Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cinematics vs animatics- an insiders report

The eternal quest to use the latest medium for animatics rages on. So which medium is better- cinematics, photomatics, animatics or 3D? Ask three different producers at 3 different agencies and you'll get 3 different responces. We all know the real answer to that question depends on the idea but surely there is a medium that skews higher than others? At Animaticmedia we are a full service testing production company so we have had the opportunity to produce animatics spots in a variety of mediums; however we rarely are given research statistics. Before I wrote this article I called several testing facilities for statistics; however none could offer any information on which animatic medium scores better than others. I was told from Millward Brown this isn't the type of data they track. I would strongly suggest they make it part of their data collection.

In December of 2008 we had an opportunity to do a series of high end video animatics or what we call cinematics for a Chicago agency that was pitching for the Intel account. Intel had shopped around a sample cinematic showcasing this high animation style they preferred on their testing. We bid for the job but ended up working for another competing agency.

We had the opportunity to see both campaigns and ended up working with Venables Bell & Partners who had a really solid creative idea. The job was truly a 14 day timeline but we only had 8 days. On such a tight deadline we knew there was no way to finish the animatics in the style Intel wanted so in a crunch we tend to go with what we know best. We swinged for the fences using a traditional hand drawn style pushing the limits of animation and had suggested some angles that really allowed us to make the spots dramatic. Two months later we found that Venables had won the account with a great idea and some blood sweat and tear animatics from us.

So what we learned from this were a couple of things:
1. We still dont know what medium tests well over others, but we do know that "Idea" is king if you have to rely on a medium to get your spot through testing you proably need another idea.
2. While we love 3D, and working with models and shooting video for high-end cinematics there is something magic about hand drawn animatics and a great editor.

By Scott Ownbey
Founder Animaticmedia

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