Daniel Oeffinger, finger puppets & Buck’s special POV

Daniel Oeffinger and Buck NY dive head — well, in this case, hand first into the world of finger puppets to create this brilliantly fun new series of animations for SNY.

While I personally think there is no mystery to who holds the throne in our industry right now, one thing we can all rally behind is Buck’s relentless commitment to craft and, in this case, having fun! What’s so special about Buck is their palpable love of animation. I can guarantee that in many instances there is a faster or more cost-effective way of doing something yet they commit to their love of the medium, see it through and, more often than not, take it a bit too far. The results speak for themselves and regularly leave you wondering how they got away with making something this cool in advertising.

Below you can view the full series of SNY spots as well as a must-watch behind-the-scenes video and some words from Daniel and Orion. Make sure to also check out the 2013 SNY campaign and the links below for more Buck goodness.

From Daniel:

We worked with agency Spork on another campaign for SNY a few years back, and they were definitely open to pushing design and animation away from traditional “sports” graphics.  So when they approached us wanting to team up to make some finger puppet magic, we were all too happy to accept.

There’s a charm about puppets that makes almost anyone smile. They’re so goofy, but as soon as you put one on, they come to life. In some ways this process is the opposite to a rigorously controlled cg spot. We did have a large amount of pre-production getting ready for these shoots, as well as a detailed shooting script, but we also knew a lot of the magic would come from letting our puppeteer friends do what they do best. We shot a lot of ad-lib, much of which made it into the finals. Kind of liberating, compared to a screen full of keyframes.

Story-wise we wanted to keep everything really simple. Something a very crafty dad could accomplish, given materials and time. We tried to limit story telling or jokes to things we could capture in camera without rig removal or comp. Finger puppets are inherently silly, and we wanted to embrace that rather than take it too seriously.

From Orion:

One of the things I love about the finished spots, and it’s true of the puppet stuff we made for Ad Council and F5, is that it’s still so rooted in Buck’s graphic design POV, but with really different results. Like Daniel said, it’s the same preproduction input as our 2D or 3D work, but with a really fun, free and unexpected output.

Kicker:

Fight:

Kiss Cam:

Dunk:

Streaker:

Behind the Scenes:

2013 SNY Campaign:

Links:

Credits:

DIRECTED BY:
BUCK
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR:
Orion Tait
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
Anne Skopas
CREATIVE DIRECTOR:
Daniel Oeffinger
HEAD OF PRODUCTION:
Kitty Dillard
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR:
Alexi Yeldezian
STORYBOARDS:
Chad Colby
Kyle Mowat
William Trebutien
DESIGN:
Daniel Oeffinger
Yeojin Shin
LEAD PUPPET FABRICATION:
Junko Shimizu
LEAD SET FABRICATION:
J Bell
ADDITOINAL PUPPET/SET FABRICATION:
Kyle Mowat
Yeojin Shin
Gonzalo Menevichian
Caleb Wood
EDIT:
Chad Colby
Jose Fuentes
ANIMATION/COMPOSITE:
Chad Colby
Jose Fuentes
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY:
Anibal Hernadez
PUPPETEERS:
James Godwin
Jean Marie Keevins
COLORSIST:
Jose Fuentes
AUDIO PRODUCTION, & SOUND DESIGN:
Antfood

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About the author

Joe Donaldson

/ www.jodie.work
Joe Donaldson is one of the editors of Motionographer. Working closely with Justin Cone, their hope is to help grow our community while celebrating the exceptional work being created on a daily basis. Additionally, Joe recently joined Ringling College of Art and Design where he works as a professor in the Motion Design department. Before joining Ringling, Joe worked as a director, designer and animator in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, and has had the honor of directing work for clients such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Instagram, The New York Times and Unicef.

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