Embarking on a new creative partnership, Click 3X recently collaborated with MTV to create a show open, packaging, and promos for See You Sunday. Promoting four new shows in their latest block of Sunday programming, the clips incorporate live action footage of high-profile stars with unique hand-drawn animation, explosions, and VFX. To support the shows, Click animated several promos, a :30 opening and cut-down, six bumpers with integrated animation, and two live action bumpers, each playing off traditional images of circus life with high-intensity, parodied versions of classic stunts. The vibrant animation interacting with the live action created by Click 3X adds depth to the storylines, while supporting the style and humor of the shows.
Targeting the young male demographic with a weekly high energy, must-see event, See You Sunday includes Nitro Circus, a daring stunt show starring Travis Pastrana and Johnny Knoxville, Fantasy Factory, showcasing Rob Dyrdek's wild skate-based schemes, College Humor, based on the wildly popular website, and How's Your News, a product of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, which follows five reporters with mental and physical disabilities. The colorful animation helps to build the mood of each piece with outlandish antics such as animated knife-throwing, bananas brandishing chainsaws, and the carnival's tall man upstaging all with his powerful rainbow pee-stream. The :60 promo, Anticipation, features the shows' stars about to perform in a sideshow complete with human cannonball, tightrope skateboarding, daredevil motorcycle jumps, and face-offs with ferocious lions. The additional animated content created by Click 3X artists follow the same themes, showcasing the bizarre but enthralling, reality-suspending sideshow worlds of the carnival grounds with effects and characters that build on the intrigue surrounding the shows.
Commenting on the initial collaboration, Creative Director/VFX Artist Mark Szumski explained, "Harold, Evan, Thomas, Kris, and the rest of the MTV team were an absolute joy to work with on this project. I know this is a cliche, but this wasn't work, this was fun. Tom, Erica, and I were in our creative comfort zone for this job creating seamless visual vfx, creative editorial and subversive, psychedelic graphics. In fact, many of the pieces were actually a result of some organic, on-set brainstorming between our teams." The entire Click team worked extensively with the MTV staff and directors from pre-vis through post, coming up with creative solutions and providing effects expertise on-set and throughout the filming and editorial process. Creative Director/VFX Artist Mark Szumski and VFX Artist/Animator Tom Matheu each spent significant time on set, contributing their expertise. Shot with both Red and Phantom cameras in an enormous area complete with boxcars and a 30 foot ramp, the team was able to effectively capture the action-packed narrative and set the stage for Click's animators to go to work. To enhance and heighten the strange, engaging effects on top of the live action, Click artists also added sky replacements, lighting and fire effects, explosion embellishments, and smoke to the range of shots, using Flame to cleanup and composite the layers of each piece and increase the impact of the shots and animated effects.
Commenting on the collaboration, MTV Design Director, Thomas Berger notes, "I was really impressed by the level of dedication that Click 3X showed in helping bring our twisted vision of psychedelic circus train mayhem to life. There was a great sense of collaboration throughout the project, and their enthusiasm and hard work was second to none."
The See You Sunday block debuted to excellent ratings, helping to secure the crucial target male audience for MTV. EP Connor Swegle notes, "MTV came to us with an amazing concept seeking a creative partner with the ability to collaborate on-set and through editorial, design, and animation. With our involvement so early in the process, we were able to add to the creative flow-this helped create a final product that was successful for the MTV team, the program block, and the network." Given the success of this project, Click 3X has already signed on to three new ventures for MTV, further expanding a vast body of recent work which includes projects across broadcast, feature films, and interactive.