Calabash, Starkist go bold with Candace Cameron

Charlie the Tuna, Candace Cameron

Charlie the Tuna, Candace Cameron

“The incredibly
talented Calabash team
makes Charlie the Tuna the
larger-than-life character
he deserves to be.”

Quench GCD John Gilbert

(Chicago — 13 September 2018) Looking to go “bolder,” Calabash once again teamed with agency Quench, Harrisburg, PA, to create the latest 2-spot campaign for Starkist.

Reuniting beloved icon Charlie the Tuna with actress Candace Cameron Bure — also known as D.J. Tanner on the classic family sit-com Full House — the ads spotlight the brand’s spicy new line of Tuna Creations BOLD and Chicken Creations single-serve pouches.

“Mixing live action with animation creates a challenge that’s both creative and technical,” John Gilbert, Quench’s Group Creative Director. “Calabash is incredibly skilled at nailing both. They’re right there in the room with us, responsive at every step, helping us avoid obstacles and even helping advise our client on executional details. Their incredibly talented team makes Charlie the Tuna the larger-than-life character he deserves to be.”

Believable Interaction
Similar to last year’s campaign, the setting of both spots are the set of one of Bure TV projects, where Charlie literally drops in, dangling causally from a fisherman’s hook naturally, to inform her of Starkist’s latest creations.

The first spot, Tuna Creations BOLD, finds Bure filming an action sequence dressed in a red superhero jumpsuit. When the off-screen voice of the director is heard asking Bure for a ‘bolder’ performance, Charlie seizes the moment to tell her about the Tuna Creations line of bold flavors such as Jalapeño.



The second spot, Chicken Creations, features Bure between scenes on a living room set in a bright yellow dress reacting excitedly to Charlie’s news about their new Chicken Creations line.



“Both spots needed the animated Charlie integrated into the live action environment with a believable interaction between Charlie and Candace,” Wayne Brejcha, Calabash’s Creative Director. “Playing off of Candace’s warmth and energy, Charlie’s performance came together very naturally.”

Perfect Integration
For the project, Calabash Executive Producer Sean Henry attended the shoot in Los Angeles to work closely with Director Peter Siaggas to insure the live action and animation would integrate perfectly in post.

“The spots are very tongue-in-cheek and don’t take themselves too seriously,” Henry says. “Bold was shot entirely against green screen with most of the environment being fabricated in post. Candace was a great sport and a real pro when it came to maintaining eye lines and acting against an imaginary co-star. Peter gave us great material to work with, in both the beautifully-composed shots and the performances from Candace.”

Brejcha adds that because Charlie’s style straddles the worlds of 3D and 2D, it remains a creative and technical challenge to get the CG model to look like it belongs in the real world.

“There’s no way to treat our Charlie CG model like a conventional, straightforward stop-motion puppet — the artists have to distort his shapes to match our guide sketches,” he says. “It looks good from the camera’s point of view. Always a great challenge, but very rewarding when we pull it off.”

About Calabash Animation
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio known for its award-winning animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative character animation and development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to it advertising working, the company has also produced several acclaimed short films, including ‘’Stubble Trouble,’’ which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Client – Starkist

Agency: Quench, Harrisburg, PA
   Group Creative Director: John Gilbert

Production Company: Cornerstone Pictures, Haverford, PA
   Director: Peter Siaggas
   Executive Producer: Bill German

Animation/VFX: Calabash, Chicago, IL
   Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha
   Executive Producer: Sean Henry

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