Heckler Brings Quilton’s ‘Love Your Bum’ To Screens With Animation Director Simon Rippingale
Nothing says soft like a baby cupid flying through the clouds on a stream of Quilton toilet roll. Through Gorilla and working with legendary AACTA award winning animation director, Simon Rippingale, Heckler took the next instalment of Quilton ‘Loves Your Bum’ theme to new heights…
Featuring an original surf-rock track, and ending with a shiny new sonic brand, the incredible talents of the sound and VFX team collaborated on this whimsical spot.
Heckler sits in with animation director Simon Rippingale to discuss the Quilton campaign and his love of all things animation.
What was your favourite aspect of working on this campaign?
I really enjoyed the live action shoot component, even though it was tricky with a three-year-old! It’s great for animation artists like me to have the opportunity to work with real time performance. I love the different approach. Working with a real performer, talking to them and getting multiple camera takes and real emotions — and then taking all this data into the VFX/animation world and using it to create something very close to all animation.
How did Gorilla/Heckler brief you on the campaign?
Gorilla came to us with the surfing baby concept fairly well shaped and we developed the shot to shot storytelling from there in collaboration. There was a fairly extensive shot design process before we did our green screen shoot.
What is most enjoyable about bringing this style (hybrid of live action and animation) to life?
I like the faults, the scratches, smudges and imperfections of the real world. The dust on the lens. The real light refractions and translucencies. I really enjoy lighting and shooting on miniatures. It’s fun just grabbing a real light and moving it around to create lighting design and then bringing all this into the 3D animation workspace. We can have music playing when we’re shooting miniatures because, of course, there is no sound capture.
It’s nice to get into a workshop splashing paint and glue around. Using tools and getting my hands dirty. It’s a very different way of thinking artistically, being away from a computer. It’s a more tactile creative process. It’s amazing how the hands make choices and just seem to know what to do sometimes.
But in contrast to that, I love the digital 3D character design process. Drawing, then modelling and surfacing then rigging and animating this little digital creature. This little being that was born from drawings and will come to life and inhabit our miniature world.
What helps to inspire you when coming up with weird and wonderful animated worlds?
It’s all really just the art of storytelling I suppose. It starts with interesting writing. A good screenplay that is surprising. I love creative writing and I think that in both live action and animation, story is always king. So, it all comes down to just writing a good story! That isn’t easy, but it’s something you can get very immersed in.
I can’t have any sound distraction when I’m writing. No music. No one talking on a phone. That’s not always easy to find in Sydney! I have been haunting various libraries lately, looking for the quietest place I can find… with coffee nearby. I love the idea of a writing retreat to a cabin in the bush or on a beach, but I haven’t done it… yet.
Why do you think animation works so well for particular types of campaigns?
I think animation seems to tap into a playful, dreamlike part of our psyche. Animations take place in these story worlds where, although anything could happen, it always seems best if the world has some parameters to it. Some kind of story logic. A framework within which to make images move, even if the rules are weird and wild and wonderful.