Charlex recently completed Projects, the third and final installment in a series of new spots for Doner and client Sherwin-Williams and their line of Krylon paint sprays. The spot's objective was twofold; first, show off Krylon's Projects in a Can website; next, illustrate that idea by transforming a beaten-up old mailbox into a series of artfully themed and created mailboxes.

To do this, the Charlex team cleverly turned the piece into a time-lapse sequence that follows a single mailbox over the course of some fifty years. "It was a great platform for us to use the Krylon product itself in different ways, and to challenge my art team to come up with a bunch of creative ideas for all the different mailboxes," explains Charlex Director Ryan Dunn.

While the first spot, Brand, featured stop-motion animation, and the second spot, Dual, utilized motion control, Dunn set out to unify all three spots in terms of technique. Dunn and his team built all of the mailboxes some-twenty in the end, practically, even though not all were used in the final edit. These were then taken outside and shot against blue-screen during a full-day shoot. The bulk of the work was then spent creating the ever-changing backgrounds that were composited behind the mailboxes.

To do this, Dunn first shot real references of a neighborhood and hired a matte painter to work with him on making it seem as if we travel through different eras with the mailbox by changing such elements as the road, sidewalk, the height of trees and shrubs and so forth. "There was a lot of detail work which really helped sell the whole concept," he adds.

The spot took a week of prep to design and build the mailboxes, and then four weeks of post-production to get all of the details right. "We shot the stills with an SLR camera, and spent most of our time in post using Photoshop to build the matte paintings," says Dunn. The compositing was done in After Effects, "and we also brought in a little bit of 3D for the end logo animation as well as the tree and the window reflections on the house," Dunn added.

Dunn also worked hard to bring visual cohesion to three very different scripts. "I tried to give them a DIY aesthetic," he notes. "This is time-lapse, but it also has a staccato feel to the film. There's a difference in subject matter, but also a continuity in spirit between all three spots."

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About Charlex
Charlex is a full-service creative studio based in New York City. We specialize in visual effects, animation, design and live-action. We've thrown fancy mission statements out the window and simply embrace versatility. Our motto is design and build. We can take any seed of an idea and bring it to life.

Making great work is the product of forging great relationships. Our team prides itself on fast, efficient work at the highest level of excellence. Our reputation is founded on a commitment to creating compelling imagery, regardless of the assignment. We are experts at building a seamless experience from concept to completion, from client brief to end result.

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Spot Name: Projects
Air Date: July 2011

Agency: Doner
Creative Director: Valerie Foley
Art Director: Natalie Bierl
Producer: Adam Simmons

Production Co.: Charlex
Director: Ryan Dunn
Director of Photography: Helder Sun
Senior Producer: Nicole Stevens
Live Action Producer: Lori Fechter
Stop-Motion Producer: Kelli Bixler
Stop-Motion Animator: Andrew Hodges
Lead Designer: Jungeon Kim
Additional Designer: Chisa Yagi
Lead Flame Artist: Marc Goldfine
Lead 2D Animator: Jose Fuentes
Lead Smoke Editor: Alan Neidorf
Lead Modeler: Alex Cheparev
Additional Modeler: Chin Lee
Lead 3D Animator: Tony Tabtong
Lead Lighter: Frank Grecco
Additional Lighter: John Volny
Executive Producer: Meredith Machial

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TRUST TRUST is a communications company specializing in partnerships with agencies, tech cos, startups, content studios and other small to mid-sized brands.

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