazzi, Managing Director Mike Donovan, CDs Aron Baxter and Victor Newman, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, EPs Pat Portela and Maribeth Phillips, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, CFO / COO Julia Kisla, CTO Bob Keske, and VP of Sales & Marketing Travis Taylor, VP of Operations Angie Gomez.

Client: Go Robot Edit
Spots Title: Objectivity, Straightforward, Green Shoots
Air Date: December 2009

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather NY
Executive Creative Director: Bill Heater
Group Creative Director: Jill McClabb
Associate Creative Director: David Perris
Interactive Group Creative Directors, Bruce Henderson, Witold Riedel
Associate Creative Directors: Jeff Leaf, Robert Balog
Art Director: Brian Murphy
Copywriter: Darren Jeffries
Executive Producer: Lee Weiss
Producer: Sarissa Karnbach

Prod Company: Form
Director: Gary McKendry
EP: Rossi Cannon
Head of Production: Michael Murphy
Producers: Adam Bloom, Larry Gold
Production Supervisor: Craig Rodgers

Post/Effects: Nice Shoes
CD: Aron Baxter
Flame Artist(s): Aron Baxter, Jason Farber, Andrew Granelli, John Shea, Bryan Rosenblum
Managing Director: Michael Donovan
EP: Pat Portela
Producer: Dave Moore

Telecine: Nice Shoes
Colorist(s): Chris Ryan, Lez Rudge

Editorial: Go Robot
Editor: Adam Liebowitz
Producer: Laura Molinaro
Assistant Editor: Peter Reglis
Graphic Artist: Christian Matts


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