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Christmas Is Here

Ah, Christmas time.  The most storied and wonderful time of the year.  These are two stories that we were able to tell in varying ways, highlighting the fun and wonder of the Christmas season.

Explaining How

Christmas Cards Are Really Made

Deadlines, deadlines.  The most understood word in the known corporate world, and this story highlights how the creativity grinches come to take away that valuable time you had stored up for vacation.  In this tale of epicness the hero is tasked with saving the day in the best way he knows how... gamifying the creative process into a mashup of 2d beat'em ups and anime sequences within the battlefield of his mind.  

Defeating The

Creativity Grinches

This is really an ode to everything I love; storytelling, animation, music, games and comedy.  The tradition we had a Bit-Wizards annually was to concept original Christmas cards to thank all of our clients, families, and friends and us as co-workers would help pack the cheer into envelopes to send during a luncheon. Our marketing director at the time, Candace Mitchell & I wanted to amp it a bit while explaining how the work actually got done, showing the process behind it all.  Had a wonderful time thinking about how to get out the idea and involve some family cameos that will forever be memorialized.  


The Wizard Bells

This Christmas sing-along was developed almost on a whim.  We we're talking about how one of the years we spoke about our favorite Christmas memories, but this time it would be in the form of tragedy and comedy, not just positive experiences.  We had those that wanted to participate to write down their funniest Christmas memories, on flash cards.  I took them home to overview them and think about how to put them into carol form.  The task was a bit daunting at first but became such a fun challenge once the song was chosen and such a laugh.  

Together with a wonderful friend of mine, Chevon Corlew-Coleman, we sang all of the necessary choral parts; soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Calling upon my first media love (audio engineering and song writing), I mixed the audio down and began visually testing in After Effects how we'd show off the carolers.

The setup had to be simple as we didn't have the time or space to make happen what we should have. Using the old cloth green muslin I had, I set up the lighting in a way that could capture the mood and ensure a clean enough backdrop with as little bleed on the subject and designed the backgrounds and 3D wording in element3D (thank you, videocopilot).  Next came the task of explaining to those who volunteered how they should look on camera.


The Carolers

We printed the lyrics in a way that was readable for the lighting we did have, and broke up their actions by one or two liners.  If they couldn't memorize the wording, we turned to the tried and true hold the paper and sing method.  They needed to hear back the words, so I made sure the song was done enough for them to match how it was being sung as we captured the takes ala music video style.  The last piece of the puzzle was solved by our COO Louis Erickson and wife Tabitha, when he mentioned it was hard to piece together the wording and maybe we could set it up to have the words shown on screen so others could sing along.

It came across as effortless and airy as we could make it, and even won the Addy Award that year in Pensacola.  I'll never forget the times shared for this one, both with my co-workers and my mother and father who never had attended the award ceremony with me and saw us win.  It was the classic "it happened because of you" moment (and a way to poke some fun at the tragic memory of my dad locking me out of the house in my underwear because I didn't remember where my clothes were to teach a lesson). I'd hoped above anything else that the video would do its job of bringing joy to everyone's faces that night and can truly say you'll never hear another carol like this one.