NEW YORK — IdeaRocket (www.idearocketanimation.com) has created the new whiteboard show open for the Showtime series Weeds, which is back for its eighth and final season. Production on the final season’s 13 episodes is currently underway in Los Angeles. The new season debuted on July 1.
“Their creative staff was very clear on what they wanted from the beginning,” explains IdeaRocket creative director/founder William Gadea. “They had been entranced by the whiteboard style they had seen on the Web, and they wanted to create something that used that technique to re-tell the Weeds odyssey that viewers have watched over seven seasons. We pitched them more elaborate takes, but [“Weeds” executive producers] Jenji Kohan and Roberto Benabib were keen on keeping the simplicity and purity of the style.”
Although IdeaRocket’s take on the whiteboard resembles the You Tube RSA videos that popularized this style, the studio used a different technique. Instead of shooting stop-motion or speeding up video footage of a hand drawing an illustration, it employed a digital simulation. The drawing hand was shot against a greenscreen and then placed over art that was created in Photoshop on a Cintiq screen.
“We’ve developed a technique that allows us to capture the actual drawing as it occurs,” notes Gadea. “Using a totally digital workflow gives us and our clients more flexibility in making tweaks at any point in the process.”
"We were huge fans of the RSA videos and we really love how they took that model and created an awesome title sequence," adds executive producer Jenji Kohan.
In addition to Gadea, IdeaRocket credits include designer/director/illustrator Robert Kopecky and animator Jonathan Parson.