In conjunction with long-time collaborator, director Joseph Mann at Blinkink, the Freefolk team have produced another exuberant spot for Anchor Butter, playing with the long-standing “Butter the Food. Butter the Mood” slogan.
In this joyful sequence we see a chef in a food van spreading Anchor on things and doling out buttery foods to people in the street. As the butter melts and slides down some sweetcorn, the customers start to slide around as well, evoking the delight of eating something slathered in tasty butter. Gravity itself seems to malfunction when Anchor is being consumed, such is its buttery power. When darkness falls, the spell is broken and normality resumes.
This project is the latest in a series of successful collaborations between Freefolk and Blinkink, including the Lidl Christmas advert and spots for Churchill and TransPennine. They also worked together on the previous Anchor campaign.
Director Joseph Mann said: “Working with Freefolk is always a joy. They not only raise the bar from a technical point of view each time I work with them, but they are also a group of highly creative folk who bring ideas to the table to help elevate the storytelling. It’s very much a creative partnership working with Freefolk which is why I keep coming back!”
Freefolk’s involvement spanned the full timeline of the project. “Having worked many times with Joe and producer Josh Smith before. “They really like to get us involved right from the start even before fully story boarding so we can suggest and guide them in any ways we think could be useful from a practical or post position,” says Freefolk’s 2D lead Andy Copping.
The shots of people, furniture and animals sliding around involved the most work. “All objects and people had to be roto'd off their original plate and placed onto one hero plate,” says Andy. “These shots had 22 layers so they had some serious amount of work in them. Along with timing them to the world's movement, everything moving in the scene was being either dragged or pulled so there were multiple areas of clean up.”
Shadows were then placed, and scuff marks where tables had been sliding were added to make it believable. To give the puppets character, their eyes were animated with blinks and eye rolls. There was also rod and rigging removal. Flame and Nuke were used to achieve these effects.