In order to afford those moments of innocent playfulness and flights of imagination, one has to earn the freedom through the more serious kinds of work. There is also something positive to say for working on high budget projects affording opportunities otherwise out of reach. It does not mean selling one’s soul or betraying one’s principals or lowering the bar of possibilities to explore, challenge, experiment with and attain. While advertising does not often extend a freedom to lead the way, Ajinomoto was one of those rare exceptions. Thanks to this opportunity and the client’s open mind, “Snacky” became one of the pioneering, award winning commercials bringing to life a soft feeling, charming, playful and cuddly computer generated character within a life action setting, where both of them enjoy their interaction. Despite the passing of time the charm this commercial projects has not dissipated. Its success let to several others. During its production I did find myself awakening in a middle of a night, the only one who foresaw how, eventually, the animated and the life action worlds will fuse together into a believable entity inviting kids to join in and not just take a bit but imagine being there as well. This was one of those precious, reflective times when I felt a deep gratitude and appreciation for lessons learned and experience gained in film directing and analyses, back when, at my film school.
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