There’s no doubt that the vast majority of people in our industry have witnessed and felt the impact of Giant Ant. In a very short amount of time, they went from having a question mark behind their name to being one of the top studios in the world producing animated content. Better yet, they do things on their terms and are proving that we don’t all have to play by the same rules and, just maybe, that a better way is possible.
Giant Ant’s work for Costa Sunglasses is something we can all learn from. Over the past two years, they have worked directly with their client, helped three good causes and produced three stunning films.
When I first watched “Project Guyana,” I immediately knew this film was special and that it was going to take a bit of time to unpack all the greatness I had witnessed. What I found so striking about “Project Guyana” is how extensive the film felt. Its use of graphic storytelling is reminiscent of Umbro “Black Out” by Buck, another personal favorite. What both films do so well is build upon simple ideas. They’re predominantly flat, employ fragmented compositions and use a side-scrolling camera but, they are so much more. In the case of “Project Guyana,” each window tells a different part of the story and, in a way, contradict one another by breaking your expectations from one window to the next. Perspectives are shattered as each scene runs into the next, culminating in something that feels perfectly complete.
Giant Ant’s second film for Costa Sunglasses,”Kick Plastic,” builds upon the success of its predecessor. This time, our fragmented compositions are met with typography, texture and a central character. Similar to “Project Guyana,” perspectives are shattered and the impossible happens as we segue from scene to scene. One thing that I love about “Kick Plastic” is how it adds to the graphic language they previously created by incorporating rich textures and, albeit subtle, the introduction of the medium in both the brush strokes and cross-hatching used throughout. Creating yet another forward-thinking film that is touchingly human.
Finally, this brings us to “Fix Florida,” embedded above, Giant Ant’s third film for Costa Sunglasses. Full disclosure: being a native Floridian, I immediately connected with this film. I guess, in a way, I’m their ideal target audience: an animation-loving Floridian. “Fix Florida” is their richest film yet. Continuing with the fragmented compositions, strong graphic language, and the addition of texture and a central character, “Fix Florida” brings to the table the introduction of light, dimensionality and high-fidelity character performances/interactions. What I find so evocative in this film is its sense of progression. The somber music and evolution of color strongly steer the tone and emotion of the film throughout.
In the end, what’s so refreshing about this series as a whole is that they do not rely on spectacle, fodder, and flashing lights. They simply say something and instill hope, both for the causes they represent and our industry as a whole.
A better way just might be possible, and it’s work like this that is paving the way there.
Check out the links below for full credits on each film.