DMA423 – Vans Viral Video

Our stop-motion Vans viral video is finally complete! We took the original Vans logo and recreated it with a new facelift. At first we wanted to use Pharrell William’s “Happy, but we thought that it was too..happy! We needed something more edgy and a little bit more rock and roll. Mike randomly found this song by Muse – “Supermassive Black Hole and once we placed it in the timeline, we loved it!

We kept the video very light and added a little bit of humour and stay true to the comic book look. Downtown Toronto is already so colourful and vibrant, we wanted to stick to that theme and keep everything fun. Since our lead actor, Ted is not a professional skateboarder, we had to improvise and do something different.

The process for this video was harder than it looks. We originally wanted to record a video of some pro skaters to get cool tricks. We also wanted to do some slow motion and add more cool effects. Pressed for time and weather problems (winter in March still), we were not able to find anyone, so we got our lead actor, Ted to do it. We wanted to do something different and we brainstormed some ideas to do stop-motion. None of us has done a stop-motion project before, so it was a bit of a learning curve but we managed to put everything together in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects. Some of the footage was taken free hand and some with a tripod. The timing was super fast, so we had to slow down a lot of the frames. If we had more pictures, we could definitely make it more smoother and continuous.

One of the most difficult parts I found was putting all the images together. We used a total of 3 cameras, (Nikon, Canon and Samsung DSLRs) to take the photos separately and as a group. There were a few shots we had to omit due to continuity issues and stuck to our 1 minute mark. Once all the assets were complete, it was time to animate. At first, we wanted it to be serious and pro, but from the nature of our skateboarder, we decided to add some fun and purposely show him falling and being a horrible skateboarder. We shot this in March and had to post pone it the first time due to snow. In the end, it worked out well and we got all of our shots in time before security had to kindly kick us out for hanging around the doors of the Eaton Centre.

Ted is an adventure seeker and plans a mini trip in Downtown Toronto. He is not the best skateboarder, as he falls many times. But he doesn’t care. Ted is determined and does not give up! Ted suddenly gets the urge to go shopping and hits up the Vans store. Then something magical happens. His Vans shoes are not just regular shoes; they have special powers! This is Ted’s journey.

Special thanks to Adrian for lending us his skateboard for this project. THANK YOU ADRIAN!

You can find our group work and process for this project here.


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