Friday, May 6, 2016

Charbroil Grill social media spots

In March, I was hired to direct three stop motion spots to be produced by McBeard for Charbroil Grills. From stylized 2.5D downshooter animation to 1:1 scale animation, we truly found out how versatile the shooting space at Platypus Pictureworks could be!

These spots were really enjoyable to make! (Though animating that realistic steak did actually get me pretty hungry.)

Director/Producer: Pete Levin
Creative Account Manager at McBeard: Kathleen Curran
Animation Team Manager at McBeard: Vick Trochez
Producer: Musa Brooker
Director of Photography: Eric Adkins
Lighting Technician: Ian Raymond
Production Designer: Kyle Arneson
Fabricator: Emily Franz
Puppet Fabricator: Tennessee Reid Norton
Animator: Hilary Lile
Animator: Misha Klein
Animator: Pete Levin
Senior Editor & Motion Graphics at McBeard: Matt Wells

Here are the first two spots:
A video posted by Char-Broil (@charbroilgrills) on

A video posted by Char-Broil (@charbroilgrills) on

UPDATE - Here's the third!

More Lego Scooby Doo stop motion shorts!!

More Lego Scooby Doo shorts have been released! These were a ton of fun to do.

Here are two more that I animated:

Click here for my previous Lego Scooby post!

Directed by Ethan Marak at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

Principal Financial: Logo Evolution

In February, I got a chance to serve as animation supervisor on this spot about the evolution of Principal Financial's logo. I'm fascinated by the idea of how graphic design can so powerfully shape identity and inform people instantaneously about what a company is and is striving to be.

Directed by: Sean Starkweather
Produced by: Arsenal Creative
Animation Supervisor/Animator: Pete Levin
Stop Motion Animator: Musa Brooker
Director of Photography: Andy Knapp
Gaffer: Christian Buchholz
Production Designer: Francesca Marciano
Lead Artist: Andrew Schreiber

Friday, November 13, 2015

Transformers vs. GI Joe: The Commissary - presented by The Loyal Subjects Action Vinyls

*Yup, not even close to being a week, but whatever.

This project was awesome. As a child of the '80's, getting a chance to write and direct some officially-sanctioned spots featuring some of my favorite characters was a dream come true.

These three shorts serve as advertisements for The Loyal Subjects Action Vinyls line of toys. The idea is to take the collectability of vinyl toys (often sold in blind boxes) and mix it with the play value/functionality of action figures. The little guys have a really charming design to them and the collectors are a dedicated bunch.

My goal with the series was to find a fun way to mix the worlds of GI Joe and Transformers, maintain respect for the original properties, and find some organic humor appropriate for all viewers. I'm really proud of how these turned out and the work that everyone in the crew and voice cast did to bring these toys to life.

Episode 1: Soda Showdown

Episode 2: Birthday Blowout

Episode 3: Zartan's Plan

Co-created with my pal Dan Levy, executive produced by Jonathan Cathey (the big cheese at The Loyal Subjects), and produced by myself, Dan, and Musa Brooker. I wrote the scripts for all three and directed. Full credits for our incredible crew available HERE.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Baltimore Orioles Scoreboard animation 2015

*Okay, I know this isn't technically a week anymore.

As is now a yearly tradition, my buddy John Sumner and I got to make more animated crowd prompts for use on the Baltimore Orioles' JumboTron!

Every year, we want to add something new to the fan experience at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It's an incredible feeling to see the animations with 40,000 other people in the stadium, catch a glimpse of the home run animation on TV, or to hear the sound effects from the construction worker prompt (and the fans' reaction following it) while listening to games on the radio.

As a fan myself, it's a big thrill. And as a director, it's always a fun challenge to communicate an idea in less than ten seconds to an audience who may need a moment to realize there's something happening on the scoreboard, all within a crazy double-widescreen aspect ratio that makes for some creative compositions.

The "Jaws" music is something they use as an intimidation tactic against the visiting team at Oriole Park whenever the O's seem poised to attack. This is the one 2015 animation that was a specific request from Orioles Productions.

For the "Strikeout!" animation, we wanted to try our most ambitious animation this year, comprised of several different shots and featuring the Oriole Bird pitching, which is a little more action than this puppet had previously attempted. Somewhere along the way, we decided that all Orioles players would be plastic cake-toppers and all visiting players and umpires would be cardboard cutouts.

For the "Charge!" animation, I wanted to do one spot that'd have slightly different endings to surprise fans who'd thought they'd seen the spot before. So, we have three different endings. Cake toppers, rubber ducks, and the return of the crabs:


Previous Orioles animation here: 2010, 2013, 2014.

All spots conceived by myself and John Sumner, except where noted.
Directed, shot, and animated by me.
Art direction and fabrication by John Sumner.

These were a blast to create and we can't wait to add more to The Bird's adventures!

A photo posted by @petewlevin on

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Private Cast & Crew Screening of "I'm Scared"


Back on the afternoon of Saturday, September 19th, we had a private screening of I'm Scared for cast, crew, and friends of the movie. We squeezed in two screenings at the incredible Cinefamily theater in Los Angeles. I'm Scared is a short animated film I recently directed. It's base on the art of Greg "Craola" Simkins, featuring music by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, starring Gunnar Sizemore, and produced by Dan Levy, Musa Brooker, and myself.

So many ridiculously talented people helped out on this. Check out the imdb page here for the full credits.

Attendees at the event had a great time and there was a really positive reaction from the audience. While we'd love to put the short online for everyone to see immediately, first we're applying to film festivals, looking for a strategic place to premiere publicly.

Special thanks to Cinefamily for hosting the event, Boo's Philly Cheesesteaks for catering, Ahmed Best for moderating the Q&A sessions, and Megan Hallo for creating some really fun "life-size" Ralf costumes.

While I didn't get much of a chance to get my phone out to take pictures of the event, luckily others did. Here are a selection of some good ones from Instagram:

(This top one's a video! Click on it to play.)

A photo posted by The scared scouts (@imscaredthemovie) on