While the Baltimore Ravens occupy the top space in the football part of my heart (how about that Superbowl two Sundays ago?!), my dad was from Detroit and an avid sports fan, so I've always had a fondness for his team, the Detroit Lions.
John Sumner (a born-and-raised Michigander) and I had previously collaborated on the Baltimore Orioles animation, so when I saw that the Detroit Lions were having a video contest, I knew I had to mention it to him. I sent John a text when I was parking my car to see a movie and by the time I was out of the theater, he'd not only agreed to do the contest, but had already sent me full-color storyboards.
We had two weeks for him to build the puppets and for me to light and animate them. We were working on Spy vs. Spy segments for season 4 of Mad during the days, so nights and weekends were spent with John fabricating and painting and I was in the garage, composing shots and pushing puppets.
With it being due on Monday, January 14th, we worked until the late hours of Sunday the 13th. We brought in Alan Franzenburg to do some post production touch ups and edit and we used some music from the band Brian Von Jawa and the Takedowns, fronted by Brian Perez, one of John's old friends. John ended up directing the spot and I did the animation.
We used a fun technique of full-body replacement puppets done as cardboard cutouts. Each individual character cutout had animatable elements like the throwing arm or detachable football. It's kind of great how much movement you can imply with just a few simple poses.
You can see the fruits of our labor here by clicking here.
Oh, did I mention we won first place in our category?