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Gong, but not forgotten

Loose Moose Productions’ Caroline Attia has directed an animated homage to the Gong Man, the iconic trademark of the UK’s Rank Films used as the intro to all their films, to promote Odeon Cinemas’ new initiative of specially scheduled Mother and Baby screenings in England.

baby-gong-01A press release for the spot reads: A common problem faced by parents with young babies is, how can you still to go the pictures without ruining fellow cinema goers experience with your crying tot?

Bepanthen nappy cream has recently teamed up with Odeon Cinemas to help solve this problem by sponsoring specially scheduled Mother and Baby screenings nationwide, and asked Loose Moose’s Caroline Attia to direct an animated homage to the Gong Man, (also known as The-man-with-the-gong) – the iconic trademark of Rank Films used as the intro to all their films.

Loose Moose was contacted by JWT, London to ask if Caroline Attia could explore ways of utilising the Bepanthen baby logo after her painterly illustration and animation style caught their eye.

The brief was simple – keep to one shot with a slow push in, as in the original, and to incorporate the style, line and colour palette in the Bepanthen baby logo and packaging.

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The baby crawls on from camera left with determination that babies have when they want to do something – and want to do it before a grown up stops them! A large gong appears centre screen, suspended from a frame and has the familiar ‘hammered’ surface as per the Rank gong. The baby utters a little cry of excitement with the appearance of the gong and breathes heavily as it concentrates.

The baby stands slightly unsteadily and picks up the striker that is hanging down from the frame. Bepanthen Baby then bangs the gong twice, making a huge noise. The baby stands there smiling proudly as the caption appears.

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Caroline explains: “The two main challenges for me on this ident where design and animation. In term of design I had to find a way to both be faithful in someway to the already existing logo but at the same time to make it my own. I changed the design of the baby slightly in term of proportions but kept the colours and a line work similar. As for animation, I had never animated a baby before, and found it quite challenging. Babies have a special way of moving. I didn’t wanted to be ultra realistic in the animation, but wanted to convey the feeling of erratic movement and lack of balance that babies have. I watched a lot of references to help me with that.”

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Caroline produced a draft animation using Flash and then imported the frames into Photoshop. Caroline then used layers to gain freedom in the line work, finally compositing everything in After Effects.

Gong Baby joins a long line of Gong Man parodies from Carry On…Up The Khyber, where Kenneth Williams’ character refers to an over-enthusiastic gong man’s attitude as “rank stupidity”, to the final seconds of the video to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody showing percussionist Roger Taylor mimicking it by hitting a Tam Tam while stripped down to the waist, to The Mickey Mouse Club’s title sequence featuring Donald Duck, with varying humourous results.

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Agency Credits
Agency: JWT, London.
Creative Director: Chips Hardy
Producers: Jack Bayley / Panos Loucas

Production Credits
Production Company: Loose Moose Productions Ltd
Director: Caroline Attia
Producer: Glenn Holberton
Post Production: Bruce Hancock, Seizmic, London

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