For a new 30-second spot promoting KIIS-FM’s Rick Dees radio program and ClearChannel Radio, digital visual effects company 11:11 MediaWorks traded in their pixels for puppets. The company’s first stop motion animation project is a spoof of the Rankin & Bass style of animation immortalized in the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special.
Dees, who loves to play off pop culture in his advertising, appears as Santa. Joining him in puppet form are JoJo Wright, Gary Spears, and Valentine as Elves, Poorman as Yukon Cornelius, and Ellen K. as a sexy Mrs. Claus. The characters all join in on a parody of the song, Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, supplied by ClearChannel Radio.
Puppet designs were provided by a toy design and prototyping company that 11:11 MediaWorks had previously worked with on a line of toys for one of the Rankin & Bass Christmas specials. They were then sculpted, cast in resin and painted.
Working on a tight production schedule of only 14 days from receipt of audio track to delivery, 11:11 MediaWorks created 3D animatics for shot design and timing. In lieu of film, footage was shot with a digital still camera, which allowed camera moves to be done digitally rather than on set. Completed frames were dumped directly into the shop’s MacIntosh computers. Finishing touches included 2D snow effects, falling 3D dollar bills and dirt and hair added for that vintage film look.
The animated Rick Dees TV spot is running in heavy cable TV rotation this week, showing up on Animal Planet, BET, Bravo, Court TV, E!, Family Channel, FX, History Channel, Sci-Fi Channel, HGTV, History Channel, Travel Channel, MTV, and VH-1.
Client: ClearChannel Radio/KIIS-FM
Producer: Von Freeman
Director: Roger Nall
Lead Animator: Michael Walsh
Digital Animator: Richard Kratt
Macintosh G4 workstations
Olympus Camedia D-510 digital still camera
Sony DCR TRV-27 DV camcorder for reference video
FrameThief animation assistance software
Adobe After Effects compositing software
Cinema 4D-XL 3D software