When can animation surpass video?

With the best will in the world, when a global pandemic strikes, even the most established systems must be adjusted. Put simply, when the rules of social distancing and protection come into play, access to the film ‘Talent’ is going to be tricky.

Naturally, this type of obstacle would stop most projects – however, when you are working under tight deadlines, it is up to your production company to find a solution.

We were already a few weeks in pre-production; the script had been approved, the locations found and the ‘Talent’ (in this case, Doris – an 80 year old lady) was in place.

Time for plan B

The advantage of animation is that the production can take place anywhere in the world. As there is no filming, cast, or presenter required, production is unaffected by ‘social distancing’. Another advantage is that there is no limitation of the built environment. No external variable comes into play; bad weather conditions, ambient noise or difficult traffic compromise the quality.

The project in question was a promotional video for a home care agency. Castle Home Care Services provides domestic and personal care to service users inside their home. When Covid hit, the decision was made to change the format of the video shot to animation. No problem.

The treatment had already been agreed: following the story of two characters – the caregiver and her patient. The public would learn of their connection; an emotional bond formed over many years of service delivery. Castle Home Care is a proud provider of care services – and Doris was a true “client”, not an actress.

Converting Doris into an animated character was no problem. We would just create it. Her environment would also be designed and built, with the Castle Home Care caregiver (and her house, car and family…) We could now control the weather, light, emotions, gestures and location!

By bringing control of all aspects into the production, we have succeeded in creating an animation that effectively communicates the bond between Doris and her caregiver. As the story unfolds, we understand how Doris appreciates visits from her caregiver; this is the part of her day that she looks forward to the most.

No doubt this project had been delivered as “ traditional ” video, that would always have been amazing. However, in this situation, we were able to adapt the production format while respecting our mandate. Animation now lives online, will be used in presentations and digital marketing campaigns, and exceeds the marketing goals demanded by Castle Home Care services. Our client was thrilled – and we are also very happy with the result.

The moral of the story is to surround yourself with an experienced team, so that when you are forced to deviate from your initial chosen path, you are able to adapt – and most importantly, your production stays on track.

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