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We have had the pleasure to collaborate once more with the TV channel SYFY, creating a bumper to commemorate the “Earth Month” this April of 2020. In “A Tree for a Tree, a Bone for a Bone”, you will not find the typical peaceful and peacekeeper nature, which is always patient with human’s blunders. This time, the nature decides to take revenge on human stupidity, in a funny and bloody way. In this video you will know Chuck, a careless woodcutter who does not respect nature enough and destroys what used to be a leafy forest. When he is just up to finish his “job”, he decides to end up with the last trace of nature: a beautiful centenarian tree which has lived too much for being knocked down by a busybody. So, while Chuck prepares his axe for the demolition, the tree devours him in a single mouthful, chewing and spitting his rests in the ground. While we hear the satisfactory burp of the tree, we can observe how from the just fertilized ground comes out SYFY’s logo, formed by new tree seedings, since, as we know thanks to the cinema, life always gets its way.
This project has the peculiarity that the background itself was the main character. In “ A Tree for a Tree, a Bone for a Bone”, the main character is not Chuck, but the destroyed forest “personified” in the centenarian tree, thus the background should be attractive, interesting and capable of telling you the story that has just happened in one look, but it will not reveal all for not spoiling the final surprise. Our tree is fed up of coping with the massacre of his fellow trees and of contemplating how his home is destroyed by human irresponsibility. As far as possible it is a happy ending. In fact, while we were designing Chuck, we had very clear that we should create a character whose death would make us happy, helping us to empathize even more with avenger tree.
One of the difficulties of this bumper was finding the humoristic tone since it had to be bloody and the same time funny. With that purpose we find a reference in Chuck Jone’s work with Looney Tunes (1930), in which the mistreatment of a duck or a coyote not only made us laugh but also we were looking forward to seeing how the poor coyote would fail once more. That feeling is the one that we wanted to provoke with this video, and I think we have achieved it.
Samples of Model Sheet created for the bumper
Samples of the Concept Art created for the bumper