CHICAGO – The principals of design-focused production studio Leviathan (
) are very proud to announce the debut of their collaborations with executives from integrated marketing communications agency Hoffman York in Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI). Two new :30 broadcast spots created by Leviathan recently began airing through targeted local cable, broadcast and online media placements, including “Science Rules!” which debuted this week. Both can now be seen online at
The beautiful spots dramatically present all the updated interactive exhibits from Chicago’s popular attraction, in stunning original HD visual content created entirely in-house at Leviathan, under the direction of Hoffman York’s creative team and MSI’s VP of Marketing and PR Rob Gallas, Director of Marketing Maureen Sak and Marketing Manager Jackie Schubert.
As part of its briefing, Hoffman York’s Executive Creative Director Michael Rivera, Creative Directors Tony Bonilla and Eric Oken, Art Director Colin Quinn, Senior Copywriter Andy Tillman and Senior Producer Lisa von Drehle presented Leviathan with a mockup print ad showing exaggerated versions of unique MSI exhibits extending out of the Earth in 3D.
“The updated exhibits at MSI truly are dynamic experiences, and we saw this new brand campaign as a great opportunity to get more people excited about what MSI is today,” Rivera explained. “We partnered with Leviathan to literally create a world that brought the exhibits to life as imaginatively as possible, and to say the least, we were very impressed by their contributions.”
Further discussions with MSI executives identified many types of media and information available to help represent exhibits including the Museum’s “Science Storms,” “Smart Home,” “U-505,” “YOU! The Experience,” and many others in the new campaign. After careful consideration, Leviathan’s Executive Creative Director Jason White, Creative Director Bradon Webb, and Executive Producer Chad Hutson proposed creating all the historical and archival content highlighting the exhibits completely in CG.
“We spent a lot of time at MSI interacting with the exhibits and observing how visitors engaged with them, which allowed us to conceive the best ways to expand those experiences outside the Museum’s walls,” said Hutson. “We knew it would be a daunting task to create so much in CG, but we were confident it would pay off. As we progressed, we were able to share some computer models with the agencyâ€™s print design partners at Giannini Creative, which helped in a lot of ways and kept the design consistent across every medium.”
“To address everyone’s concerns about how the content would look in the finished spots, a detailed pre-vis and animatic we created with the agency was extremely important,” Webb said, clarifying that Autodesk Maya was Leviathan’s main tool for creating its custom models and animation. “The Museum’s collection is very specific and unique, so most of the details had to be created by hand, using references from the actual exhibits. We assembled a fairly large modeling and surfacing team to tackle each detail of every model. The waves, rain and tornado were major challenges, and we assigned separate simulation teams for each piece. Our toolset spans most applications, so it was all pretty seamless.”
Webb continued, “We were all concerned about the globe scene, with all its detail, rocket blast from the shuttle, spray from the ship, cloth simulations, and tornado simulation, just to name a few… especially because the zoom-in required us to use high-resolution models. We used mental ray and RealFlow for the natural phenomena, and V-Ray to manage our renders, and through a really great team of artists, it all came together quite well.”
To showcase human interactions with MSIâ€™s interactive exhibits, Webb and White also led Leviathan’s crew in a meticulous green-screen production, where children and adults were photographed at play. While a Sony HDW-F900 CineAlta system recorded principal photography, a Canon 5D Mark II camera package captured footage the team used to re-create the exhibit’s video trace effect in post. To complete its post-production workflow, Leviathan’s digital artists exported diffuse, reflection, shadow, velocity, and matte passes, which ultimately were combined with the live-action plates in After Effects for color correction, grading and finishing.
“Since this amazing group of people invited us to help develop the â€œScience Rules!â€?campaign concept and design, we’re especially proud of the results, and feel it’s one of our best collaborations to date,” said White. “As a company, we’re also dedicated to innovation, and the spirit of MSI is what we’re really all about, so this was the perfect chance for us to collaborate with some of Chicago’s leading marketing executives, on behalf of one of our most important and exciting attractions.”
Hoffman York’s account team consists of SVP Client Services Mike Smith, Senior Account Executive Audrey Podor and Account Coordinator Catherine Guarnieri. Complete credits for both campaign spots are available upon request.
To learn more about the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, please visit
About Hoffman York
Hoffman York is a fully integrated marketing communications agency offering a full suite of services that include advertising, public relations and interactive. The agency has offices in Chicago and Milwaukee with $90 million in annualized billings. For more information about Hoffman York, visit
Leviathan is a design-focused production studio specializing in the creation of large-scale visual experiences across all media. The emerging studio’s leaders are champions of breakthrough design and branding who draw from experiences earned within the world’s leading digital agencies, production companies, VFX and motion studios. Also leveraging the talents of extraordinary storytellers, software developers, producers and artists, Leviathan develops cutting edge content that maximizes the greatest capabilities of today’s media platforms, from broadcast to experiential installations. Since launching in 2010, the studio’s collaborations with agencies, brands and leading filmmakers have resulted in sensational projects across all markets and industries. Further adding to Leviathan’s strengths, its shared resources and creative philosophies with digital creative agency eatdrink (
) add superior efficiencies in the development and delivery of original interactive content. To learn more about Leviathan, please visit
, or call executive producer Chad Hutson at +1.312.878.1500.