The :30 spot directed by Stardust's Santa Monica-based art director Jonathan Wu debuted across the U.S. last month.
"RPA's creative team approached us with the idea of creating a yearbook-themed cross-promotional spot for the Honda Odyssey as part of Honda's promotion of Walt Disney Pictures' 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year,'" Wu explains. "The main points were to make sure it was photo-real and authentic to a high-school yearbook. The guys at RPA gave us great input, and we applied their ideas throughout the process, which really made the piece come together well. It was a great collaboration."
In keeping with the theme of Walt Disney Pictures' current theatrical hit, the spot begins with a Wildcats-themed yearbook on a student's desk. After opening, the book's colorful pages flip past, featuring photos of the movie's stars and many handwritten notes and artistic doodles.When a Honda Odyssey appears and begins driving through some of the book's layouts, the illustrated doodles and other photographic elements come to life around the traveling van, until more 3D-illustrated pages present the film's title, and the book closes. Kevin Spacey's voice tells viewers, "See Disney's 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year,' only in theaters, and get there in the best-in-class Odyssey, from Honda."
Stardust also created the custom animation of Honda's logo that appears at the spot's end. To begin the process of bringing the spot to life, Wu and his colleagues worked with the agency creatives to render storyboards conveying the overall look and feel, and showing how the Odyssey would travel through the piece.
"We then created a previs for camera angles and timing," Wu says. "With approval on that, we started rendering out our scenes with proper lighting and detail from Maya to get the photo-real look. Our cell animators rendered-out many of the doodle elements in the spot, and our After Effects team handled the 2D animations and compositing."
Summarizing his team's appreciation for the finished project, Wu continues, "I think everyone did a great job with the car and its environment. I love that it's allv ery photo-real -- you can even see the environment reflected in the car and we added a depth of field pass to give that extra detail. I also think we did a great job with the overall tone of the spot, keeping that high-school look and feel."
RPA's project team included EVP/chief creative officer David Smith, SVP/creative directors Joe Baratelli and Pat Mendelson, VP/associate creative director/art director Chuck Blackwell, copywriter Seth Prandini, SVP/executive producer Gary Paticoff, and senior producer Brian Donnelly.
HONDA ODYSSEY "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3"
PROJECT NAME: Honda Odyssey "High School Musical 3"
RUNNING TIME: :30
DATE OF FIRST AIRING: September 29, 2008
ADVERTISING AGENCY: RPA
CITY/STATE: Santa Monica, CA
EVP/CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: David Smith
SVP/CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Joe Baratelli, Pat Mendelson
VP/ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR/ART DIRECTOR: Chuck Blackwell
COPYWRITER: Seth Prandini
SVP/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Gary Paticoff
SENIOR PRODUCER: Brian Donnelly
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Stardust Studios
CITY/STATE: Bicoastal, USA
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Wu
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Brad Tucker
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Paul Abatemarco
LINE PRODUCER: Josh Libitsky
EDITOR: Michael Merkwan
ART DIRECTOR: Jonathan Wu
DESIGNERS: Jonathan Wu, Ling Feng
3D ARTISTS: Brian Broussard, Joseph Andrade, Chris Eckardt, James Anderson, Tomohiro Murayama, Forbes Hill
COMPOSITORS: James Yi, Andrew Ashton, Joel Ashman
MUSIC: From Disney's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year"
MUSIC EDITING COMPANY: Hum
CITY/STATE: New York, NY
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Debbi Landon
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Alex Kemp
FINAL MIX COMPANY: Margarita Mix
CITY/STATE: Santa Monica, CA
MIXER: Nathan Dubin
VOICEOVER: Kevin Spacey