March 1, 2015

Disney Citizenship asked if we could help them with a video that could be used for all Disney employees to learn about how they could be more environmentally conscious.  Dave Alden at Disney wasn't sure where to start, he just knew that he needed a video that would communicate this message.  We were excited to start on this project from the very beginning and help develop the concept and script, working with the client to figure out the best way to tell this story.  We love when we get to build something from nothing with our clients, when there's no preset style or script in place, and we get to problem solve and discover what is best for this particular purpose.
We wanted to get into concept designs early on to get a feeling for where Disney would be comfortable and what felt right.  Pedro Vergani put together some incredible style frames for us to review with the client; we knew this was going to be fun when  the client reacted with such enthusiasm for the style!

"We love when we get to build something from nothing with our clients, when there's no preset style or script in place, and we get to problem solve and discover what is best for this particular purpose."

Zachary Shore in the recording studio

As we were storyboarding the sequences and building an animatic, we needed to record scratch VO to work with.  One of our animators, Zach Shore, is great at character voices, so we used him for the scratch track.  Well, I think we all got so used to working with it, and since it really did work well, when it came time for casting, we decided to go with Zach for the final read!  We got him in the recording studio and let him go to work - and an amazing job he did.

With the designs in place and our animatic timed out, we animated the characters for each scene with a traditional 2D approach, but using ToonBoom Harmony as opposed to pencil and paper.  Our animators had such fun with these simple characters and worked to push them and get a classic cartoony feel in their actions. 
When the video was finalized we delivered it to Disney and it's gone on to be viewed by every Disney employee that starts at the company as part of orientation.  Whether they're at the Disney Studios, the theme parks, the Disney Cruises, or in a corporate office, we hear from time to time that all new DIsney employees are enjoying Zach's voice as they're encouraged to be more environmentally friendly.

by Brian Covalt

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