For the annual 3FM Serious Request fundraiser in collaboration with International Red Cross no expense has been shared in visualising this year’s good cause. Serious Request asks attention for a silent hazard that takes a child’s life every 35 seconds; lung infection. Every year more than 900.000 young children die from lung infection in third world countries.
This year case is visually translated into a pair of lungs build from different coloured balloons. ‘We came up with different ideas to bring these lungs to life’, explains Jurriën Boogert, Associate Design & Animation Director of Ambassadors. ‘Balloons have something very transient, so it was very important for us to emphasise the weightlessness of a balloon. One of the first ideas was to blow up the balloons with different people in real life and create the lung shapes with those, but that did not work very well.’
The narrative approach is thrown into a different direction, reverting back to the essence of the fundraiser. ‘To accentuate lung infection and their deterioration, we decided to bring the story in an opposite order. First the balloons are fractured and in a magical way they come together and create a whole again’, clarifies Boogert.
Creating the balloon metaphor feels for director, Vincent Lammers, ‘as something we have never done before.’ The thin line between realism and abstraction makes it more a short art film than a commercial in Lammers’ eyes. ‘Especially the fun collaboration with Achtung Agency and a very open minded client looking for an innovative idea, made it possible to play out the full metaphor. Aside of that everyone in Ambassadors created very powerful visuals.’
A sense of hope
The colourful balloons create a big contrast with the dark background. ‘The film has an epic aspect, which also translates in very divergent colours’, clarifies Koert van der Ploeg, Colourist of Ambassadors. ‘A lot colour wise can be determined in CG, but the overall feeling starts off a bit gloomy as the balloons lie shattered on the ground and step by step the image opens and lights up when the balloons starts to float into the air. This translates into lighter shades ending off with a warm sunrise at the end.’
‘A sense of hope was a very important aspect to keep, which we wanted to emphasise with the sunrise and balloons in the end’, explains Boogert.
This build-up is also a very important facet in the music to underline the epic feeling. ‘I’ve translated the contrasting colours and the multipling balloons to a combination of electronic and acoustic instruments. It starts off on a calm tone but accelerates and gets more intense during the film’, explains Joep Meijburg, Composer of Ambassadors. ‘Vincent explained me the story of the film and immediately afterwards I started composing without even seeing an animatic. When we finally played the music and visuals together everything fell into place. Leaving just a few adjustments.’
Creating a film for a good cause, has a lot of positive influence on the Ambassadors team. ‘It is enjoyable to make a beautiful film where others actually benefit from’, smiles Boogert.
Voice-over by Johnny B.A.N.G. Reilly