NEW YORK — BigSmack (www.bigsmack.tv), with locations in New York and Philadelphia, recently created a promo campaign for the National Geographic Channel highlighting its new series Brain Games. The studio collaborated with National Geographic’s in-house creative team to complete creative concepting for the project and then wrote, produced, and created extensive CGI and graphics for the launch.
The show is hosted by filmmaker/TED Talks icon Jason Silva. It uses illusions, mind games and interactive experiments to reveal the inner workings of the human brain.
“One of the biggest challenges was the research that we needed to do in order to find fun and thought-provoking examples of brain puzzles and teasers; as well as the choreography of the spots which required the cameras, experiments, and the on-screen talent to be in sync,” explains BigSmack founder/head creative Andy Hann. “Many of the shots were all done in one-take, which was quite a feat.”
Hann shared the director’s chair on-set with BigSmack’s senior CD Matt Hall. “The series host, Jason Silva, is renowned for his ability to improv,” explains Hall. “So we gave him an outline, but he added a lot of the material on his own while we were shooting. Because of the improv, most of the CGI/effects were added in the post production phase, without a lot of pre-planning. The creative process was truly an evolution... At every stage, something new was added on-screen, continually making the spots that much better, and leading to a great end result.”
Jason Harmon and Rick Malwitz provided design/animation. Dan Hoffman served as graphics artist. Mark Farkas cut the promo and
Janet Falcon served as colorist.
Composer David Baron of Edison Music Corp/New York created an original score, and freelance composer Bix Sigurdsson created the riff. BigSmack’s Bob Schachner and Mike Taylor mixed the project.