Christmas gets more expensive every year, so Deutsch Inc.team to help communicate that reality through an innovative and light-hearted holiday-driven web video for PNC Wealth Management. The company presented this year’s Christmas Price Index in an animation/live action video that relays the cost of the gifts listed in the holiday song, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ in a whimsical and upbeat way. The three-and-a-half minute video, entitled
was created for PNC’s dedicated website,
, and is currently enjoying a flood of hits.
The creatives at Deutsch came up with a charming concept, and then called upon the team at Dancing Diablo to bring it to life - from animation through postproduction. The DUMBO-based studio designed and created the animation elements. Their team also fabricated the sets, directed and produced the live-action segments, scouted locations, and edited and composited the job.
PNC’s animation/live action presentation of the 2009 Christmas Price Index offers a delightful mix of entertainment and reality, bedding hard facts in visually captivating imagery. Deutsch decided to integrate the look of the video into their interactive website.
The video begins with simulated red curtains that open to reveal the delightful three-act video on a proscenium stage, as PNC Wealth Management executive vice president, Jim Dunigan, introduces the piece and narrates the pricing as the song plays in the background.
Act 1 reveals a snowy landscape populated by costumed elementary school kids. A partridge unfurls a scroll showing his price decrease, a turtle dove takes wing and flies over the set, a French hen brandishes a baguette to draw her price tag in the air and a calling bird plays a stylized horn that spills out numbers instead of notes.
In a mountainous locale Act 2 finds a girl wearing a pricey golden ring around her waist, a goose hatching numbers and eggs in her nest, a swan swimming in choppy waters and a milkmaid dancing with a cow.
Act 3 concludes in a village where a lady dancing does a graceful pirouette, a lord with a too-big crown leaps so hard that he boing-boings off the set, a piper produces numbers along with sweet musical notes and a drummer boom-booms a finale.
“The client’s original concept called for the prices to be detailed within a school play with us ‘puppeting’ the children after they were shot,”? recalls Dancing Diablo founder Beatriz Ramos who directed the live action. “But after some experimentation we realized that it would be more effective to shoot the kids as if they were acting in the play, and then create various animated elements to add a dimension of magic to the piece.”?
The Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, Brooklyn provided the perfect location for Ramos who shot all the live action of the children in the roles of the gifts against green screen. Dancing Diablo taped the live-action using a RED camera.
“Finding both the right location and the perfect cast of kids was a challenge,”? she reports. “And making 14 costumes for kids we hadn’t cast yet - and whose sizes we didn’t know - was also something of a design challenge.”?
“We felt strongly that the web video needed to have a ‘homemade’ look to it, while maintaining a cohesive artistic style that made it interesting to view,”? adds Ramos. “ So we created all of the props and set pieces used by the kids in a skewed or oversized scale in cardboard, and built miniaturized sets to composite the kids into later on in the postproduction process.”?
The hyperactive numbers, which dynamically chart each gift’s price rise or decline, were created in CGI, and then given the look of cardboard so they would seamlessly blend with the rest of the piece. The live action was then edited in Final Cut Pro, and animated elements were composited with After Effects to bring the Christmas Price Index’s magical tale to life.
Eve Kornblum, Deutsch’s EVP, co-director of broadcast production, notes, “When this project came across my desk, I knew Beatriz and her team at Dancing Diablo would make magic out of it. Everything they touch has an artistic and incredibly unique quality to it. Even with the production headaches of no time, the need for a live action shoot (with kids!!) and extensive animation, they took on this job and made it soar. They are problem solvers and artists of the highest order.”?
Dancing Diablo is a full-service traditional animation, design and CGI studio headquartered in New York with a collaborative sister studio based in Caracas. Its world-class teams of artists share a commitment to maximizing the effectiveness of commercials with an innovative and evocative approach to translating their messages into compelling visual imagery. For additional information Dancing Diablo’s NY studio can be reached at 718.243.0103, or visit
. Beatriz Ramos can be contacted at
Regional Rep Contact Info: East Coast & Mid West Rep Laura Zinn (212 741.0909/
) West Coast & Texas Reps, Finn & Saxon’s Rachel Finn and Mary Saxon (318.317.4449/
Client/Product: PNC Wealth Management; Category: Web spot/new media
Ad Agency: Deutsch/NY: EVP, Co-Director of Broadcast Production: Eve Kornblum, SVP, Group Creative Director; Jeremy Bernstein Art Director, ACD: Steve Emry, ACD, Copywriter: Cindy Kridle, Art Director: Zhanna Chausovskaya.
Production Co: Dancing Diablo/NY: Director/Live Action: Beatriz Ramos, Assistant Director: Ryan Dearth, DP: Piero Basso, Producer: Michael Eder. Art Director: Miguel Villalobos.
Artists/Fabricators: Dancing Diablo/NY: Nathalia Murray, Cara Alpert, Jason Villegas, Demetrius Felder.
Editorial/Postproduction Company: Dancing Diablo/Caracas: Director of Post Production, Jose Antonio Ojea, Producer: Marjoury Portal.
VFX/Animation company: Dancing Diablo/ Caracas: Animators: Jorge Vigas, Oscar Rodriguez, Valentina Riascos.
Music: Analogue Muse: Composers: Jeremy Turney and Alan Zan