Press release from Oktobor and Well Above

Award winning visual effects, animation and digital creative convergence studio Oktobor today gave details of the 60 second fully computer generated TVC it recently completed for Twisties to be broadcast across Malaysia.

Oktobor Account Director Ganesh Raj explained, “We have had a long and solid relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi Malaysia for some time. For Twisties they approached us earlier than they normally do with a basic concept and asked us to work on the idea.”

The idea’s concept development fell to Oktobor Animation Director Gary Sullivan who began to expand it into a full-blown celebratory ad.

Sullivan said, “Initially the ad was going to be 15-20 seconds set in a garage where two people were playing music and trying to ‘vibrate’ a pack of Twisties towards them. We did a treatment around this and after discussions with Saatchi’s, realised that they wanted something much bigger as they kept adding in new ideas and elements. So we went away, worked up the idea of people playing with the environment and using music as the key theme, came back with the ad on a much larger scale.”

The brief from both client and agency was to appeal to cool kids in the same way a music video would.

Sullivan continued, “Bearing in mind the brief we approached the ad like we would a music video. This gave us scope to develop a whole raft of music related ideas including the original garage scene, a carnival aspect, a workmen using musical tools, birds playing telephone wires and a soccer stadium where the seats are piano keys. The soccer stadium was a particular focus with the World Cup starting soon.”

Alongside music the ad’s theme was ‘irreTwistable’ and centred around all of the characters in the TVC trying to grab an elusive pack of Twisties as it danced through each scene.

Gary Sullivan explained, “Saatchi’s were very clear – we had to deliver on the unexpected. In order to do this we heavily layered each scene with crazy detail. We started with the garage where the challenge was to light it in such a way that it looked dramatic and not dour, cool and real but not grotty. It was also the only interior shot.

From there the pack of Twisties escapes into the street and the waiting clutches of workmen. There are themes of connectivity and musical continuity here with dustbin lids as cymbals, a lightning bolt jackhammer and Kiss style face painting. From there we see the pack fly by birds who are plucking telephone wires for sound while a guy on a telegraph pole tries in vain to clutch the Twisties.

Having eluded the birds and the engineer the pack enters the soccer stadium which culminates in a 360-degree slow motion shot of a character based on famous Brazilian soccer player, Ronaldhino. The soccer characters were the most challenging to get right with several redesigns taking place. If you watch carefully you’ll see each football has a Twistie-grasping tongue too.

This is where the fairground comes in with giant conductor complete with top hat, big wheel, roller coaster and a pack grabbing character who stands up as the car he’s in is moving.

The next scene is a street with countless musical references – a grand piano building, saxophone building and the KL towers in the form of giant recorders. As if it wasn’t surreal enough we then move to a giant Jimmy Hendrix octopus, microphone eating wrecking ball and variety of hands all trying to grab the Twisties.

Finally we end up with the characters in front of the skyline from the mystical Kuala Lumpur styled city of Twistie World as the ‘irreTwistable’ message appears on the screen. Noone actually manages to catch and eat the Twisties!”

As the spot was fully CG Raj, Sullivan and Animation Producer Meg Sullivan had logistical issues that had to be dealt with early in the piece.

Raj explained, “When you start a full CG TVC it’s tricky for the client and agency as they can’t see the fully rendered end result. We had to establish a high level of trust, starting with sketchbooks, timing and character development. The initial animatic was done using black shapes and was a challenge for us to convince the client that the end result would look far more entertaining and far less scary.”

The entire ad was modeled in 3D with music cue-ing the animation throughout. Illustrator Andrew Archer completed concepts for the city and the characters and with a short timeframe, the rest of the Oktobor team moved up a gear. The animatic, timing, camera angles, 3D storyboard and the final shot of the city all had to be locked down and signed off.

Sullivan said, “We built the entire ad in Maya. There was continuous character design, camera flow and positioning to take into account and we had to sweep through and tweak each shot as we went along. We locked the edit and timing before we got the final animatic and building models.

We pretty much modeled 24/7 to get every object in 3D and had regular WIP and approvals meetings with the client and agency. We used Premier for editing and After Effects and Nuke for compositing with a few minor adjustments in Flame. It was an incredible job to work on and we are very proud of the result. I’m delighted to say both client and agency are very happy too.”

The Twisties full CG TVC is airing on RTM1, RTM2, TV3, 8tv and ntv7 free to air channels and Astro cable channels across Malaysia.

To view the irreTwistable’ Twisties full CG TVC go to:

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