Production and post house Optimus collaborated with Shedd Aquarium, also known as the “World’s Aquarium” dedicated to public education and conservation, to develop a spot for Amphibians, a limited-time special exhibit that opened to the public on May 16. The Optimus Design team, led by Creative Director Donnie Bauer, worked side-by-side Shedd Aquarium’s internal designers, marketing team and animal care experts to deliver a spot that blends live action shots of the exhibit’s fascinating amphibians with vibrant animation that conveys the energy of their habitats. Airing locally now, the spot urges viewers to visit the exhibit where they can “hear a chorus” of frogs or “discover the unexpected” beauty of salamanders.

Amphibians is an opportunity for guests to explore the wonderfully diverse world of amphibians – further connecting them to the living world," said Amanda Enser, Assistant Director of Licensing and Media for Shedd. "Optimus has been an extraordinary partner over the years because they take the time to learn Shedd’s brand and animals. With this new piece, working closely with our team, they paint a complete picture for audiences through a creatively designed visual that shows the variety of shapes, colors and sizes of the extraordinary animals our guests will encounter and experience in this new exhibit.”

Optimus and Shedd worked together to visualize the commercial spot and align it with the print campaign for a seamless look. Also unique to this spot was that Optimus Design was responsible for the live-action shots of the amphibians and Bauer worked closely with Shedd to get footage of these dynamic animals, including a Japanese giant salamander.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project because it allowed us to go on this complete journey with Shedd – starting with pre-vis and production – through design, animation, editing and audio and, finally, the finishing process,” said Bauer.  “I think when viewers see the spot it’s obvious that the entire team not only poured its creative energy into the campaign, but we had a great time working together.”

View the spot at

Screenwork Credits

Shedd Aquarium
Vice President Planning and Design: Tynnetta Qaiyim; Assistant Director Licensing and Media: Amanda Enser; Director Shows and Entertainment: Andy Park; Assistant Director Integrated Media Design: Inga Mesker; Videographer: Sam Cejtin; Senior Vice President, Marketing Guest Experience & Sales: Megan Curran; Director of Marketing: Alicia LaVire

Optimus Design
Director: Donnie Bauer; DP: Chris Vanderwall; ECD: Mike Ciacciarelli; Managing Director: Gretchen Praeger; Producer: Katie Smith; Design: Donnie Bauer; Animation: Luis Mayorga, Tyler Nelson, Sunmin Park; CGI: Luis Mayorga; Compositing: Donnie Bauer, Mike Ciacciarelli; Edit: Donnie Bauer; Cleanup: Luis Mayorga, Brad Cannady, Donnie Bauer, Mike Ciacciarelli

Color: Jeff Greco, Ken Wald, Donnie Bauer; Audio Engineer: Marina Bacci; Music: Scott Lamps; Finish: Matt Bregger

About Optimus
Optimus is a leading production and post-production house with offices in Chicago, Santa Monica and New York.  A true one-stop shop, Optimus and its production arm One at Optimus offer a full suite of creative services, including production, editing, color correction, visual effects and design, audio mixing and finishing. For more information, please visit, and Connect with us on Facebook at and

About Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public education and conservation, is among one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums. The facility houses over 32,000 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world.  Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium is known as “The World’s Aquarium.”  Since its opening in 1930, the aquarium’s mission has been to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the aquatic world.  Shedd Aquarium is committed to a number of projects designed to preserve threatened or endangered aquatic species. Visit to learn more.