Infused with a childlike sense of fun and excitement, the two-minute Skylanders SWAP Force spot directed by LOGAN’s Jens Gehlhaar is an energetic showcase of character animation. The new spot is also a testament to the potency of collaboration, its eye-catching visuals and clever concept developed and executed in tandem with creative teams from 72andSunny and Activision Publishing, Inc.
Skylanders SWAP Force is an extension of the Skylanders Spyro’s AdventureTM and Skylanders GiantsTM toy and game line, now offering kids the ability to swap the top and bottom halves of SWAP Force characters. Approaching the spot with an inspired idea, the Activision, 72andSunny and LOGAN teams orchestrated an homage to a now classic Fat Boy Slim music video. As the song plays, the characters swap body parts to create new hybrids, all the while dancing in time with the beat.
“Our office is just down the street from both Activision and 72andSunny, so our three companies worked together very closely. Everyone was involved with just about every aspect of the project – from writing, storyboarding, and board-o-matics to blocking to modeling, animating, lighting, rendering, and final touch up in Flame – everyone contributed to the final product,” explained Gehlhaar. “Luckily we have some fantastic character animators at LOGAN who were able to take everything that was being thrown at them.”
“The amazing thing about Activision is that they’re so willing to push boundaries. The Fatboy Slim concept was a bit of creative risk – referencing a band that was popular before a lot of the games’ fans were even born. This is definitely a youthful spot, but we didn’t feel at all limited by the target audience,” added Gehlhaar.
LOGAN was also energized by its return to agency 72andSunny, a creative partnership that has continued over several projects. “The folks at 72andSunny are always a blast to work with,” noted Founder and ECD Alexei Tylevich, “They’re a very ambitious and talented team with a strong creative vision.”
Prior to the “Skylanders SWAP Force” spot, LOGAN created a series of animated games for Nike+, continuing a diverse series of multi-platform animation projects.
Spot Title: “Skylanders Swap Force Trailer”
Partner/CCO: Glenn Cole
Executive Creative Director: Frank Hahn
Creative Director/Writer: Tim Wolf
Lead Writer: Zach Hilder
Designer: Drea Schneider, Cerra Buckholz
Director of Film Production: Sam Baerwald
Senior Film Producer: Laura Ferguson
Director of Business Affairs: Christine Claussen
Business Affairs Manager: Christina Rust
Production Company: LOGAN
ECD: Alexei Tylevich
Executive Producer: Matthew Marquis
Head of Production: Scott Siegal
Director/CD: Jens Gehlhaar
Producer: Jake Hibler
VFX Supervisor: Julien Brami
Flame Artist: Rob Winfield
Designer: Gregory Mitchell
Designer: Melvina Wong
Storyboard Artist: Vincent Lee
Editor: Lee Gardner
Editor: Tai Erskine
Editor: James Connelly
Light/Render: Ryan Kirkwood
Light/Render: Patrick Vidal
Light/Render: Benoit Vincent
Nuke Compositor: Scott Trosclair
Nuke Compositor: Aya Peard
Nuke Compositor: Rachel Keyte
Modeler: Diego Melgar
Modeler: Alex Rayes
Modeler: Tadao Masuyama
Modeler: Josh Elmore
Character Animation: Michael Cawood
Character Animation: Daniel Loeb
Character Animation: Matt Connelly
Character Animation: Shigeru Mizoi
Character Animation: Sei Sato
Rigger: Kiel Figgins
3D FX: Alvaro Segura
3D FX: Denis Gauthier
Music Edit/Sound Design: Chris Winston
Mixer: Chris Winston
Studio: ON Music & Sound
Artist: FatBoy Slim
Chief Executive Officer: Eric Hirshberg
Chief Marketing Officer: Tim Ellis
VP of Marketing: John Coyne
Director of Consumer Marketing: Hjalmar Hedman
LOGAN (www.logan.tv) is an award-winning New York and Los Angeles-based creative studio and production company specializing in groundbreaking content creation. Their team of producers, directors, creative directors, VFX artists, and animators excel at problem solving and helping clients bring their vision to life. Concepting, ideation, design, live-action production, 2D and 3D animation, VFX, editorial, and ?nishing take place under one roof, making work?ow a truly seamless experience.
Logan & Sons (www.loganandsons.com) acts as the live-action division of LOGAN and represents a broad spectrum of directorial talent.
Known for its iconic work for top brands, LOGAN helped create many memorable cultural moments, including commercial campaigns like the Apple’s iPod Silhouettes, viral hits like the Gymkana ?lms (over 165 million views), opening titles and sequences for ?lms like Zombieland, The Avengers, Premium Rush, and Gangster Squad, content and marketing campaigns for hit video games like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Call of Duty, Borderlands, Resistance, Metal Gear Solid, and many others.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure originated a new play pattern that seamlessly bridged physical and virtual worlds across multiple platforms and became the top-selling kids’ videogame of 2011. Skylanders Giants further evolved the genre in 2012 and added the mega-sized Giants and LightCore™ characters to the collection of interaction figures that have helped the franchise achieve more than $1 billion in worldwide retail sales, including accessories and figures, reaching the milestone faster than any other kids gaming property2. In addition, the franchise has secured significant licensing partnerships worldwide in every major category, offering fans new ways to enjoy the Skylanders brand. An award-winning franchise, most recently Skylanders Giants has been recognized by the esteemed Toy Industry Association as the recipient of the “e-Connected Toy of the Year” at the 13th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, as well as by Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) as winner of the “Family Game of the Year” at the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards. The next innovation in the “toys to life” category Skylanders SWAP Force is being developed by Vicarious Visions, an Activision studio, and will be available in fall 2013. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.skylanders.com.
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.
1 According to NPD, GfK Chart-track and Internal estimates
2 According to The NPD Group Data from October 2011 through December 2012, inclusive of accessory packs and figures