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Artistic Image Reels In A Telly Award With A Live-Action/FX-Driven Spot For TroKar Fishhook

Atlanta, Ga.: When Denver-based 5 Stone Advertising set out to introduce a radical new bass fishhook for its, client Lazer TroKar, a division of the Wright & McGill Co., they called upon

Artistic Image

(AI) to visualize the concept and take the

TroKar campaign

from production to completion. The campaign, which garnered a 2010 bronze Telly Award in the category for Sports/Sporting Goods/Games, includes a broadcast commercial, four web spots and a two-minute documentary-style video, features some of the world’s top professional bass fishermen portrayed in a dark, neo noir-style reminiscent of the movie “The Dark Knight� and other comic book and video game heroes. The look transforms these pros into larger than life fishermen who use a hook that is so unbelievably sharp that they can dominate anything on their way to the podium.

“There’s an ocean of products targeting fishing enthusiasts out there, so we had to find an innovative and original way to convey that TroKar had developed a product that took bass fishing to a new level,� said AI co-founder, director/editor Ken Soons. “A spot with smiling, happy people fishing at sunrise wasn’t going to bring home their message. So we developed a gritty, realistic look that showcases world-class anglers Skeet Reese, Brent Chapman, Gerald ‘G-Man’ Swindle and Shaw Grigsby at the top of their game.�

In the world of tournament bass fishing a few ounces can be the difference between winning and losing. Young (18-34 yr. old), aggressive, competitive anglers are always looking for an edge. Lazer TroKar, a division of Wright & McGill Co, has created a hook that’s twice as sharp as anything on the market. A sharper hook means putting more fish in the boat.

“Because the hook is so revolutionary, the approach to the campaign had to break with the typical “grip-and-grin� imagery usually seen,� notes Mike Weed, creative director for the project. “From logo to ads, the campaign positions the TroKar hook as a the ultimate choice for people who aren’t out to simply catch fish but are out to win.�

For the highly stylized campaign, Soons shot the champion bass fishermen, who are Lazer TroKar’s chief spokesmen, in power boats against a green screen stage, simulating the movement of rough waters, and some establishing shots of rivers and lakes. The director positioning his camera under the waterline shooting upward to capture the intensity of these skilled sportsmen as they fight to reel in the majestic giant bass. In one climactic scene, the camera peers up at Skeet Reese, the 2009 Bassmaster Classic World Champion, as he raises his arms above his head in triumph to show off two trophy bass.

This is just the kind of assignment we love,� adds Soons. “Coming up with a concept and then seeing that vision realized in a final product that wows the client is the coolest part of the job. One of the most challenging aspects of the project was the tight deadline,� Soons adds. “We shot a 30-second spot and four 15-second spots plus a pair of two-minute documentary style videos — all in two days.�

To dramatically showcase the revolutionary hook, Dye created a steely-blue grid backdrop for the product in After Effects and animated a close-up as it rotates to illustrating sharpness. In another scene, one of the fishermen appears to hold the hook up to the camera. Actually, he was empty-handed. Dye rotoscoped the real hook, encased it in a steel blue glow and layered it into the fisherman’s fingers. Maya was used to create remarkably realistic animation of the Bass and dramatic still frames of each fisherman. Also a skilled editor, Soons roughed out and finished the spots and video. During the final step of editing process he took the color out of the selects, leaving high-contrast black and white live scenes.

Ed Dye also directed series of still photographs for TroKar’s print campaign. Building upon 5 Stone Advertising’s concept, creative director Mike Weed collaborated closely with AI designer Ed Dye to develop the look of the print ads, which was maintained throughout the entire campaign.

“The process began with Mike and I selecting a few comic-style live-action movie posters for the agency to review. The client selected the ones they liked and then – using them as inspiration – I created several style frames to help us find right look for TroKar,â€? notes Dye.

Dye then directed a still shoot on the lake rotating in the pro fishermen to get individual establishing shots, while Ken Soons directed the of live-action shots for the still composites and plates. Soons shot the live-action against green screen, while Dye directed the still photography of the pros against black background. Both directors used the same studio, using the two stages for live and still sets with similar light set up’s. DP Lou Chantry and the still photographer Brad Kaye also worked in sync with each other, sharing notes to ensure that the still ads and commercials were a perfect match.

“After the shoot, while getting the edit approved, I worked on the final versions of the stills, taking the look we established for the style frames and refining it with color correction, effects and composites, and then recreating it with the motion composites,� states Dye.

“Having the opportunity to work on TroKar’s print campaign, allowed AI to hone and tweak the distinct look of the campaign in a malleable medium, refining it even further after the high res photos were shot,� adds Dye. “The end result is a fresh, innovate print campaign with a distinct style and look which carries through to the award-winning web spot, TV commercial and documentary video that followed.�

AI’s roots are in the print arena, and its artists’ expertise in this design-driven medium was key to the company’s seamless transition into motion-based work when they launched production and visual effects departments dedicated to bringing their design aesthetic to commercials, promos and broadcast work.

�AI exceeded my expectations for the Lazer TroKar campaign, “ says CD Mike Weed. “The campaign concept was ambitious from the start because of time, scope and budget. Ken and Ed understood the idea very quickly and created a strong look that has received a lot of attention within the fishing industry but more importantly with competitive fishermen.�

Artistic Image (Atlanta) is a world-class creative resource where a collective of innovative A-list live-action directors, producers, designers, animators, CGI artists, illustrators, editors, compositors, modelers and finishers take each job from concept to fruition as a collaborative team. Dedicated to the advertising arena, this hybrid company takes a design-driven approach to crafting high-end TV commercials, virals and broadcast design in a nimble, open-architecture creative environment that provides seamless workflow and premiere client services. For additional information please visit:

, or contact Michael Zarrillo at 404.815.1550.

PRODUCT: Lazer TroKar Hooks. CATEGORIES: One :30 TV commercial, four :15 Web Spot, two 2-minute documentary style videos, print campaign

AD AGENCY: 5 Stone Advertising/Denver – 5 Stone Principal/Account Director: Doug Long, CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Mike Weed, ART DIRECTOR: Mike Weed, COPYWRITER: Joe Clipner, Mike Weed.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Artistic Image/Atlanta – DIRECTOR: Ken Soons, DP: Lou Chantry.
EDITORIAL/POST PRODUCTION CO: Artistic Image/Atlanta – EDITOR: Ken Soons.
AUDIO POST COMPANY: Command Productions/Sausalito, CA – MIXER: Rob Dickson.