Screen shot 2013-07-29 at 11.44.27 AMAtlanta, GA: Hadjo Media called upon Superlux to bring its talent for creating engaging, seductive visual stories to networking technology with a provocative brand message for the IBM-Juniper Alliance. The production company collaborated with the design/animation/VFX boutique to create ‘Mutualism On a Global Scale,’ a two-minute brand film that showcases their client’s innovative state-of-the-art networking solutions.
Tasked with crafting a message that was colorful, dynamic, and relevant to a diverse audience, Superlux, which has built a reputation for crafting bold moving images that intimately connect viewers and brands, was in its element.
“IBM-Juniper Alliance is a consortium of thinkers, engineers and global problem-solvers dedicated to building a Smarter Network,” says Mark Falls, co-owner and creative director of Superlux. “The more we thought about networking, the more we saw the interrelationships of the natural world. Taking our cues from the organic environment, we used images of nature to create a resonant organic backdrop juxtaposing the tale of a business category – and a dynamic partnership – that are truly symbiotic of the IBM-Juniper offering. The project began at the concept phase – with Superlux creating a variety of motifs and design languages and initiating a collaborative dialogue with the clients as their design and FX team focused on identifying and expanding upon the strongest visual solutions that most dynamically express the essence of the brand’s message.
“Our client, Hadjo Media, has done a lot of shooting and editorial work for IBM Digital Video Services (DVS) the Atlanta-based unit of IBM. DVS often calls upon outside creative companies for production and post services. Due to our strategic relationship with Hadjo, this job was a great fit for us,” says Falls.
The brief for this job was to tell the story of the alliance between two separate corporations, IBM and Juniper, a tangible entity that seeks to market itself as a distinct alternative to standard-issue networking solutions. The message, ‘Networking is evolving. It is business critical. Innovation is important,’ positions it as a unique alternative to traditional network solutions because it presents more effective and customizable options.
IBM’s teams were the primary target audience for this message, as they spec out network solutions as part of broader integrated software-hardware-personnel implementations. Because these groups are dynamically structured, with diverse missions, fluid personnel and a decentralized hierarchy - the message had to be crafted in a way that was relevant to a wide audience.
Falls, who helmed his team as they explored various approaches to translating their ideas into a complex and versatile graphic system, notes, “We did a lot of initial conceptual groundwork, and the one theme that stood out was the way networking mirrors natural ecosystems. Our approach was to overlay the technology aspect with nature imagery. We found a great quote from molecular biologist Lynn Margulis, which set the tone: “Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking.’ Once we came up with the central framework and the idea of juxtaposing nature footage with diagrammatic animation, we made a conscience effort to avoid buzz words in the messaging and steer the text towards more ‘natural’ language.”
Superlux initially created style frames for three concepts, presented them to the client, got their feedback, and then set about reimagining and recombining the elements they designed (which all made it into the finished product) for the various scenarios. Its team created the graphic representations of network architecture using a combination of 3D and 2D with plug-ins, and choreographed the text with the action as it unfolded in an organic blend of footage and animation.
“Hadjo principal and director, Rob Rogers, and producer, Steve Brooks, were very supportive of taking a strong conceptual approach and leading with visuals and animation, and gave a lot of latitude throughout the creative process,” says Falls. “The collaborative working relationship that Superlux has developed with them was key to the success of the project.”
“The budget required that we work with stock footage, so selecting and editing the footage, and giving images from a variety of sources a unifying color and look was an important component of the job,” adds Falls. “ Bringing the concept to life from such a variety of source material and original animation was a challenge.”
The 3D approach allowed the designers to finesse lighting and color to play though the graphics and imbue the footage with an ethereal feeling using a distinctively vibrant magenta-violet palette.
Superlux art director, Eric Carros, and designer, Stephen Delorme, also edited the footage, which allowed the company to seamlessly follow their distinct creative vision through the process of marrying the 3D and live footage.
“Having worked closely with Superlux on several projects over the years, we knew we could count on them to deliver quality work,” say Rogers. “They act as an extension of our company, seamlessly, and deliver on time and on budget.”
Superlux is all about bringing strong ideas to life with seductive motion, utilizing design as the unifying force that determines aesthetic, technique, and logistics,” says Falls. “The IBM/Juniper branding package gave us an opportunity to devise an agnostic execution of the integration of concept and technique. We were inspired by the process of interpreting a global client’s messaging, and proposing and executing a concise expression across multiple disciplines.”
About Superlux: Superlux is a one-stop creative resource dedicated to the moving image. Our passion is crafting seductive visual stories that intimately connect viewers and branded content. Our expertise runs the gamut, from creating spots, promos, ID’s, web content, broadcast media, shorts, feature films, digital signage, and point of purchase, to interactive media and mobile apps. A mix of projects, such as IBM Steel Story, AMA Montage, The Latin Grammy Awards, Nerf Sports, SEEBurger, Pergo, and Whole Foods, to name of a few, keep our perspective fresh.
Our team of multi-disciplined talent enjoys unrestricted collaboration, throughout the creative process. This dynamic promotes a cohesive vision at every phase of work - from conceptualization, through design, scripting, live-action production, directing and casting, to design, 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, editorial, compositing and effects. For more information about Superlux contact executive producer Loren Falls at 404.525.0700.
CREDITS: Type: Brand message film Product: IBM/Juniper Alliance Title: ‘Mutualism On a Global Scale’ (Length: 1:53)
CLIENT Hadjo Media/Atlanta Producer: Savage Bell Producer: Steve Brooks (Hadjo) Copywriter: Pam Shaouy
DESIGN COMPANY: Superlux/Atlanta Lead Designer: Mark Falls Designers: Eric Carros, Stephen DeLorme, Saif Kahm Equipment: Adobe Production Suite, Cinema 4D
VISUAL FX/ANIMATION COMPANY: Superlux/Atlanta VFX Artist: Stephen DeLorme Animator: Saif Kahn
EDITORIAL COMPANY: Superlux/Atlanta Editor: Stephen Delorme (Adobe Premiere)
COLOR GRADING COMPANY: Superlux Color Grader: Stephen DeLorme (Adobe After Effects) PRODUCTION COMPANY: Stock Footage AUDIO POST COMPANY: Superlux Mixer: Stephen DeLorme