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Charlex Helps COVERGIRL Turn 50

Charlex, coming off of the success of short-film


, has turned out another gem in a fiftieth anniversary spot for COVERGIRL. The :30, starring Queen Latifah, sets the radiant starlet against a gold-curtained backdrop, strutting and dancing about. Close-ups and wide shots of Latifah are interspersed with sparkling shots of COVERGIRL’s LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara, Outlast Lipcolor, and Clean Makeup products.

With instructions from the agency to create a Studio 54-inspired design theme that would mesh with H.S.I. Director Hype Williams’ on-set lighting/video walls and COVERGIRL’s golden 50-year anniversary, Charlex worked closely with all parties over a four-week period to enhance the production and create parts of the product shots. The studio created the LashBlast CG product in Maya, matched lighting and animation to the Outlast and Clean shots, did face and skin retouch on Queen Latifah in Flame, and added light flares, gold vignettes, and lighting effects to play up the theme and add energy between edits.

“Besides our extensive experience and love of beauty and fashion, we had the ability to handle the full spectrum of needs for the project: animated titles, skin and makeup retouching, and, most importantly, understanding the vision of Hype Williams and the agency’s creative team,” noted Charlex ECD Alex Weil. “And since we’ve worked with this creative team and on Queen Latifah COVERGIRL spots many times before, we were a natural choice for this project.”

Charlex also used Williams’ shots of the video walls with the projected COVERGIRL logo to create a cohesive design throughout the spot. “This was our first time working with Hype and it was a great experience. We knew his work from the numerous music videos he’s directed, so we were very excited to collaborate with him on this project,” noted Charlex Senior Producer Corey Budro.

One of the most challenging aspects of the project was creating and implementing the type. After giving the agency multiple animation options, Charlex settled on a simple version to counterbalance the spot’s frenetic energy. They then animated and lit the type in Cinema 4D and handled compositing in After Effects.

“The biggest challenge was to keep the animation-and-gold look exciting while maintaining readability of the type, both for the short amount of time it was on screen and with the various colored backdrops throughout,” continued Budro. “We had to maintain the delicate balance in keeping a beautiful gold feel to the type while making sure that it popped off the backgrounds and read.”

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Spot Title:

Queen 50th

Air Date: April 2011

Agency: Grey NY

Production Co.: H.S.I.

Director: Hype Williams

Post Prod. Co.: Charlex

Creative Director: Lloyd Alvarez

Senior Producer: Corey Budro

Designer: Jodi Tewillenger

Designer/Animator: Jose Fuentes

Smoke Editor(s): John Zawisha, Alan Neidorf

CG Animator: John Karian

CG Lighter: Will Atkins

Flame Retouch: Alan Neidorf, Burtis Scott

About Charlex

Charlex is a full-service creative studio based in New York City. We specialize in visual effects, animation, design and live-action. We’ve thrown fancy mission statements out the window and simply embrace versatility. Our motto is design and build. We can take any seed of an idea and bring it to life.

Making great work is the product of forging great relationships. Our team prides itself on fast, efficient work at the highest level of excellence. Our reputation is founded on a commitment to creating compelling imagery, regardless of the assignment. We are experts at building a seamless experience from concept to completion, from client brief to end result.

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