When Mimecast approached us about developing a corporate cartoon based on their popular live-action training videos, we were excited. They wanted an animated sci-fi comedy series to make compliance training fun for the tech crowd. In each episode of the live series, computer programmers are influenced by two imaginary characters – Human Error and Sound Judgement – as they face common workplace dilemmas. The animated version allowed us to place the characters in an office on Mars, opening up a new  range of storytelling possibilities.

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During this project, we enjoyed partnering with our talented lead creative contacts at Mimecast: Director/Writer Jann Yogman, and Producer Bryn Woznicki. We worked closely together throughout the process, challenging ourselves to push the project further and achieve a result that reflected the productive collaboration. deadline.

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During the creative kickoff, we reviewed Mimecasts’s concept, audience, and goals for the series. Essentially, we strategized to create a result comparable to a broadcast series like Archer or Sealab 2021, on a much more limited budget. And by establishing a convention that characters who were on Earth would appear in live form, we were able to incorporate some recognizable characters from the live-action series. Building on his experience writing the live series, Jann delivered a hilarious pilot script which established the genre, cast, and tone.

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With the pilot script as our guide, we started visual development, setting the overall look and feel, and designing the main characters, locations, and props. To reflect a truly international office on Mars, we aimed to develop a diverse cast of programmer characters. The Human Error and Sound Judgement designs were based on their real world counterparts, though we added some more fantastical elements, building off some fun cartoon conventions.

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Around this time, we worked to cast voiceover talent and schedule a recording session. We drew upon New York City’s rich community of comedians and voiceover performers, and by recording most of the cast together, we captured live conversational feel and took advantage of some great improvised moments. In order to capture an authentic South African accent we did record one cast member remotely, video conferencing with a recording studio in Johannesburg,

Next we developed the storyboard – basic illustrations for each beat of the story, which can be read along with the corresponding script - and assembled the images in sync with the cast recording,to create a pre-visualization, or animatic. This allowed us to review and finalize the story elements - before heading into animation. When using a puppet-animation technique like we did for Mimecast, the production phase starts by building and rigging character models for each main character. Then, we layout the appropriate characters, backgrounds, and props for each individual scene and move into animation. Working with the director, animators think like actors to bring the story to life. Finally, during post-production, we added music, sound design, and visual effects to complete the video. 

At ideaMachine, we’re dedicated to producing amazing content that delivers big results – while making the process easy and enjoyable for our clients. 

To learn more about creating a video series with IdeaMachine, visit us online or give us a call at 929-397-2893

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