June 28, 2007


The :30 was inspired by the real estate phenomenon known as "house flipping," where would-be tycoons try to quickly buy and sell properties. The promo combines live action and quirky animation, and shows buyers pumping up their houses with an air pump. As the houses inflate, their values increase. One overly-eager flipper goes to the extreme, pumping his house up to the point it explodes like a balloon. "Flip or Flop?" the voiceover asks as the next season is introduced. The promo closes with an overhead shot of the animated neighborhood. Occasionally one house pops and disappears, leaving an empty lot.

According to Wee Beastie creative director Chris McKenna, the team shot greenscreen footage - DVCPro HD 30p on VariCam - at Cinemaworld in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

"We chose 30p because I was worried about motion blur making it difficult to rotoscope our actors should there be any problems with the key," McKenna explains. "We figured we could always give the end result a more film look if we needed to. Subjectively we really liked how the 30p turned out. It added to the cartoon feel."

At the shoot, background plates were composited live using a video switcher, helping to make sure camera angles were correct. Elements were created using Adobe Photoshop and were composited using After Effects. The 3D houses were all created in Maya.

Green screen keying was done with The Foundry's AE plug-in Keylight. The air hose and For Sale sign were created using Maxon Cinema 4D.

Wee Beastie credits included executive producer Monica Freriks, DP Marc Blandori and art director Rob Bischoff. Reality CG's Randy Ramsey and Anwar Al-Asmi handled 3D.