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UN World - PSA (2010)

The 38th annual United Nations World Environment Day, on Saturday, June 5th, was highlighted by an event which took place in Rwanda City, Rwanda the same day. Nice Shoes helped spread the word about the global event with design, VFX and color-grading work on an upbeat PSA. Collaborating once again with director Bobby Sheehan of Working Pictures on this direct-to-client project, Nice Shoes CD Aron Baxter and Design Director Jay Sienkwicz acted as co- creative leads for the design and visual effects, while Jim Collins provided 3D artistry and Ron Sudul handled color grading.

The spot is a montage of citizens and celebrities - including Gisele Bündchen - of a wide array of races and ethnicities. Standing before a vibrant, ever-shifting watercolor backdrop replete with naturalist imagery animated in CG and inspired by the World Environment Day logo, the speakers vow to care for the earth using a variation of the standard wedding-altar script that couples use to exchange vows. Holding recycled bags, reusable bottles, bicycles, high-efficiency light bulbs, tiny frogs, and more, the speakers continue one another's sentences to express their unity in taking small but significant actions to better the earth. The spot ends with a shot of Bündchen balancing a spinning animated earth in the palm of her hand.

"We tested several water color and water tank treatments to arrive at the perfect splotchy look, which we then shot and utilized in compositing for the final backgrounds," noted Sienkwicz. "To achieve the final look, we comped the CG, performance footage, and live action watercolor elements together, creating a spot that has great synergy with the World Environment Day logo."

Nice Shoes involvement began in the project's earliest phases, when they were given a loose script which they then evolved into a cohesive collection of storyboards for Sheehan and the UN producer's review. Baxter and Sienkwicz, who were offered creative flexibility to design the overall visual direction of the spot, decided the best solution was to shoot watercolor elements rather than create them digitally. 3D Artist, Jim Collins and Sienkwicz shot elements on the Panasonic P2 which were integrated into the design of the piece, leading to the eventual output of English and international versions for multiple formats. The spots will air on TV around the world, on the Internet, and on handheld devices.

"We had to adapt this so it could play in as many countries as possible, to really build awareness for this important day," noted Baxter. "We've worked with Bobby on several previous projects, so that experience helped ensure a smooth working relationship from the start. He afforded us great flexibility, giving us a chance to really show what we're capable of in both the production and design realms."

Read more:

Client: UN World
Spots Title: PSA
Air Date: June 2010

Prod Company: Working Pictures
Director: Bobby Sheehan
Editor: Michael Caso
Executive Producer: Sara Sheehan

Telecine: Nice Shoes
Colorist: Ron Sudul
Executive Producer: Pat Portela

Design/Visual Effects: Nice Shoes
CD: Aron Baxter
Design Director: Jay Sienkwicz
VFX Artist: Bryan Rosenblum
Designer: Kristin Koch
3D Artist: Jim Collins
Executive Producer: Maribeth Phillips
Producer: Katie Boote

Composer: John Peterson

Shoot Location: Los Angeles, CA /New York, NY

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