Godzilla Sees Godzilla

Agreeing to concept, storyboard, design, fabricate, rig, and animate a short film of professional quality completely by myself in two days was kind of insane but I’d pitched this thing and the client was jazzed so carpe diem. I wanted to expand on the success of the animated shorts we were already producing for Regal Cinemas’ Vine account by creating longer pieces that could live independently on YouTube. I thought it would be cool if they . Inspired by Ignition’s wonderfully stylish wild post campaign, I thought Godzilla would be the perfect opportunity to try using aspects of the film’s marketing materials like key art and merchandise as filmmaking materials to create a dialog between the social media and larger print campaigns. Both the agency and client loved the final short film but unfortunately it got buried inside a live action variety show on Regal’s crowded YouTube channel and totally missed its audience connection.

CLIENT
Regal Cinemas

AGENCY
Something Massive

2014

01:09

stop motion animation shot on a Canon DSLR

MATERIALS
cardboard
paint
concession candy boxes
cling wrap
Godzilla action figure

Ignition's wild posters
A photo taken while not driving of Ignition’s wild post campaign in LA
I redrew “gojira” in sumi ink for a title overlay because getting to use my degree in Japanese Literature is a rare thrill

Even if there’s only time for scribbles, storyboards are essential. I took a lot of liberties with the actual shots but the film begins with the sun rising over a city skyline that match cuts to Godzilla’s back as he rises and roars. Then he starts wrecking the city. Rawr. Finally he’s about to step on a Regal theater but realizes his movie is playing there and reconsiders.

After seeing a first cut, the client wanted messaging for ticket sales so that was digitally incorporated at the end. However 99% of the film was handmade and hand animated. I translated the high contrast pseduo-punk style of Ignition’s wild posters to animation by building the sets out of cardboard painted black, white, and red in a heavy dry brush technique. The only digital effect was increasing the contrast. Keeping set fabrication super fast and loose was critical to completing the film on time, especially since (of course) rigging the Godzilla figure was WAY harder and more time consuming than I thought it would be.

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