Armed with scalpels, scissors, crazy glue, building blocks, straws, and card Trunk has created decades of office technology in a matter of days for their latest short.
Technology giant Cisco has a wide range of services that can benefit small businesses. Yet, when your name alone can be daunting due to your scale, explaining how your secure networking, telecommunications and cloud security can help a business grow is a challenge. So how do you connect to small and medium businesses when you are one of the world’s largest tech firms? The answer was provided by MRM Meteorite and delivered by Trunk animation.
MRM chose to explain the tech giant’s services by telling the story of a company’s growth around the setting of a desk, something very relatable to all of us, as it seems we spend 90% of the time sitting in front of one! This warm approach also needed an animation style that was equally engaging and what better medium than using beautifully hand crafted miniature models. Having seen the work created by Trunk for the Paediatric Brain Tumour Foundation MRM meteorite bought them in to realise their vision.
The shorts action centres on an office desk, lovingly made by retired boat builder Dave Perrin, which evolves over the decades as new technology comes and goes. We see a typewriter replaced with a series of computers, then phones and fax machines flick through different models, and even the staff in the company photos grow over time. In total nearly a hundred props were made by Trunk’s 3D model makers, Jock Mooney, Layla Atkinson, John Harmer and Adrian Leak as well as brilliant intern Stephanie Martin. Layla designed the whole set to spin as each period of time changed, so as the business grows, we get a fleeting glimpse of the buildings outside, before re-entering in a new decade, driving the story on.
DOP maestro Pete Ellmore beautifully lit the tiny set to ensure that all the textures and personality of the props were captured. He also altered the lighting over the shoot, bathing the set in morning, afternoon and evening light to reiterate that passing of time. Animator John Harmer painstakingly moved and replaced each element to create the fantastic time-lapse effect, whilst Rok Predin built additional CG elements to weave in alongside the hand built models. Overall the piece has a wide range of textures and materials, which reflect Layla’s short film ‘Aftermath’, and which allows the film to have a sense of place, and a relatable feel.
Composer Ivan Arnold built on the theme of ‘retro to contemporary’, by composing a track that in a way feels timeless, with a mix of acoustic and electric guitar, and a driving bass, it really drives the narrative forward. The formidable Barnaby Templer and Chris Swain @ Fonic created the sound design, and Lorraine Hodgson beautifully voiced the narrative.
Producer Richard Barnett says of the short “We pushed the boat out on this project, looking to achieve that hand made feel that gives the warmth of the narrative, balanced with a high end production value that reflects the sophisticated nature of Cisco’s products. With a turnaround of just 5 weeks from start to finish, it meant that everyone had to pull together and really work hard. We had such amazing support from everyone working on the project from, crew, to agency, to client. That really makes the difference!’
The short will be used by Cisco on their small business homepage, showcasing their solutions and promotions dedicated to small business customers.
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Director- Layla Atkinson
Producer- Richard Barnett
DOP- Pete Ellmore
Animation- John Harmer, Layla Atkinson
Art Department- Dave Perrin, Jock Mooney, John Harmer, Layla Atkinson, Adrian Leak, Stephanie Martin
CG and Compositing- Rok Predin, Pete Mellor
Gaffer: Jonathan Yates
Motion Control- Max Halstead
Composer- Ivan Arnold
Sound Design and Mix- Barnaby Templer, Chris Swaine @ Fonic
Motion Control Rig: Clapham Rd Studios
Senior Account Director- Chris Willocks
Agency- MRM Meteorite
Client- CISCO Systems Inc