After Time Warner inked a $100 million contract with Snapchat to provide exclusive content to reach a younger audience, TBS and Team Coco wanted to bring their first show to their platform quickly. They enlisted our animation studio to bring the comedians’ stories to life while adding an extra layer of humor.
Over the course of two shoots at the Hollywood Improv on Melrose in Los Angeles, we co-directed the Team Coco shoot featuring 18 comedians, each telling two stories approximately three minutes in length. Because the stories were to appear on Snapchat, they had to be filmed and animated in a vertical perspective, plus edited with hyper-quick, action-packed cuts. We had to innovate and animate in a completely new way with a unique style. And fast, fast, fast…
Play the episodes below to see how we integrated live-action with animation for the nano-second attention spans of the Gen Z and Millenial audiences.
Team Coco brought in up-and-coming comedians along with some established stars for the shoots. To create the character designs, we filmed the comedians doing turnarounds for realistic illustrations.
We wanted to create a style of animation that fit the comedic stories, the Team Coco brand and be perfect for the Gen Z Snapchat audience. After some experimenting, we quickly crafted a hand-drawn line style with flat colors. We designed the characters to be rough yet fun, and to also look cartoony to add humor.
To bring a second level of humor to the comedy stories, we aimed to add visual jokes to every scene. Our animation team met with Team Coco, brainstorming for hours to pack every episode with maximum funnies. Our artists then storyboarded every scene, lending direction for the coming illustrations.
Each comedian (and their agent) needed to approve the final art. Our illustration team was able to lock in the style and make the characters look very much like the comedians, making for smooth approvals and keeping the project going full-steam ahead, which was crucial as we had 26-plus minutes of animation to complete in three months.
With each episode’s final illustration completed and approved, we brought the stories to life using Adobe’s Character Animator and After Effects programs.
Our team used numerous technological advances to animate walk cycles and lip-syncing to make the motion lifelike and lend realism to the stories.
We animated the episodes using dynamic movements and innovative techniques. Instead of painstaking and tedious frame-by-frame animation that would have been impossible under the deadlines, we employed new, cutting-edge technology from our friends at Adobe. We were beta testers for the game-changing software, which helped us to meet all deadlines.
–Conan O’Brien, Team Coco