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Biking PSA - Behind the scenes
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About this creation
Last fall, I helped produce a Public Service Announcement promoting safe cycling in New York City. You can watch the video here.

Today, we go behind-the-scenes to see a little bit about how the commercial was made!




The commercial was photographed here at my studio. Because we didn't have a lot of time (just a few evenings) we used existing buildings, cars, and city stuff that I already had in my studio (most were from my first two books, Cool Cars and Trucks and Cool Robots). We used a big white sheet of paper to keep the backgrounds nice and clean and free from visual clutter. David Pagano (above, right) did all the animation. Here he's setting up his laptop, which he will use to control the photography by connecting it to the camera. We've also got some big clamp-lamps sitting on the table there, that were eventually set up to get just the right lighting.




Ma Shumin (left) directed the film and had never built anything with LEGO before! Here she is pressing some of her very first bricks together. That's me on the right, making her build all the streets. :)




In the commercial, our little friend (above) rides around the city streets before coming to a red light and then has to decide what to do.






Together, we planned out how our character would make his way through our city scene, and built only what we needed to. ("Only build what the camera will see!" David kept saying.) Most of the buildings are actually just 1-inch-deep fašades.




Of course, our tight schedule didn't prevent us from being ridiculous most of the time. :)




We carefully positioned all the sets, and then David moved the character through the scene, taking photos one-by-one with a still camera, mounted on a tripod and controlled by his computer. By moving the buildings around (and even flipping them upside-down!) we were able to use this one intersection for all the scenes in the commercial.



When all the photos were done, he stitched them together using space age patented super monkey software magic, while Shumin pretended that she built the traffic light.




Here we are posing for a photo in front of some of the scenery. Not shown in these photos is Brian Kenney who did all the music and sound for the commercial.





Well, that's it! I hope you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes. Watch the commercial now (30 seconds) to see how it all came out!



Comments

 I like it 
  July 29, 2013
I can't wait to see some more of your animations! They are very well done.
 I like it 
  April 6, 2012
I saw this a while ago on youtube and didn't know who made it...good to know finally.
 I like it 
  May 22, 2011
i really love the buildings!
 I like it 
  May 22, 2011
i have mentionned this video in my hospital! lol! the fig is showed with his leg in his hands, in front of the doc! just a wink! lol!
 I like it 
  October 9, 2010
As a sometime brickfilmer, committed brickcomicker, and a former bicycling wunderkind, I heartily approve of this message. Thanks for reminding me that this stuff is fun!
 I like it 
  October 9, 2010
Love the big traffic light!
 I like it 
  October 3, 2010
You and David Pagano are my IDOLS! It's great to see you working together!
 I like it 
  October 3, 2010
Thanks for posting this, it's nice to how things are done. You are a man and a fan just like every one else and its nice to see other fans working with you too. Great work.
 I like it 
  October 2, 2010
Amazing just amazing.
Sean Kenney
 I like it 
captain cj
  October 1, 2010
Awsome really god job on the commercial
  October 1, 2010
Such detail! Really a work of art here. The commercial is brilliant too. Is it at all possible for you to check out this MOC? It would mean a lot to me. If you are too busy, then I totally understand. http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/228744 P.S. Oh, and that traffic light was amazing. ~Waff
 I like it 
  October 1, 2010
Wow. Just, Wow. The building is excellent and the detail is FANTASIC! I wasn't aware you had a brother.
 I like it 
  October 1, 2010
It took you long enough to post! :P Interesting.
 
By Sean Kenney
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Biking PSA - Behind the scenesAnimation


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