Stardust recently collaborated with ad agency Fry Hammond Barr on a multi-spot campaign for Nemours, a network of children's hospitals in Florida and the mid-Atlantic. Directed by Stardust's Brad Tucker, the campaign combines hand-drawn cel animation with dream-like live-action, capturing a sense of childlike imagination and endless possibility.
"Nemours is a cool place for kids, and the hand drawn style of the cel animation in the campaign was inspired by their creative energy," said Brad Tucker. "Cel animation is a labor of love with every frame drawn by hand, and the process let us dive deep into the range of creative talent that lives here at Stardust."
The four-spot campaign imagines what a child's future might hold thanks to Nemours' cutting edge technology and specialized medical care. In "Backyard Girl" a girl playfully runs through a lush yard surrounded by a flurry of animated flowers and animals, "Musical Girl" stars an aspiring youngster rocking out through the halls of her school, and "Baseball Boy" features a boy with dreams of baseball stardom; two different versions of the latter were created for the Orlando and Delaware markets respectively. Each of the spots blends footage of a child with whimsical pops of cel animation that come to life across each frame.
"It was great to really be involved with this campaign from the ground up," commented Paul Abatemarco, Executive Producer, Stardust. "We like to be aggressive, and since Fry Hammond Barr was in touch with us from the brainstorming stage, we were able to surprise them with a bunch of style frames to bring into their pitch. They totally went for it, and the client did too."
A standout spot in the campaign, "Backyard Girl" was artfully shot by DP Ketil Dietrichson using the RED camera, and enhanced with volumetric lighting, lens flares and bright golden overtones using Autodesk Flame. Stardust's animation team drew each frame of cel animation by hand, and completed 3D tracking on every scene to give the animation depth before final compositing was completed in Adobe After Effects. Stardust's turnaround time for the campaign was five weeks.