Make had the honour of creating the visual effects for United Way Canada’s 2015 national television campaign. United Way campaigns raise money for local groups that address community issues. Canada’s influential agency TAXI approached Make’s founder, Joe Fellows to co-direct the TV spot with award winning photographer and director Derek Shapton from Toronto’s Westside studio.

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DIRECTORS JOE FELLOWS & DEREK SHAPTON

TAXI’s Jake Boguch and Yuko Brown wanted to communicate the concept: behind every changed life, there are many people who helped make it happen. Their elegant cinematic solution was a simple ‘rack focus’ to shift attention from foreground to background characters. TAXI decided the best way to achieve this was to combine Make’s parallax technique and Derek Shapton’s compelling still photography.

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YUKO BROWN, DEREK SHAPTON, JOE FELLOWS AND NICOLE POON AT TAXI

Westside Studio expertly managed the challenging shoot that was completely shot on location, working with real United Way clients, donors and staff.

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Jake Boguch on location

In an extract from a motion graphics book to be published in the New Year Fellows describes working with TAXI, Shapton and Westside Studios  “The shoot was incredibly liberating because we could set up the layers in real life. we were able to shoot clean back plates, capture specific foreground and background objects for set dressing as well as isolate the main characters. The advertising campaign also required there to be a rack focus in the final commercial, this meant that everything had to be shot in focus so we could mimic the change in focus in post production and create that cinematic depth of field” explains Fellows.

Make’s post production process used the parallax animation technique and morphing technology in order to bring life to still photographs.

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Click to enlarge COMPOSITE SHOT BREAKDOWN

To read a bit more about the shoot from Derek’s perspective, please check out his blog post about the project.

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Derek Shapton on location

Client: United Way
Agency: TAXI
Director / DOP: Derek Shapton
Director / Post Production: Joe Fellows / Make Productions
Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
Creative Director: Steve Mykolyn
Copywriter: Jake Bogoch
Art Director: Yuko Brown
Broadcast Producer: Nicole Poon
Print Production Director: Sharon Govang
Stylist: Cheryl Thompson
Assistants: Jon Brown, Gabe Nivera, Peter Olson
Production Company: Westside Studio