Aardman Hilariously (and Beautifully) Spoofs Every Client Conference Call You’ve Ever Been On

Can you 'Visualise This'?

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You’ve been on those conference calls with clients—the ones where you go around and around in circles, trying to nail down the brief, only to get so much confusing and conflicting information that you come away hopelessly pretzeled.

Aardman directors have been there. And today, the animation company—perhaps still best known for Wallace & Gromit, but involved in a slew of advertising productions over the years—has unveiled “Visualize This,” a 2:25 comedy film that parodies just those kinds of calls. Agency and production company execs everywhere will feel the pain of the director, as he tries to get clarity on just what, exactly, this client wants.

Meanwhile, somewhat ingeniously, the film also promotes Aardman’s services by showing off lots of its capabilities, including live action, CGI, 2-D animation, stop motion and visual effects.

Check out the film here:

AdFreak spoke with Aardman director and designer Danny Capozzi, who crafted the film, about the idea for the piece and how he balanced the various goals he envisioned for it.

This is a fun piece. Where did the idea come from?
I really wanted to create a piece that could showcase a variety of disciplines I’ve learnt along the way at Aardman, as well as my passions and influences in street culture.

Around this same period, I had a series of perplexing conference calls, and that’s when the lightning bolt hit me, to merge the spitballing and often circular nature of a call with a scatter gunning of eye-candy visuals. Aardman were totally behind the idea, and with their full support, we created a really striking film.

How did you balance the desire to be funny and satirical yet also show off your capabilities?
I wanted the script to feel very natural, and it was tricky to balance the client’s and agency’s needs with the director’s misinterpretation of their requests. It’s primarily the client’s creative ideas that drives the narrative along with a mixture of ideas being changed and lost in translation. The dialogue was crafted so it would resonate with anyone who has been on a creative conference call like this. I wanted the visuals to be extreme from one another to reflect the sudden switching of ideas. This helped build tension in the piece and made it hard for the director to keep up, which added pace and allowed for good comedy timing.

How does each scene demonstrate the different things Aardman can do?
It’s really a vast mixture of skills and techniques, be it CGI, live action, 2-D, stop motion and effects work. Aardman can do it all to a very high standard. We have an incredible team of visual artists here, hand-picked from all over the world. So much talent, and I feel very lucky to have them work on “Visualise This!”

Are you seeding this anywhere? Will there be a paid buy behind it?
We are planning on seeding the film to some relevant creative and animation sites and forums, and we are looking at a possible paid social media campaign.

Production Company: Aardman
Director: Danny Capozzi
Producer: Danny Gallagher
Production Coordinator: Lauren Paterson

Writers: Sam Morrison & Danny Capozzi

Live Action Elements:
Nat Sale
Adam Cook
Sam Morris

Modelmaking: Chris Entwistle

CGI Artists:
Ben Toogood
Nathan Guttridge
Ali Dixon
Rich Spence
Nathan Guttridge
Dave Klein
John Ogden
Mat Rees
Jim Grant

Comp Supervisor: Jon Biggins
Compositing: Jim Lewis
Compositing: Paule Quinton
Compositing: Hugh Brazier

Voice Talent:
Hannah Campbell
Alex Nagle
Lisa Jones
Danny Capozzi

Little Girl Delphi Capozzi
Clown Danny Gallagher
Gentrified man Danny Capozzi

Music Composers: James Newman & Danny Capozzi
Recording Engineer: Laura Izzard
Tracklay & Sound Mix: Laura Izzard

Editors: Dan Hembery & Ben Craske

With Thanks to:
Dave Sproxton
Pete Lord
Heather Wright
Jason Fletcher- Bartholomew
Helen Argo
Jess Mckillop
Elizabeth Boyles
Genevieve Silburn
Lola Capozzi
Vinny Capozzi

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.