Blind Takes Sloth to Costa Rica

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NEW YORK, NY (October 17, 2011) - Costa Rica is home to five percent of the world's biodiversity, two oceans, friendly locals, and… talking sloths? Yes, at least one talking sloth, a character production company Blind brings to life in three new videos that promote

Costa Rica's Million Dollar Gift of Happiness


Created in partnership with Atlanta-based advertising agency 22squared, the trio of Gift of Happiness spots features the laidback spokesanimal hanging in front of iconic Costa Rican scenes - rainforests, mountains, and stunning local architecture - and delivering happy-go-lucky encomiums to his native land in a relaxed, surfer dude-style voice.

"We won the pitch on one of our initial animation tests, which used sound bites of a laidback Owen Wilson," noted Tom Koh, creative director, Blind. "Our focus was to create an iconic figure embodying the character profile 22squared had developed, and our specially developed 2D and 3D approach brought us the style and production efficiency we were looking for."

After 22squared drafted scripts for the three videos and created a profile of the sloth's character, Blind conducted an extensive character design of the sloth, focusing on maximizing the body and facial performance. Once the sloth's look was agreed upon, Blind went to work with Cinema4D, After Effects and Photoshop using stock footage and photography to bring to life a unique 2D and 3D animation style. They used lip-syncing freeware applications Papagayo and LipSync to convert audio into corresponding phoneme images in After Effects.

At their studio, Blind shot the team's artists acting out the sloth's performances to provide a reference for the subtle body gestures and nuances throughout his dialogue. After a two- to three-week grind handling front-end character development and CG on the first spot, Blind cranked through the second and third spots in a week and a half each; a one-week edit perfected the comedic timing and tone they had worked toward from the beginning.

"We pride ourselves on finding creative solutions to pretty much any issue, and this project was no exception," stated Koh. "Of course, it helps to have a great creative partner like 22squared."

The first two spots debuted online on October 6.

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Client: The Costa Rica Tourism Board

Campaign: Costa Rica's Million Dollar Gift of Happiness

Spot Titles:

Different Places, Introducing

Air Date: October 2011

Agency: 22squared

Chief Creative Officer: Scott Steinberg

Creative Directors: John Stapleton, Curt Mueller

Copywriters: Curt Mueller, Kevin Botfeld, Molly Crawford

Art Directors: John Stapleton, Stephen Bridges, Dustin Tamilio

Strategists: Brandon Murphy, Andrew Jones, Phil Heuring, Ashley Keetle, Christina Blanchard

Social Strategy: David Rollo, Christopher Tuff, Natalie Espinol

Producers: Robert Berris, Connie Newberry, Jodi Godwin

Editorial: Parker Davidson, Bryan Jameson

Production/Post Company: Blind

Creative Director: Tom Koh

Executive Producer: Dave Kleinman

Producers: Keith Bryant, Jamey Kitchens

Lead Animator: Michael Relth

3D Animators: Wesley Kandel, Chris O'Neill, Markus Madlangbayan, Calvin Prieto

2D Animator: Thomas Home

Designers: Wesley Kandel, Gregg Gunn

Editor: Sean U'Ren

About Blind

Blind, a multi-disciplinary design, motion graphics, animation, visual effects, live-action, editorial, print and broadcast design studio with offices in Santa Monica and NYC, taps into diverse intellectual and creative resources to come up with compelling results. Since 1995, Blind has been pushing beyond the expected, offering clients a new way to see with award-winning design. A few things remain constant amidst this design/production powerhouse's constant drive to reinvent itself: the abilities to engender surprise and produce projects from conception to reality.

Blind's creative team has built an uncommon level of respect in the advertising and entertainment communities via cutting-edge campaigns for brands such as Xbox, Showtime, Bright House Networks, DirecTV, OppenheimerFunds, McDonald's, Scion, and recording artists including Gnarls Barkley, The Raveonettes and Justin Timberlake to name a few. In 2010, Blind took home a Creative Arts Emmy for their work on The Raveonette's

Heart of Stone

music video, as well as a Gold London International Award and a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy for the stunning Dr. Martens motion graphics piece,

Lilac Wine


More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA)