MPC Creative’s director Jake Mengers just completed a pair of comical spots for Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light™ cat litter. Collaborating closely with Doner Detroit Creative team Randy Belcher and Rob Dey, producer Stuart Moutrie and MPC Creative’s Jeremy Smith, Mengers created a quirky world in which anthropomorphic animated cats use Fresh & Light™ cat litter to help one another and their owners through life.
MPC Creative handled all aspects of the production as a one stop solution – shooting live-action cats and humans – and postproduction, creating two photo-realistic cats in CG. To complete the complex task, MPC took advantage of its integrated facilities in London and New York, as well as their proprietary film creature pipeline.
Pass Out Cat
stars a pair of felines who each approach a litter box – one filled with Cat’s Pride’s® new blend, and another with stinky generic brand X. The unlucky critter approaching the unbranded box falls backward unconscious as the scent overwhelms him. His kitty companion, unfazed due to the scent-killing action of his Fresh & Light™ box, saunters to his friend’s side and revives him with CPR.
opens with a beleaguered cat owner lugging a bucket of litter home for her pet. To pay her back for her efforts, the feline lights candles, starts up music, lays her out on a massage table and delivers a rubbing, chopping, doozy of a massage. The good news, a narrator tells us, is that all this back pain can be avoided by switching to Cat’s Pride®, which is up to 25 percent lighter than traditional scoopable clay litter.
MPC Creative shot all live-action plates on a two-day shoot in London. To ensure the right actions and reference of the cats were achieved for postproduction – which focused on rigging, modeling, texturing and animating two fully CG photo-realistic cats under VFX supervisor Christopher Antoniou – two real cats were trained for four weeks under the same animal trainer that had worked on
“While this proved worthwhile in terms of getting the cat to do the necessary moves and key frames for the VFX team to animate from, the CG team had to match the lighting, texture and subtle changes of two real cats alongside the animated work in a seamless and coherent fashion,” noted MPC Creative Executive Producer Jeremy Smith. “We are really proud of the results.”
With the necessary frames in hand, MPC’s VFX Team set out to fully animate the cats. To accurately depict the cat’s comedic movements, it was important for the team to find the right balance between cat and human characteristics. The team took advantage of the resources readily available in-house and used the custom animation packages developed for film to animate and render the cats. MPC used its proprietary Furtility software, which enables amazingly detailed custom hair work, for grooming. The studio’s New York office finished the spot in Flame and delivered the final playout. Director of Color Grading Jean-Clement Soret carried out the color grade.
“We had an outstanding team with an incredibly developed set of proprietary tools that enabled a high level of creature work,” noted Director Jake Mengers. “This was held together by a seamless production and postproduction process. It was a pleasure working with Rob, Randy and Stuart and the rest of the team from Doner.”
The Cat’s Pride campaign was created by Doner with the television airing from 12th September 2011 in the US.
Client: Cat’s Pride
Kitty Massage, Pass Out
Air Date: September 2011
Advertising Agency: Doner, Detroit
Co-CEO, Chief Creative Officer: Rob Strasberg
Creatives: Randy Belcher, Rob Dey
Producer: Stuart Moutrie
Production Company: MPC Creative
Director: Jake Mengers
DOP: Simon Richards
Executive Producer: Jeremy Smith
Line Producer: Elizabeth Trustrum
Post Production Company: MPC
Producer: Paul Branch
VFX Supervisors: Christopher Antoniou, Fabio Zaveti
3D Production Manager: Stefano Salvini
VFX Artists: Ajai Verghese John, Andrea Falcone, Andrew Brooks, Anthony Bloor, Benjamin Syiem, Charlotte Tyson, Chrys Aldred, Dameon Boyle, Daniel Kmet, Dominic Edwards, Fabio Zaveti, Heather Goodenough, Inigo Vimal Roy, Jason Brown, Jason Ivimey, Robert Hesketh, Kunal Sarkar, Maurizio De Angelis, Megha Thakar, Neil Griffiths, Prashant Nair, Raju Ganesh S, Remi Cauzid
3D Editorial: Franck Matellini
Versioning: Alex Lovejoy, Louisa Cartwright
Telecine: Jean-Clement Soret
Editorial: Work Post
Editor: Rich Orrick
MPC is an award winning VFX and Digital studio servicing the advertising, motion picture and television industries. From its London, New York, Santa Monica, Vancouver, and Bangalore offices, MPC’s dynamic and diverse team delivers industry-defining VFX, animation, motion graphics, color grading, production, projection mapping, social and mobile application development, online advertising, data management, software R&D and pipeline development.
With a trio of integrated divisions, MPC utilizes a unified approach that drives the use of existing or newly created assets across the whole range of today’s media landscape. MPC Creative handles client projects directly with top-notch directing, CG animation and character design. MPC FX Studio is a dedicated corps of graphic and digital designers who bring clients’ visions to life. MPC Data Lab processes the content and makes it available for editing on demand. MPC is a Technicolor Company.
About Cat’s Pride ®:
Cat’s Pride is manufactured and marketed by Oil-Dri Corporation of America. Oil-Dri Corporation of America is the world’s largest manufacturer of cat litter. “Cat’s Pride” is a registered trademark of Oil-Dri Corporation of America. “Fresh & Light” is a trademark of Oil-Dri Corporation of America. For more information on Cat’s Pride cat litters, please visit us at Facebook.com/catspride
Based in Detroit, Doner is an independent agency with offices in the United States and London, serving clients including Chrysler Group LLC, Amazon.com, The Coca-Cola Company, ADT, DuPont, The Coleman Company, Shell Lubricants, AutoTrader.com, Cox Communications, The UPS Store, Wilson Tennis, Choice Hotels International, Chiquita and Avery Dennison. As a full-service, performance-driven agency, Doner focuses on creating ideas that change the destiny of brands through creativity. Please visit our website at
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