Creative in association withGear Seven

Psyop's Step Through the Looking Glass

Production Company
Los Angeles, USA
Alice the Cat Goes on a Friskies Voyage for Avrett Free Ginsberg


Psyop stepped through the looking glass with agency Avrett Free Ginsberg and Friskies Plus in a fantastic voyage starring Alice the Cat. 
Magical swirls and plus signs from a freshly opened can of Friskies Plus unlock a secret portal in an unassuming kitchen. Alice, being a curious cat, steps through the mysterious doorway and into a wonderland (of course), where she meets chickens and turkeys, strolls across floating lily pads and finds her way to a joyful tea party in her honor. 
View "Alice":
Developing the Look
In a collaborative effort between Psyop and Avrett Free Ginsberg, the world of Friskies Plus was inspired by the surreal but familiar scenes of Alice in Wonderland and a playful poem the agency penned for the spot. 
To design the cast of characters, Psyop’s artists shot photos of employees and used them as reference. “We tried to create a range of personalities. Originally, the two chickens were like gossipy roommates,” explains Lauren Indovina, co-creative director at Psyop. “They got plumper as the development process went along. We toned down the sass and gave them a little more charm.”
Working With Cats
“We wanted to create a sense of intimacy with the cat by getting close with the camera — which was really challenging. Because we were shooting in stereo, we had two ARRI Alexa cameras rigged side by side,” says Psyop co-creative director Marie Hyon. “We probably freaked out the cat a few times with that rig. We pushed the limits, but with some luck and a lot of persistence, it all worked out really well.”
An old adage in the film business warns that you should never work with children or animals, but the cats and their handler made the shoot relatively painless. “Our favorite cat, Cosmo, saved the day more than once,” says Indovina. 
Agency Collaboration
Avrett Free Ginsberg’s Rachel Hutchison (copy writer) and Kimi Peterson (art director) were integral to the success of the spot. “We instantly established mutual trust and respect with them,” explains Hyon. “They had such great ideas, including the inclusion of the tea party scene. It was one of those awesome collaborative efforts that really took the project to a special place.”
Spot Title: Alice
Client Company: Nestlé Purina PetCare
Agency: Avrett Free Ginsberg
Executive Creative Director: David Moore
Executive Director of Broadcast Production: Betsy Rosenblum
Copy Writer: Rachel Hutchison
Art Director: Kimi Peterson
Account Executive: Dawn Terrazas
Assistant Account Executive: Kaela Carey
Production Company: Psyop / Smuggler
Director: Psyop
Psyop Creative Directors: Marie Hyon, Lauren Indovina
Psyop Executive Producer: Lydia Holness
Psyop: Senior Producer: Crystal Campbell
Smuggler Executive Producer/Partner: Patrick Milling Smith
Smuggler Executive Producer/Partner: Brian Carmody
SmugglerExecutive Producer/COO: Lisa Rich
Smuggler Executive Producers: Allison Kunzman, Laura Thoel
Smuggler Live action producer: Michael Schlenker
Director of Photography: Fred Elmes
Designers: Lauren Indovina, Eunice Kim and Pete Sickbert-Bennett
Editor: Cass Vanini
Storyboard Artist: Ben Chan
Lead Technical Advisor: Mark Rohrer
VFX Supervisor: Joerg Liebold
Modeling: Soo Hee Han, Todd Daniele, Brian Eck, Chris Fudge, Aldrich Torres
Rigging: Frank Narajo
Animation Lead: Kitty Lin
Animation: Ryan Moran
Lighting Pipeline Technical Director: Jonah Friedman
Lighting Team: Helen Choi and Chris Wilson
Texturing: Soo Hee Han, George Smaragdis, Dan Gregoras, Susie Jang
Lead Tracking: Joerg Liebold
Tracking: Tim Mendler
Feathering: Jonah Friedman, Andy Hara and Elefant Studios
Real Flow: Marcelo Cermak
Lead Compositor: Thomas Panayiotou
Compositors: Manu Gaulot, Chase Massingil, Winston Lee, Adam Flynn
Flame: Fabien Coupez
Music Company: MAS
Sound Mix Company: Napolean Group
Mixer: Ron DiCesare
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