Monthly Archives

April 2019

Gettin’ Animated with James Lightfoot!

By V-Blog

We’ve had plenty of exciting visitors at VSQUARED HQ over the past year: influencers, pop stars, and even a robotic dog.  One of our most interesting guests, however, was a young wanna-be filmmaker named James Lightfoot, a whizz kid with a passion for making tongue-in-cheek videos. His work caught our eye, and we invited him round our offices to show him the ropes of making professional videos (you can see that visit here).

It was blast having him round, and we knew we’d have to collaborate with him again soon.

This Easter seemed a perfect opportunity, given that James was on holiday, and we needed to make a little video to mark the occasion.  James spent two full days and the VSQUARED office. Unlike the last visit, this was to be a stop motion animation rather than a live action video. James was to have more creative control and responsibility, working hand in hand with me over the course of the visit.

First off, the concept had to be imagined. It needed to be short and sweet. Stop Motion is a time consuming process, in which bits and pieces are moved by hand, a little at a time. Anything complicated would have taken too long.

James and Bruce, the creative director, developed an idea where a dragon hatches out of an Easter egg, a little tip of the hat to the Game of Throne hype currently sweeping the world. James then storyboarded the idea. Then came a long day of drawing, cutting, and sticking. The floor became flooded with pieces of cardboard paper and tape. Stop motion always gets messy, but final result has a charm that digital animation just can’t capture.

James was very much the director on this project, and oversaw it every step of the way. He even got to grips the Adobe Premiere editing software, which he’d never used before.  James showed us some of his recent directorial efforts, and it appears he’s becoming increasingly ambitious. One sketch was an homage to Back to the Future, featuring some very impressive driving stunts.  Next up, James would like to try his hand at the zombie genre. We cannot wait to see it in all its gory glory. The next Edgar Wright may well be in our midst.

Keep it up James! Keep making videos, and, when you’re a big-shot director, please hire me! In the meantime, it’s always a pleasure having you around here at VSQUARED. You’re a soft-spoken gent with a very wise head on your shoulders.  We look forward to your next visit.

For those who haven’t seen it, here is the finished result:

A stop motion animation made in collaboration with our friend, James Lightfoot, a very creative 12 year-old filmmaker. Happy Easter!

Posted by V Squared Media on Saturday, April 20, 2019

Are you interested in having an animation made for your business? If so, get in touch with us here.

Jingles All the Way!

By V-Blog

 

Jingles are the super-sweet musical icing laid on top of video commercials, with insanely catchy tunes that will remain glued to your brain indefinitely. Jingles can be a very powerful tool for advertisers, but, as any Spider Man worth his salt will tell you, with great power comes great responsibility.  Jingles can be both shoe-tapping fun, or hair-tugging horror.. Ever the optimists, we’ve decided to list our top 5 favourites. Plug in your headphones, and unplug your snobbery. Let’s get this jingle party started!

Our Top 5 Favourites:

Pepsi – Pepsi Generation by Michael Jackson

Possibly the most 80s Jingle of all time, this is the King of Pop’s reworking of his classic dance-floor hit ‘Billy Jean’, fitting in references to ‘The Pepsi Generation’ slogan. Including this may be a little cheat, given the tune wasn’t original, but to hell with it! It’s a song  that has so much beat, it’ll boost your energy more than any soft drink.

Crocker Bank – We’ve Only Just Begun

We’re all familiar with the classic song ‘We’ve only Just Begun’ by The Carpenters…. you’re not? Ask your mum… Anyway, despite being one of the band’s most famous hits, it was originally a jingle for Crocker Bank, written by Roger Nicholas and legendary 70s songwriter Paul Williams. It’s a touching heart-felt number, that could only be improved with the added Carpenter magic.

Chili’s – Baby Back Ribs

This jingle may not be that familiar to Maltese ears, but every American is knows this soulful hit, written for ‘Chili’s’, a franchise steakhouse. It sounds pretty different to anything else out there. Guy Bommarito, the creative director responsible for the original ad, hated jingles. Never-the-less, Chilli’s insisted on one being created. So embarrassed by the brief, Guy didn’t even bring the assignment to his creative department, and came up with it himself. It seems to have worked. The song has become iconic, and is continually referenced in pop culture, including Scrubs, Austin Powers and The Office.

Intel –  Nobody Else Quite Like You

A delightful slice of whimsy from Indie musician Rob Cantor (the man behind musical phenomenon ‘Shia Labeouf Live’). In this jingle, Cantor incorporates a wealth of references to Youtube oddities, in order to describe just how unique everyone truly is. We discover at the end that its a promotion for Intel’s True Key face recognition software. It’s a great example of how a creative songwriter can think outside the box when it comes to writing songs about objectively boring things.

 

Algida – Spread the Joy

Ok, we’re a little biased… Local band The Busker performed this for our very own commercial (watch it here). But its place on this list is truly deserved. The song captures the joy of summer: beaches, pretty girls, and, yes, ice-cream. It’s a song so catchy that, a year on, we’re still humming it.

 

And The Worst:

Easthills – Back to School

Where to start with Shopping Mall Easthill’s infamous jingle? It boasts the quality of a drunken karaoke on a flip-phone. The singing is off-key, the tunes all over the place and the less said about the lyrics the better. But we’ve got to admit, its ramshackle nature gives it a charm all of its own.  It’s so loveably terrible that the cast even got invited onto the Ellen show, to reprise their so-bad-it’s-good masterpiece. All together now: BOOTS-AND-PANTS-AND-BOOTS-AND-PANTS…