Kiwi clay ads win spot in Annecy

11 June, 2008 by IF

A series of animated ads for Auckland City Mission’s 2007 Christmas campaign have been selected for the Annecy International Animated Festival, which starts today in France.

“It’s very exciting. Annecy is the world’s leading and biggest animation festival, held annually in France. This is the first time Kiwi animation has been represented at Annecy in fifteen years,” says Producer Peter Mayo
Santa Needs Help reveals Santa trapped in an icicle having crashed his sleigh in the North Pole. But a little girl’s phone call is enough to vibrate Santa’s mobile and start the ice cracking. Over four episodes audiences were encouraged to make an 0900 call to “help free Santa and make Christmas happen for every Auckland child”.
Director Tom Reilly was totally enchanted when he read the script; “This was an opportunity for me to create some really beautiful and cutting-edge animation for a good cause.” Working closely with 3D Animation Director Paul Scott-James and Toybox allowed the team to blend computer-generated animation with Tom’s traditional claymation. “I think that’s what won over the Annecy judges. We wanted people to look at it and think ‘how the heck have they done that?” says Tom.
The spots were conjured up by Loic Cardon and Natalie Knight from Publicis Mojo and produced by Flying Start Pictures and Toybox. Tom Reilly and Simon Good painstakingly modelled all the miniature sets, characters and wardrobe. Once the stop motion was complete, the Toybox team went to work.
Paul Scott-James gave Jenny wonderfully emotive eyes with CGI and Rob Zohrab’s matte painted backgrounds created lighting and weather effects that could never be made in stop-frame. Perceptual Engineering Audio captured the charm and quirkiness of the script perfectly. 
Tom’s short films and animations have won awards in New Zealand and Europe but this is his first work to screen at Annecy. The Nightwatchman, a short film by Joe Wylie and John Robertson was the last animation to play there in 1993.
1,867 films were submitted to Annecy, with 216 selected.  ‘Advertising films’ make up 31 of these. The full list of these, including Santa Needs Help, follows at the end of this document.

has been showcasing the very best in animation for over 45 years, making it the industry’s leading international competitive festival. The 2008 Annecy Animation Festival runs from 9th to 14th of June, 2008.  For more information about the Annecy Animation Festival, visit
[release from NZ Film]