5 Ways Y&R London Danced to Higher Test-Scores [Choreographed Animatics]

Y&R London set out to bring to life the TUI experience through an epic, beautifully choreographed song and dance number. Set in the real
world around various TUI resorts, the commercial will have all the freshness and modernity of LA LA Land. Animaticmedia, London, was
honored to create a 3D cinematic that follows a young woman from the start of her holiday on a Dreamliner flight, where she begins
daydreaming about what her holiday might be, and who she might share it with.

To showcase the world of possibilities on a TUI holiday, we needed to showcase cruises; 5 star resorts with wonderful pools and beaches; city breaks in unusual destinations, luxury spa treatments, fine dining and family adventure holidays.
The timeline for this cinematic was short (8 days). So, we had to implement time saving and cost cutting techniques that have developed over 16 years to meet the creative brief, keep the agency happy and most importantly, crush it in market research.

Here are 5 power production tips we used and recommend to dance our way to higher test scores:

1. Start with your song selection

YR was very prepared and knew exactly the song they wanted in Tui; however, many times when we work with a client where a dance sequence plays an integral part of their story, they don’t have a selected song or music track. So we start the storyboard and pre-production process with a similar track in mind and switch it for the final song towards the end of the process. While this can be done - it's not ideal. The beat and rhythm of a song plays an important part in driving the visual narrative of the entire production so the sooner everyone knows the song the better.

2. Hire an amazing Choreographer

From the selected song a choreographer can ‘feel’ the music and turn that beat into performance that
can be easily conveyed to a team of dancers. In the case of Tui, we worked Miami based choreographer, Ekandem “E” Essiet. You have probably seen his work in Ghostbusters, The Hunger Games, Memphis: Direct from Broadway and Luis Fonsi’s monstrous Latin American "Despacito" tour. The "Despacito" video alone racked up 4 Billion views on YouTube.

“E”’s approach to devising contemporary, traditional, and immersive styles of dance for clients goes beyond mere movement.
“E” focuses on dance, as a vital and thrilling narrative tool in the process of creating today's most compelling performances in theatre, film and advertising.

3. Focus on the main characters

The Tui Land cinematic had over 20 3d characters; so, the level of detail on the characters was determined by their proximity to camera. For example, if the character was used in a wide shot we used a low poly model with less texture detail. For the close-ups and medium shots of our main female and male lead characters,we used higher resolution models with more complex facial rigs that provided more realistic expressions and performances. This was easy to plan because we started with a great storyboard strategy.

4. A detailed storyboard that can show placement but simple enough to allow for spontaneity

With dance numbers, we like to nail down the backgrounds and plan the action, but only to a certain point. Many times when working with a Choreographer the best movements and ideas happen in the performance capture session, so we like to leave room for those serendipitous moments by reducing the amount of plan moving shots in the storyboard.

5. Mix up the media to reduce costs and speed up the pipeline

Just because it's a 3D cinematic doesn't mean the entire spot is generated in Maya software. Our CGI team choose matte paintings, created in Photoshop, over 3D for many of the spot's backgrounds.

“The best part is we worked with a creative team from the agency that had a clear vision of what they want and provided many reference images that our artists were able to quickly modify and use in the spot” remarked Animaticmedia Creative Director, Scott Ownbey.