A nice thing happened recently. The second edition of The Fundamentals of Animation was published and our ‘Legends’ film for Pilsner Urquell was covered in some great detail in the book’s ‘Design as Concept’ section, together with a feature on the studio in general. Enormous thanks to Samantha Moore and Paul Wells for allowing us to be part of this. It’s one thing to be ploughing your furrow, often in the dark (metaphorically and literally) and so focused on the aims of the storyboard, that you don’t think you’re ever breaking any ground. Being interviewed by Sam and having the Legends project broken down in such granular detail made me realise that we did actually try a few new things. We’re genuinely honoured to be featured in such a staple industry publication.
Recently I found myself in the surprising but pleasant position of picking up a BAA award for Best Commercial in the Public Vote Category for the Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’ animation. After shambling on to the stage looking slightly stunned I was handed a beautiful paper sculpture of the BAA sheep atop a hill, all sealed inside a jar in a ship-in-a-bottle style, courtesy of artist/illustrator/animator/producer Yasmeen Ismail.
All the awards were hand made like this by other animators, illustrators and artists which was a really nice touch. Much better than a drop-forged metal gong on a teaky wooden base.
It’s a massive testament to the dedication and good humour of all the modellers, animators, compositors, assistants, technicians and tea-makers involved that we were able to keep going through the rough patches which were beyond our control (such as the excavation of the mains supply mid-build).
Just over 12 months after the completion of the Pilsner Urquell Legends animation, ‘The Day Pilsen Struck Gold’, the studio was commissioned to construct a special replica of the original book used in the film for an extended print campaign. Using the same materials (Indian hand-pressed parchment called Khadi) and similar model-making techniques as before, a single book was made to work for both portrait and landscape executions where narrow rivers or tributaries were carved into the pages by hand. In order to scale correctly with the glass, the book (in its open state) was 660mm high by 920mm wide.
The final images were used to illustrate the unique origins of the beer and the derivation of its name. The end results were welcomed as some of their simplest, yet most effective, imagery to date.