Nathan Love recently contributed to the December issue of Esquire, the leading men's lifestyle magazine, for its holiday gift guide feature presented by contributing editor and world renowned filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld.
"The guys at Nathan Love took on a project that I thought would be impossible to pull off and turned it into a great experience," said Darhil Crooks, Esquire's art director. "Their enthusiasm about every aspect of the 'Xmas with Barry' showed through in the final product. They were able to take something that Esquire has been doing for years to another level."
"2010 has been a breakthrough year for our studio, and this project is another example of our expansion across all media," began Joe Burrascano, Nathan Love's executive creative director. "After starting out four years ago as a pure 3D character animation studio, we've now grown into a true, full-service production company. More and more agencies and brands are coming to us to handle high-profile projects that include live-action, animation, and/or VFX, and our audio division has been booked all year."
"Producing this holiday animation for Esquire allowed us to explore more of the world of traditional 2D animation and illustration for print," added Mike Harry, Nathan Love's executive producer. "Collaborating with Esquire's art director Darhil Crooks was a great experience, and working with filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld was both an honor and a lot of fun. We hope our enthusiasm comes through in the feature, and invite everyone to please stay tuned-in as our adventures continue."
For this project, Burrascano served as creative director, working alongside Mike Harry, animation director Robin Steele, designers Sigmund Lambrento and Jessica Namnum, animator Stieg Retlin and music composer and sound designer Drew Skinner. The challenges presented by Crooks and Sonnenfeld called for Nathan Love's crew to deliver a full-page print layout introducing the feature story, as well as three more partial-page layouts, miscellaneous illustrated images of the famous director and his dog Lucky, numerous props and items related to the story's content, and a :70 animated film showing Sonnenfeld and Lucky putting the featured holiday gifts to use.
The film was also finished and optimized for mobile delivery, to take full advantage of Esquire's international cross-platform distribution, which includes print, online and mobile editions, as well as its new iPad App launched in October.
"This was our first time working with Robin Steele," Harry explained, "and his experience working as a Disney animator taught us all a lot about traditional animation. Robin and Joe both have a great sense of comedic timing, and they had a great time collaborating together. They set up the gags to unfold in one, static scene, and let the madness ensue."
Key artistic tools for the artists at Nathan Love included original illustrations and Adobe Creative Suite, and for the animated content, Adobe After Effects.