Gentleman Scholar Puts Toyota RAV4 in Starring Role at LA Live

Visitors to the LA Live entertainment district have been hitting their brakes to look up at a vibrant, animated Toyota RAV4 display produced by Gentleman Scholar via Saatchi LA. The spot is playing in a vast coordinated display across the venue’s kaleidoscope of outdoor screens during recent nearby events, including the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center.

Adventures’ main piece showcases the journey of an animated RAV4 as it tumbles through a stylized red landscape representing the mountains, skyscrapers and waterways of greater Los Angeles. LAX, the Santa Monica Pier and the Griffith Observatory all make animated appearances, completing an LA-themed visual welcome mat for the venue’s legions of local and out-of-town visitors. More than a dozen ancillary pieces complement this main narrative in the plaza.

“Saatchi asked us for something that would both showcase the dynamic movement of the RAV4 and represent the expansive dimensions of the LA landscape,” states CD William Campbell. “Once they approved the basic look, they gave us great latitude in choosing the specific landmarks and features that would transition well from one to the next.”

Coordinating the panoply of spots so that they synched with one another and fit LA Live’s variety of enormous screens was a showcase of Gentleman Scholar’s technical acuity. The process of creating and orchestrating the complex show was greatly streamlined by the studio’s previous collaboration with Saatchi for LA Live, a project for Target.

With this production pipeline in place, the studio focused on building a photoreal RAV4 that was comfortable in its fantastical world and an acceptable vehicle representation for Toyota. “If you’re taking a photoreal object and juxtaposing it in a completely fictional environment, it can be difficult to make it realistic,” explains CD Will Johnson, who worked closely with Saatchi LA to build something to their satisfaction. “You have to build a lot of things around the car that really help it sit comfortably in that environment.”



Client: Toyota
Title: Toyota Adventures LA Live
Launch: May 2013

Agency: Saatchi LA
Producer: Alex Granieri
CD: Leo Circo
AD: Vince Murray
Copywriter: Craig Lederman

Production/Post-production: Gentleman Scholar
Creative Directors: William Campbell & Will Johnson
Executive Producer: Lindsay Bodanza
Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
Producer: Tyler Locke & Christina Roldan
Art Directors: John-Patrick Rooney
Lead Design: James Levy
Compositor: Tommy Wooh
2D Animation: Jake Portman, Jordan Lyle, Macauley Johnson
3D Animation: Tyler Mele
3D Texture/Lighting: Damon Snyder, Kim Vongbunyong, Mike Ko, Michael Rogers, Tucker Corson

About Gentleman Scholar:

Gentleman Scholar is a group of solution-driven artists situated at the intersection of story, style and technology. Wielding extensive experience in strategy, live-action production, animation, digital and print, we help the world’s leading agencies and brands tell their stories.