Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reality Check: Nissan Pivo2

by Anson Jew

This is part of a series of posts where I will post my storyboards along with a link to the finished commercial so you can compare the boards with the final product.

This was a promo for the Nissan Pivo2 concept car. My understanding was that this was part of a larger promo shown at car shows in Japan using a super widescreen format. The director's name is Adam Bluming and you can find an excerpt from the ad on his website. Just click the link below to get into the site, then go to the director's section and then to the commercials section. Then click on the image on the upper left of the grid to see the spot.
Adam Bluming's site.


  1. Good stuff, Anson! I'm curious, though -- in your first installment you mentioned that you are sort of removed from the process of the ad being produced, but can you describe a bit about the initial brief and working relationship during the actual boarding? Do you go meet with the director, or is it like a lot of agency presentation boards these days... an email brief and maybe a phone call for clarification?

  2. Most of the time, I meet with the director and work on-site. Often, as in both of these ads, the director will have a very specific idea of what he wants. We'll have a meeting (sometimes with the director doing some of his own rough sketches)and I'll sketch stuff out, and as the day goes on, we'll change and massage stuff until we get something the director likes. Often, as in the Pivo2 boards, we have an initial meeting, then I go home and do the finished boards and send them in via email. In the case of the VW ad I brought my laptop and a scanner to their office and drew the art on paper and did the grey tones in Photoshop. When I work onsite on ads, usually other people on the team are working on stuff like casting and location scouting, although sometimes that type of thing has already been done by the time I get there.

  3. Anson; that's very interesting - you're not the only guy I've heard brings his equipment on site. What's interesting if I read correctly is you don't (or at least didn't) draw these digitally... you mentioned you drew on paper and scanned in the drawings for colouring (greys) in Pshop. Is that still how you work or are you totally digital now?

    Also, why the greytones at all? I notice a lot of shooting board artists just do linear drawings... I thought maybe I was the exception when I did my brief foray into shooting boards a few years ago. Is it common to add tone or was this a special case?

  4. Leif:

    For this particular spot, there were some things the director asked for (reflections on the windshield, overheads lighting up a darkened room) that seem to be easier to express with PS than with lines. Plus, the fact that since this spot was fairly simple (only one character, one car, and minimal backgrounds on screen at any given time), this spot could be drawn quickly enough to allow PS to be used. In the case of the VW ad, my thinking was that because so much of the ad involved floating white blocks of type, it would be easier to make any requested changes if I used the perspective tool, rather than redraw the type every time there was a change. Because the type had to be white, I also needed solid areas of black or grey to be behind the type. Most of the time, however, I don't drop tones on shooting boards.

  5. Leif:

    Oh, yeah and about the digital thing, I have used Sketchbook Pro for a couple of jobs, and though I like the way it performs as a sketch tool, there are some crappy technical bugs regarding the TIFF format, and size/resolution issues that really are a headache when using it. So sometimes, I'll just go for the pencils and paper, just for comfort's sake.