J.J. Sedelmaier Animates Spike Lee Spot

New York-based J. J. Sedelmaier Prods., best known for its animation work on past seasons of Saturday Night Live, recently created some cartoon chaos for famed director Spike Lee and State Farm Insurance.

Titled "Borrow," the spot opens on a guy in his apartment watching TV when his buddies come in and ask if they can use his car. He’s about to say yes when worst-case scenarios pop into his head and play out as a cartoon on his TV.

The animated sequence within the spot runs only eight seconds, but Sedelmaier says his animators managed to pack in an entire cartoon show’s worth of calamities. "We were looking for a cross between a Starsky & Hutch and Dukes of Hazzard cartoon show with a certain stiffness and dumbness," he explains.

A helicopter POV shows the buddies executing an urban stock car-style pass. They then drive through a brick wall, fly up beyond the stratosphere and plop down safely in a desert.

The live-action portions were directed by Spike DDB agency principal Spike Lee, who’s most recent feature, She Hate Me, opened last Friday and features a short animated sequence that takes a humorous look inside the reproductive process.

Sedelmaier served as director/producer for J. J. Sedelmaier Prods. He also designed the spot with staff animator Dave Lovelace, who handled the character animation. Car animation was provided by Dan Madia with Photoshop backgrounds by studio artist Andrea Gonzalez.

The spot was produced by Lee’s production company, 40 Acres & a Mule, with Butch Robinson exec producing. Creative director Desmond Hall oversaw the project for Spike DDB.