The latest viral video burning up bandwidth is a dude strolling across the states from shore to shore, but this isn’t your ‘Forrest Gump’ crusade. Follow the main character as he walks from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate – making stops in DC, Chicago, Yosemite, and Sin City – in what appears to be his own Bucket List or Buried Life.
It’s actually a clever commercial but I don’t want to steal the advertiser’s thunder by giving away the punchline. You will have to watch to find out who it is. This video is another example of great stop motion animation using digital stills, a trend that has been used with great success by a number of large advertisers and short filmmakers. That’s not to say the filmmakers are short. Just their films. Ha!
It’s a classic case of advertisers imitating art, because pop culture trends are closely followed by Madison Avenue and a slew of other advertising creative types, present company included. More than just a reflection of the technology and the techniques used, the device of using an advertiser as product placement in their own spot is a subtle twist that has become the norm with online advertisers.
In creating this piece, the filmmakers used simple technology – a digital camera – and a timeless technique – stop motion and time lapse animation. No green screens, no studios, no special effects. But it’s how they used these tools to innovate and create something new and tell a compelling, memorable story.
The crew of six including the actor, photographer, director, and producer took a two week road trip in an RV. Sounds like an epic journey, right? But it presented unusually challenging working conditions for the filmmakers, having to share the same small cramped space, day and night, for days on end. They endured intense heat, logistical complications, and constant interruptions from curious passersby.
Yet in the end they created a memorable short film and what must be an immensely gratifying personal experience. Bravo!