Clangers is a British stop-motion animated children’s television series of short stories about a family of mouse-like creatures who live on, and inside, a small moon-like planet. They speak in whistles and eat blue string soup supplied by the Soup Dragon. The programs were originally broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1972. Forty-three years after it’s last episode, Clangers was set to relaunch June 20 on NBCUniversal’s Sprout network.
The folks of Sprout approached us to design, direct and produce six, :30 spots for the on-air launch. In that Clangers is based in outer space, who better to cast as the face and voice of the show than Mr. William Shatner!
Six minutes of original content had to be created for the launch campaign without giving the show away. The goal was to build a sense of mystery and anticipation with the chronological release of each spot as the show’s debut draws near, utilizing the talent of Mr. Shatner as the primary vehicle to get us there.
Upon receipt of six awesome scripts drafted by Sprout, we were tasked to design, shoot, produce and deliver the six spots in four phases over an ambitious course of eight weeks.
We had great scripts, a blank canvas and little time to make everything happen. It was imperative to do several things concurrently. We designed numerous style frames, our 3D team built working environments and we started the storyboarding process immediately. We secured a west coast location that Mr. Shatner was happy with and built a crew of over thirty talented people lead by T&F Director, Scott Matz.
We cut boardamatics to scratch reads and placeholder music. These pieces became an effective way to both nail down editorial flow and define shots needed. They also proved to be key for collaboration with the creatives at Sprout.
Scott directed the one-day shoot at Quixote Studios in West Hollywood, CA. Going in, we knew that Mr. Shatner was only available for four hours so we designed the shoot to cover all six spots first so we could wrap Mr. Shatner, then pick up the shots we needed of the three kids for Spot One.