VFX Supercell pivots from live-action to frame-by-animation to make 10th birthday film during lockdown -

Supercell pivots from live-action to frame-by-animation to make 10th birthday film during lockdown

Finnish gaming company, Supercell has partnered with animation and design studio, This Thing of Ours, part of the Waste family, to turn what was originally supposed to be a live action film celebrating its 10th birthday into a frame-by-frame animation, in just six weeks.

The brief for the film was originally conceived before the COVID-19 outbreak, with the team behind Clash of Clans urging This Thing of Ours to create a live action piece to celebrate the birthday, but as lockdown commenced, the studio planned to use traditional animation techniques  instead to bring its idea to life.

This Thing of Ours director Alex Robinson said, “When I heard about this idea in its original live action shoot form, I thought it was such a fun concept! The TTOO team and I were super excited when it was decided that we should bring it to life with animation. Frame-by-frame isn’t a technique which is usually associated with speed, but we managed to turn this project around in six weeks, from concept, through to character development, through to final delivery.”

The film references the iconic Supercell logo sting and pokes fun at the way in which its famous jingle can often pop up at the most awkward times. Based on the experiences of players, it shows people opening the game app in quiet environments, only to shock themselves and sometimes others when the game’s logo and loading screen sound full blast. The video also calls out a unique 10th birthday in-game decoration which is available for players to claim. The piece has a minimalist, black and white look and feel, to mirror the colours of the Supercell logo, and a film noir-meets-comic book style.

“We’re very happy with the film’s illustration style, which was designed by This Thing of Ours animator Tom Salo. We wanted to use the black and white of the Supercell logo, as each awkward moment featured was based on the sting that you hear when the logo appears in game,” stated Waste art director Tasmin Lobley.

In order to create the film in time for its May launch, the This Thing of Ours team overcame the challenges of remote working by using group Slack channels and regular Zoom calls, making feedback sessions as fun and productive as they are in the studio.

Clash of Clans community manager Ana Martins noted, “Supercell’s 10th birthday is a huge occasion for us, so it was important to recognise our wonderful community of players in this film. Waste’s execution of a video that was originally intended to be a live action shoot really helped bring these relatable player moments to life in a fun, visually appealing way.” 

Waste creative partner Mike Petricevic further added: “Having planned to shoot a live action film, it was an interesting challenge for the team to pivot to animation, instead. We’re very proud of the end result, which was created using trusty old frame-by-frame techniques.”

The animated film/video will be shared across Clash of Clans and Supercell social media channels.