1stAveMachine Buenos Aires Partners With Bloomberg Media Studios to Showcase Animated, Eco-Friendly Future of Tech for Samsung

Storytelling production company 1stAveMachine Buenos Aires has partnered with Bloomberg Media Studios to create a warm, inviting, animated campaign for Samsung Electronics that embraces the eco-conscious side of tech.

Aptly dubbed “Tech Goes Green,” the campaign promotes Samsung’s efforts to minimize the environmental footprint of its products through innovative solutions and technologies. To highlight the tech giant’s eco-friendly focus, 1stAve BA and its award-winning directing duo Becho & Mab have joined forces with Bloomberg Media Studios (BMS) to create a series of colorful, engaging spots that demonstrate the many ways in which unused smartphones can find new life.

According to the 1stAve BA directing pair, there was ample space from the start of their collaboration with Bloomberg Media Studios to indulge their creativity and produce work that aligned with Samsung’s message. “The initial brief BMS shared with us was about showcasing the strategies Samsung has been exercising in order to create more efficient products and possibilities that devices and even packaging can provide so you don’t have to throw them away after you have gotten a new model,” says Becho & Mab. “The first thing we got from the BMS team were scripts with specific [voiceovers] from Samsung’s specialists. The BMS team really liked our pitch and trusted us to freely create.”

Renowned for their profound stop-motion animation efforts for SolarCity and the Webby Award-winning “Tasty Little Truths” for Got Milk?, Becho & Mab now bring their distinctive, innovative artistry to promote a game-changing platform from Samsung. In doing so, they’ve meticulously crafted charming, detailed characters from pets to patients and familiar settings such as a living room and doctor’s office. As each scene seamlessly unfolds, transforms, and blends into each other, Becho & Mab provide an immersive view into how rejuvenated smartphones can be utilized as smart home tools, AI-enabled medical devices, and more.

However, to bring the delightful blend of fluid, wondrous visuals and important themes that encompass “Tech Goes Green” to fruition, 1stAve BA and Bloomberg faced their fair share of challenges — especially in the age of COVID-19. Like virtually all productions around the world, several precautions had to be taken in order to see the project to completion. “Shooting during the pandemic was a huge challenge,” says Becho & Mab. “We had to orchestrate remote teams that made daily online check-ins and deliveries to our Can Can Club [animation] studio, where we kept a minimum crew with directors and heads of team. Producers, though, were awesome at keeping every artist and builder in the loop and knowing what’s going on at all times, especially at the beginning of the process when the wagon starts to roll and not everything is well oiled up.”

To keep the process running smoothly, now-standard tools like Zoom, Slack, Google Meets, and Discord became essential forms of communication amongst the production team, while in person, certain protocols had to be enforced. “For the people that could actually be in the studio working, we were very strict in keeping a tight protocol to avoid any COVID-related incidents,” the directors say. “We had fixed workstations and distances were kept. So sometimes things started to get a little weird, in a good way.”

The weirdness seems to have seeped into the actual workflow as Becho & Mab held pajama and cocktail dressing days and enjoyed the company of imaginary friends while taking on tasks like sawing, sanding, painting, and animating.

As these activities brought some levity to a challenging work environment, 1stAve BA, Becho & Mab and their team also benefited by instantly forming a highly collaborative partnership with Bloomberg Media Studios. “At the beginning. we had calls very often,” Becho & Mab recall. “That was really helpful to always be on the same page with BMS. We pitched our ideas to them all the time. Because of these frequent calls, we started to be really comfortable with them, like whenever we were showing them a new drawing or boardmatic, or creating live foley sounds for the transformations and having the cat meow. These kinds of things made us closer during the process and helped the team create a really positive and trusting environment and the feedback was really cool.”

The “Tech Goes Green” campaign not only marks the first — but certainly not last — collaboration between 1stAve BA and Bloomberg Media Studios, but reinforces the production company’s mission to prioritize and create environmentally conscious work. “1stAve BA has joined Green the Bid, which encourages zero waste, carbon neutral, sustainable and regenerative production practices,” says Executive Producer Sabrina Elizondo. “For instance, all characters in the spots were made from reclaimed wood, and many of the backgrounds and props are repurposed materials from other shoots.”

According to Elizondo, there were also several milestones achieved during production. “This entire production was done in lockdown over four months, from shooting through finish,” she says. “Stylistically, Becho & Mab coin themselves as a graphical stop motion studio. They pulled off an illustrative approach in-camera by shooting several light passes, masking out areas to prevent color bouncing, then compositing the passes in post. So it’s all done in camera, but with a digital approach. Genius!”

Shooting everything on camera and utilizing software including Dragonframe for animation and Adobe for design and animatics, the directors and their team of art directors, designers, and editors have once again executed a campaign that reflects Becho & Mab’s signature style and approach while further sparking their passion for stop-motion animation.

“Animation and stop motion are able to compress time in storytelling to unlock its design possibilities,” the directors say. “Impossible things like transformations or wooden people make perfect sense when you watch it, but at the same time, they blow your mind. We love this about what we do and are always looking for the perfect frame—or sequence of them.”

Credits:

Client: Samsung
Samsung Staff: Campbell Graham, Karen Park
Agency Staff: Chris Park (NexGen Media)
Global Executive Creative Director: Ashish Verma
Project Lead: Maura Nevolis
Global Design Director: Dave Rodriguez
Head of Video Production: Alex Israel
Head of Client Services: Andres Giusto
Writers: Kortney King, Mike Olson
Video Lead: Martin Hayward
Executive Producer: Dylan Fergus
Art Director: Jamie Doppelt
Production: 1stAveMachine Buenos Aires
Executive Producers: Sabrina Elizondo, Lautaro Brunatti, Mechi Serrano
Directors: Becho & Mab
Director of Photography: Lautaro Isem
Assistant Director: Vic Ripol
Line Producer: Mechi Serrano
Production Manager: Gaby Robles
Production Assistant: Susana Mota
Production Designer: Leonor Garcia Vercillo
Art Director: Ganz Toll
Editor: David Vargas
Junior Gaffer/Electrician: Lucas Dominguez
Animators: Hernan Grito Bruno, Mery Zancolli
Illustrator: Leandro Cassissa
Prop Master: Sebastian Hojnadel
Puppet Maker: Maximiliano Canosa
Model Makers: Verónica Arcodaci, Fernanda Maglione, Marcelo De Nadai, Martina Urtubey, Maria Eugenia Tomé, Florencia Ort, Gabriela Elian Pittaro
Post Studio Producer: Alejo Varisto
Post Studio Supervisor: Jonathan Monroig
Post Studio Coordinator: Natalia Paez
Post Studio Compositors: Julian Stirparo, Ignacio Venzano, Martin Quiros, Agustin Denis, Leonardo Quartieri
Post Studio Pipeline: Pablo Pollaci
Post Studio Color Grading Artist: Alejandra Lescano
Sound Studio: Konsonant Music

Social Media:

Facebook /1stAveBA
Instagram /@1stave.ba
LinkedIn /1staveba

About 1stAveMachine Buenos Aires:

We are a collective of individuals that live in motion. At 1stAveMachine Buenos Aires, we focus on craft and narrative. As a production company, we encourage our creatives and directors to fuse and use all forms of expression. We work closely with brands and agencies to come up with new ways to think and tell their stories.

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