I like snooping around Black Ginger because there’s always something fascinating going on in their animated, VFX’y world. Models of Gargoyles and dragons festoon animator’s desks and all the motion sensor outfits lying around make it feel like Andy Serkis’ wardrobe.
Besides the work they do on feature films, the latest being some earth shaking VFX for Chinese film Tanshen – or After Shock – which picked up the Chinese equivalent of the Oscar, Black Ginger is well known for its work on commercials, the most remarkable being the recent animated Bakers Biscuits ad produced by Shy the Sun of Cape Town through Ogilvy, Joburg, and M-Net’s stereo 3D commercials, being shown in theatres.
The plaudits garnered from Bakers have won Black Ginger a new animated campaign for Unilever’s Ciff household cleaner working again with Shy the Sun through London agency, Lowe.
The campaign takes a spin on fairy tales, so put a kitchen in the castle, add fiery dragons, clumsy knights, house-proud princesses, fairies and queens, then stir in a lot of Black Ginger and you’ve got it.
I saw a Dirol chewing gum campaign for Moscow that Black Ginger’s sister company, BFX in Joburg, is completing. Then I was treated to a tasty view of a work in progress on a local commercial that VFX supervisor, Hilton Treves, promises me will be on an animation scale we’ve never seen in South Africa, and I don’t think the man’s bluffing.
Black Ginger is keeping their focus on providing specialised expertise in animation and VFX with the best technology South Africa can offer. This bucks the trend to some degree as commercial production houses offer more and more services under one roof.
Treves is concerned that this lowers the standard of animation in South Africa and believes that quality is key when it comes to attracting international clients, especially when the western standard of animation is so advanced.
Animation knows no bounds, it feeds our imagination like no other medium. That’s important in a communication world that many feel is becoming increasingly conservative.