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Responses by Moth Studio

Background: We were approached by our representative Hornet in partnership with agency The Richards Group, to create a modern and fresh take on The Salvation Army’s seasonal Red Kettle advertisements. Wanting to evoke the warm, nostalgic tones of Christmas, we felt that having the spots as tales within a storybook would appeal to both the young and old alike.

Reasoning: Working with the agency, we began to develop the three main characters and construct the world in which each one inhabited. Each of the three spots, “Gus,” “Chloe,” and “Emma,” would work like a short story from a bigger book, “The Fight for Good.” We decided to animate the characters by hand while incorporating some 3-D into the backgrounds in order to keep the visuals fresh and engaging.

Challenges: It was a challenge to balance The Salvation Army’s roots in tradition, while keeping it contemporary for a modern audience. We’re also unsure if it was more challenging, but we decided to have the “Emma” film set on the West Coast, contrasting with the other two typically seasonal films. It was certainly an interesting design task to think about a visual representation of Christmas without the more stereotypical imagery associated with the holiday.

Favorite details: One of the most satisfying experiences of the whole project was recording the score with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and our composer Pierre O’Reilly. It was a magical moment and the perfect punctuation to the end of the project.

Anything new: From a production perspective, it has been the most ambitious commercial project for us to date. Working on three films back to back with such a large and talented team pushed us beyond anything we have produced so far and has made us eager for more!

Specific demands: Working with such talented animators and designers throughout made the job of directing a breeze for us. They were all so invested in the project that each individual brought something special to the final films.

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