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It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Supercrate!

Categories: Design

Dec 07, 2011

Darren Pasdernick is a Creative Director at GES

How do you convey the journey an exhibit crate takes from warehouse to show floor? Seems like an impossible task, especially when the goal of this video is to educate your clients on the sheer amount of people, vehicles, forklifts, logistics and pizza it takes to get the job done on time. SnowSports Industries America (SIA) proposed the initial idea and together we produced an educational animated film documenting “The life of a crate” at a trade show.

Take three crazy animators with no concept of the word conservative, some high-end 3-D animation (a touch of Hollywood of course) and a sprinkle of whimsy with a side of voila and Supercrate was born. Illustrating the journey an exhibit crate goes through was an opportunity GES’ MarketWorks team jumped on. The vision was huge and we were just the guys to say “Heck yeah, of course we’ll help!”

Utilizing 3-D animation, motion graphics, voice overs, scriptwriting, sound design and music (all produced in-house at GES), we were able to create a four and a half minute cartoon that tells the story of Supercrate and his trusty sidekicks, Maggie and Sal. These are no ordinary, “run-of-the-mill” crates. These are content protecting, pizza eating, disco dancing, card playin’, “git yer stuff to the show on time or else” crates. There’s Fashionable Maggie, a jersey girl from the right side of the tracks, Supercrate (the dude wears a cape, ‘nuff said) and Sal the fun lovin’, pizza eatin’ machine who can bust a move like a bowl of jello (definitely had a lot of fun making these character if you haven’t noticed yet).

The three characters and a cast of forklifts, workers, tractor trailers and a pair of desert vultures were all modeled in 3-D animation software. We dressed them up with textures and staged them in a variety of locations including warehouses, marshaling yards, the Denver Convention Center, the back of a tractor trailer and an impromptu disco. After the script and storyboard were approved by the client, dialogue was recorded and over 8,000 frames of animation were created. Motion graphics were used to animate a few of the scenes when full 3-D was not needed. Then music was scored and the editing brought it all together.

I’ve been in this industry for more than 17 years and have never had as much fun on a project as I did creating Supercrate. The clients, both external (SIA) and internal (GES) were an absolute pleasure, and the production team is some of the most talented individuals I have ever worked with. Rumor is a sequel is in the works…  If we can just get Sal out of pizza rehab, suggestions?  To view the engaging and educational Supercrate video, click here.

How do you think creative works like Supercrate help clients understand a complicated process? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and tell us your opinion!

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  5. Six Lessons From The World Expo

By: Darren Pasdernick

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