The Mill, Grey New York and Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man collaborated to create the "Marionettes" campaign.
Featuring 100% CG dolls on strings, "Lemonade" is the first spot to launch DirecTV's new wire-free boxes. Chris Bayol, shoot supervisor and 3D lead artist, explained: "The most important decision was choosing to shoot real actors in full wardrobe in place of the marionettes. This gave us a live set in which Bryan could direct and the actors could engage with real characters in their performances."
"We studied the animation language of how marionettes move in great depth, even shooting puppeteers at Legacy Effects who are incredibly skilled and just amazing to watch! There were times where we heightened the clumsiness to add to the comedy value and other moments where we toned down the exaggeration to convey the emotional connection between the characters."
Robert Sethi, creative director, commented: "We knew that it was going to be an incredibly complex animation job from the start. There are multiple characters with intricate details, so we wanted to make it as smooth a process as possible for both Grey and Bryan. By basing it on live-action performance, we had an idea of what the shots would look like which was reassuring for everyone."
Phil Crowe, shoot supervisor and creative director, concluded: "Having worked with Bryan for years we've developed a trusting relationship which allows us to be involved in a project from the earliest stages. So we had access to everything from script to casting to wardrobe to get a step ahead of the game." "Live performance direction meant we could establish comic pace, ground the animations in reality and recognise the visual direction we were heading in from the start. It's a brilliant example of a great collaboration."