MTV

ART OF M

Towards the end of 2016 MTV decided to commission a whole new series of their infamous idents that highlight the channel logo. As usual, the only brief was that the videos had to close on the logo and had to be not longer than 10 seconds. Oh, and no nudity and graphic stuff and all those things that lawyers despise. Everything else was up to me. What do you do when you have complete creative freedom? I don’t know about other people, but I instantly thought about some of my bucket list ideas that I always had in my notebook but never had the chance to turn into reality. So I skimmed through my sketchbooks and picked some of my all time favorite ideas, and pitched them to MTV. It was a joy when I heard they wanted to go with them, with absolutely zero adjustments on their part.

Director: Lorenzo Fonda
Production company: Ghost Robot
Executive producers: Mark Depace, Zach Mortensen
Agency: MTV
Creative director: Andrei Chaine
MTV producer: Jessica Borovay
Line producer: Sarah Nadeau
Story: Lorenzo Fonda
Character design, animation: Lorenzo Fonda
Sound design: Lorenzo Fonda
Music: Ben Selvin – Love your spell is everywhere

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MERMAID

This concept came from a drawing I made many years ago on a sketchbook. I always had wanted to try evolve it into a cinematic piece, but never had a chance until this project came.

PRODUCTION NOTES

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The original sketch. I decided to remove the submarine with the voyeuristic creatures in it because that would have extended the story to a length that I didn’t have the time to cover.

Quick storyboard.

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The initial characters design. MTV said no nudity so I had to make sure her breasts wouldn’t show in the shots.

I used Photoshop to animate. It was my first time and I enjoyed so much to finally having the possibility of using any kind of brushes I wanted.

Midway through the animation process my old-ish home computer started to take very long to render every frame in real time, so I moved to the Ghost Robot office and used their Death Start computer that also has a monitor that is as wide as the whole desk.

Director: Lorenzo Fonda
Production company: Ghost Robot
Executive producers: Mark Depace, Zach Mortensen
Agency: MTV
Creative director: Andrei Chaine
MTV producer: Jessica Borovay
Line producer: Sarah Nadeau
Production design: Mathery Studio
Cinematography: Albert Salas
Actress: Amber Schaefer
VFX: Stefano Villani
Music: Velvet Ears – Farewell

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ICE CREAM

This concept came from an idea I had about a series of vignettes where people get dangerously close to harmful household items. I singled out the ice cream/fan combination because I felt it communicates a sense of empowerment, recklessness and hubris which are all qualities I enjoy. I’d like to thank in particular Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli of Mathery Studio for embarking on this quick but intense journey whose outcome was completely unknown to any of us.

PRODUCTION NOTES

This is a pretty self-explanatory sketch of the VFX concept. It basically relied on masking two separate shots and then seamlessly composing them together. No talent was harmed during the production of this video, as you probably figured by now. 

First of all we did a test, because even if the effect concept was very simple we had no idea if it would actually work in practicality. So we tried different types of ice creams and whipped cream and other slimy things, to see what would be slashed in the most convenient way by the fan. 

Since the ice cream on the rig had to move towards the fan to be progressively slashed away, we just placed the C-stand that was holding the cone on a wheeled platform, and pulled it slowly by hand during the shot, towards the fan. 

Matteo and Erika from Mathery Studio carefully replacing new ice cream on the cone every 3.5 seconds or so, because the ice cream kept not cooperating.  

Director: Lorenzo Fonda
Production company: Ghost Robot
Executive producers: Mark Depace, Zach Mortensen
Agency: MTV
Creative director: Andrei Chaine
MTV producer: Jessica Borovay
Line producer: Sarah Nadeau
Animation studio: Blu
Producer @ Blu: Patricio Bluna
Art director/animator @ Blu: Ariel M. Yamus
Sound design: Luke Allen @ Silversound

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BULL

This concept came from a little instagram experiment I did where on each post I would put a frame out of some sort of storyboard, and if you scrolled quickly you would get some sense of animation. I know, I was bored and unemployed at the time.

PRODUCTION NOTES

Here’s the original experiment.

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We redesigned the torero to adapt him to the 3D approach. 

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Because I felt I wanted a feeling of hammering trippy anxiety after the red drape is lifted, decided that the bull would find himself in a world of cuckoo clocks flying and tweeting like maniacs all around him.  

Here’s a first animatic that Ariel from Blu did. 

First CG pass on the animatic.

Doing sound while still working on animation, as tight deliveries sometime require. 

Director: Lorenzo Fonda
Production company: Ghost Robot
Executive producers: Mark Depace, Zach Mortensen
Agency: MTV
Creative director: Andrei Chaine
MTV producer: Jessica Borovay
Line producer: Sarah Nadeau
Production design: Mathery Studio
Cinematography: Albert Salas
VFX: Stefano Villani
Music: Beethoven – Ode to Joy
Vocals: Sarah Nadeau

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SEX DOLLS

This concept came from my love of things slowly and graciously floating in space.

PRODUCTION NOTES

First of all, we bought some sex dolls. 

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Then we bought telescopic poles to hold up the dolls. Our producer was worried that we would attract too much attention while walking with twelve sex dolls on our backs to the location, so we tried covering them with trash bags. Didn’t work. 

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Then I painted a little flesh camouflage MTV logo that we would shoot on green screen. 

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Then we merrily walked to the location, holding up our dolls.

Then everyone ran backwards holding up a couple dolls each, letting them float randomly mid air. 

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Me kinda trying to orchestrate a massively improvised choreographing a very unfriendly environment. 

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