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The Best Work You May Never See: Shuttlecraft Serves The Real Gummies of the Black Forest For "Dinner"


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Jun. 23, 2016


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Production studio Shuttlecraft and Chicago-based ad agency Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co. recently teamed up to create a playful online campaign for Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears from Ferrara Candy Company.

The “reality” series, titled “The Real Gummies of the Black Forest,” features the hijinks of The Organics, a family of well-off gummy bears living lavishly in the forest. The campaign debuted this month with a teaser and the first three :30 episodes, including this ScreenWork entry titled “Dinner.”

“We instantly fell in love with the characters of ‘The Real Gummies of the Black Forest’ when Tom, Dick & Harry introduced them during our first creative reviews,” said Jill Manchester, SVP marketing and brand strategy for Ferrara Candy Company. “They demonstrated the value of our brand, which is delicious, tasty and USDA Certified Organic, but they didn’t take themselves too seriously. These gummy bears have the perfect personality and attitude for our brand. And a family with this much natural flavor deserves to be famous.”

“Shuttlecraft really captured the aesthetic we were going for, in amazing detail,” commented Bob Volkman, Tom, Dick & Harry, creative partner. “These are bears of privilege and their chaise lounge chairs had to be certifiably Baker or forget it. They definitely put their snooty hats on when crafting our miniature Black Forest.”  

Shuttlecraft, known for its animation and CG capabilities, jumped on the opportunity to help Tom, Dick & Harry and the Ferrara Candy Company realize the crazy, fun and quirky shenanigans of the Organics.

“After reading the scripts, we immediately knew that Tom, Dick & Harry had developed a great hook and characters that are genuinely authentic and funny,” says Ronnie Koff, executive creative director of Shuttlecraft. “We also recognized that in order to bring their concept to life, we needed to create CG gummies that could move around and interact believably with each other all while looking juicy and delicious.”

In order to achieve this goal, Shuttlecraft channeled their experience in creating photoreal food for such clients as Hershey’s, Yoplait, and Kellogg’s. In the creation of the set, model-makers and puppeteers David Bell and Joe Scarpulla hand-molded and sculpted a 1/12 scale version of the Black Forest measuring over eight feet long. Shuttlecraft also utilized a 3D printer to create many remaining set elements as well.

“David and Joe were perfect for this project,” said Koff. “They are artists, sculptors and craftsmen, and are singular in their ability to create miniature environments with an immense amount of detail and nuance. While both David and Joe continue to create stop-motion masterpieces, they will be an ongoing integral part of the Shuttlecraft team in creating our unique blend of CG with physical model-making.”

Once the forest and the bears were complete, Shuttlecraft seamlessly combined the CG elements with its live-action plates. Tom, Dick & Harry then hired voice actors to bring to life the stars of “The Real Gummies of the Black Forest.” It took two weeks for the set build and the shoot, with the entire process taking a total of eight weeks.


Client Ferrara Candy Company/Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears Agency Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co. Bob Volkman, David Yang, creative partners; Kevin Richey, chief strategy officer; Jared El-Mofty, associate creative director; Kari Grundman, art director; Pat Douglass, producer; Sabrina Medora, social media marketing manager. Production Shuttlecraft Ronnie Koff, director; Robert Berman, exec producer; Clint Chang, creative director; David Bell, Joe Scarpulla, model builders; Travis Tips, DP; David Chen, Rachel Rardin, Sylvia Apostol, Junyoung Han, compositors 2D; David Lee, Jerry Chow, Thaddeus Andreadas, Tyler Heckman, Lee Wolland, animation & rigging; Alek Vacura, Jordan West, modeling & sculpting; Patrick McAvena, Ken Lee, lighting & texturing; Nika Offenbac, producer; Wes Simpkins, storyboards. (Toolbox: Nuke, After Effects, ZBrush, Maya/Arnold, Cinema4D/Arnold, PF Track). Audio ARU Don Arbuckle, sound engineer & designer; Tom Haigh, music supervisor.



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