There are few things more aggravating than when ad agencies and art directors troll the Internet for innovative animation techniques that they then pilfer wholesale without rewarding (or even acknowledging) the original creator. Technically, there’s nothing illegal about such behavior, but the fact that these deep-pocketed firms often take ideas from the most vulnerable people in the community–students and independent filmmakers–shows an awareness of their unscrupulous actions. This sort of thing unfortunately happens over and over again, two of the more recent examples being the cases of Javan Ivey and Takeuchi Taijin’s short A Wolf Loves Pork.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s Geneva office has proven that it doesn’t need to be that way and that agencies can collaborate respectfully with student filmmakers. They did just that for their recent “Africa is Moving” HIV/AIDS spot, which is posted above.
First, a little background: last March, we posted Cyclotrope, a film by British animation student Tim Wheatley. Many other sites posted it too and the film went viral within twenty-four hours of appearing on-line.
When the creative team at Saatchi & Saatchi decided to create their AIDS spot using Wheatley’s animation style, they brought Tim, a first-year student, on board to work on the commercial. Andy Wyatt, the head of the animation department at University College of Falmouth where Tim studies, filled in more of the details:
Once Saatchi and Saatchi’s creative team Frederic Doms and Frederic Bry devised a script, they worked closely with Tim as animation consultant to develop the animations that would communicate the messages. Subsequently, Fred Doms and Tim Wheatley travelled to Cape Town to produce the film with South African production company 7Films and their new director called Wednesday at the helm.
“It just shows the power of the Internet,” said Wheatley. “We are encouraged to put our coursework online and in my case it lead to a fully paid trip to Cape Town to work with some of the world’s leading media professionals. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience.”
A making-of video for the commercial by Tim Wheatley and commercial credits after the jump:
Client: United Nations
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Geneva
Chief Creative Officers: John Pallant & Derek Green
Creative Director: Leon Jacobs
Writer: Fréderic Bry
Art Director: Fréderic Doms
Production Company: 7Films, Cape Town
Producers: Jason Plumbly, Lourens van Rensburg, Ben Kaufmann
Animation consultant: Tim Wheatley (Cyclotrope)