PES creates “Paper,” a stop-motion masterpiece for Honda

The latest commercial work directed by stop-motion master PES recently went online, and it’s an instant classic. 

Shot entirely in-camera, all the elements in “Paper” were hand-made by PES and a small army of illustrators and animators.

That’s not to say computers didn’t provide a helping hand. As PES says in the making of video below, “We devised it in CGI, but the intention was to rip it out of that world and do it practically.”

Behind the Scenes

Leaving room for the animators to bring themselves to the project was important:

“The name of the game is really preparation. So much of engineering every sequence in this film was just trying to figure out how we can pull it off, how it would look, good how it wouldn’t fail.

But you leave some spontaneity so that the animators feel like, you know, each take is a unique performance.” — PES

A story in sound

Factory UK deserves a special shout out for their virtuosic sound design. They meticulously recreated the history of Honda through carefully crafted audio, building a soundtrack that’s a pleasure to listen to on its own.

Credits

Advertising Agency: RPA
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Baratelli
Executive Creative Director: Jason Sperling
Creative Director/Art Director: Ken Pappanduros
Creative Director/Copywriter: Chuck Blackstone
Senior Copywriter: Chris Bradford
Art Director: Laura Crigler
Copywriter: Josh Hepburn
Chief Production Officer: Gary Paticoff
Executive Producer: Isadora Chesler
Producer: Matt Magsaysay

Production Company: RESET
Managing Director: Dave Morrison
Executive Producers: Jen Beitler & Jeff McDougall
Head of Production: Amanda Clune
Producer: Stan Sawicki
Director of Photography: Eric Adkins
Production Designer: John Joyce
Motion Control Operator: Mark Eifert
Motion Control Asst: Calvin Frederick
Animation Supervisor: Eileen Kohlhepp
Animators: Amy Adamy, Sihanouk Mariona, David Braun, Julian Petschek, Javan Ivey, Jen Prokopowicz, Brandon Lake, Ranko Tadic & Quique Rivera
Illustrators: Jerrod McIlvain, Nicole Cardiff, Vincent Lucido, Arwen King, Meghan Boehman, Monica Magana, Kei Chong, Trevor Brown & Alex Theodoropulos
Set Dresser/Painter: Veronica Hwang
Illustration Coordinator: Evan Koehne
Art Department: Nate Theis, Ellen Ridgeway, Melissa Quezada
Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors, Santa Monica
Editor: Stewart Reeves

VFX & Finishing: A52
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
VFX Supervisor and Lead Flame: Andy Raphael Barrios
Producer: Lusia Boryczko
Colorist: Tommy Hooper
Online Editor: Dan Ellis

Sound Design: Factory UK
Sound Designer: Phil Bolland
Head of Production: Lou Allen

Mix: Lime Studios
Re-Recording Mixer: Dave Wagg
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

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About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer and F5. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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  • Excellent film craft. Congratulations to all involved. A thousand creative decisions, turned out perfectly.

  • Marco Holland

    Love it, but it reminds a little too much Donato Milkyeyes technique

    • Matthew Rankin

      That was exactly what came to mind for me as well.

    • It’s a disappointment that PES has to use the technique invented by Donato Sansone. I think PES has his own briliiant ideas, so this is really a big Autogol.

  • Respect for Donato Milkyeyes!!!!

  • Really wonderful! But It sounds like an homage to Sansone’s Videogioco. Pes is a serious artist and for this reason he should declare the origin of his inspiration :)

  • Motionmotion

    Like everybody else familiar with Dantone Sansone’s work, I’m wondering why Sansone isn’t getting any credit for the inspiration. This is a pretty direct rip-off — if this were the music industry he’d have to pay Sansone royalties.

  • D

    relax, this is the way the industry works, it starts with a reference [from art, film, design, animation..] – btw, i remember seeing an animation project w/ hands moving the objects created in the sixties or early seventies – commercial directors rarely give credit – its more about taking then giving.

  • Sandro Del Rosario

    This NOT the way the industry should work. It’s dishonest, and PES didn’t need to do this if he’d been the great artist everybody think he is. It’s a shame to hear all this praise for his Honda’s spot, as unfortunately very few people – especially here in the U.S. – are aware of Sansone’s original idea. I stand with Donato Sansone and all the honest, hard working, creative artists who are not covered by the media, and get their work stolen (we can’t talk about simple inspiration in this case, I’m sorry).

    • Milkyeyes create a great technique that deserves to be used, in the most creative way possible. Congrats, PES.

    • henchmania

      Yea Pes’s work has obviously been inspired by Milkeyes work. So what?

      He took Sansone’s technique and crushed it though. He pushed and stretched the style into new territory. Good on him.

  • Bill

    I’m also a big fan of PES but I can’t get over the fact that Honda Paper reminds me so much of this, which I saw 5 years ago…