New Spots: Hermès by Julien Vallée and Honda by Smith & Foulkes

The following two spots attracted my attention for the inventive ways in which they mixed live-action with animation: “Metamorphosis” for Hermès, directed by Julien Vallée of Vallée Duhamel, and “Inner Beauty” for Honda, directed by the venerable production team of Smith & Foulkes through Nexus Productions.

Though Vallée’s Hermès spot lists an animator in the credits, its ‘making of’ video makes clear that most of it was shot in real-time live-action. Curiously, the effect still resembles animation timing. The techniques behind the Honda piece by Smith & Foukes are even more difficult to parse. It is a mix of stop motion, live-action, and CGI, seamlessly combined in novel fashion. Plenty of technical wizardry was involved in putting the Honda ad together, which makes its organic, hand-made feel all the more remarkable.

Making of

Client : Hermès Paris
Agencies : Digitas France / Publicis Et Nous
Production Company: Vallée Duhamel
Director: Julien Vallée
Art Directors: Carolyne De Bellefeuille / Eve Duhamel
Art Department: Olivier Charland / Jean-Constant Guigue / Frédéric Blouin / Ian Langohr / Clément Yeh
Assistant Director: Pierre-Olivier Nantel
Animator: Pascal Brousseau
Director of Photography: Simon Duhamel
Assistant D.O.P: Marc-André Dubois
Assistant D.O.P.: Pierre-Luc Bouchard
Camera Assistant: Dan Duranleau
Gaffer: Jean-Simon Laflamme
Compositing, post production & grade : The Workshop
Music & Sound Design : Loïc Ouaret

Making of

Client: Honda Europe
Agency: W+K LONDON
Creative Director/copywriter/art director: Scott Dungate
Production Company: Nexus
Director: Smith & Foulkes
Executive Producer: Tracey Cooper
Director of Photography: Mark Patten
Editorial Company: Trim
Editor: Paul Hardcastle
VFX Company: Time Based Arts
VFX Supervisor: Mike Skrgatic
Flame Artist: Sheldon Gardner
VFX Producer: Chris Aliano
Lead Flame: Mike Skrgatic, Sheldon Gardner
Flame: James Allen, Luke Todd, Stephen Grasso
Flare / Nuke: Matt Shires, Toya Drechsler
Nuke: Leandro Vazquez, Andre Dias, Ralph Briscoe, Ewan Callister, Sabrina Rivolta
Design/Illustration: Joe Prince
Smoke: Mike Aveling
3D: James Mann, Ben Cantor, Graeme Turnbull, Chris Wood, Mike Battcock, Poul Resen Steenstrup, Toby Winder, Stuart Turnbull
Line Production (Time Based Arts): Chris Aliano
Music+Sound Company: Factory
Sound Designer: Anthony Moore & Tom Joyce
Mix Company: Factory
Mixer: Anthony Moore & Tom Joyce