Something profound happened to me this Christmas when my daughter unwrapped her Evil Kanevil Super Stunt Cyle — a 70’s-inspired retro present that was far and away my fave toy as a kid. I had way too much fun lying on the ground, building jump after jump. But something else happened — I realized that dolls like Evil, GI Joe, Barbie, etc, are the perfect way to represent real people without alienating the audience. And that I wanted to use them to make The Go Game App explainer video.
We were worried that live action might not hook people universally, and that many viewers might not identify with certain characters. For example, if the actor looked too edgy or too square, people would think it may not be a game for them. And if we know anything, we know that EVERYONE likes The Go Game.
But I was also kind of tired of the flat, 2-D flash-style explainers that seemed to put a bird on everything. So we decided to make a stop motion in the Team America tradition. Cuz everyone can identify with a doll. But not a doll that gets peed on. So peeing was out.
I’d always heard that stop motion was a ton of work, but we figured we’d see what we could find. At the suggestion of our trusted and talented pal Nick Read we contacted 1/29 Creative in Oakland. After a call or 2 with their Founder Nick Seuser, we decided we’d definitely found the right people to make the video happen. Their work was really professional, but playful. And their clients were happy. Plus, they didn’t think we were immature, which is rare.
Nick took a very rough script and fleshed it out with a bunch of great scenes. I was worried that 1/29 would shy away from adding more stop motion scenes, but they didn’t. If the piece called for stop motion, they were keen to make it happen. And I shudder to think how much time was spent taking photos of our dolls. That’s a shot of Adam trying to look up the lizard’s skirt.
Our cast of characters was lead by a doll we’ll call Sandy. She was really a combo of an alien that I got from Jon Hendy at Cosmodillitans (awesome dude who custom made a bunch of Dolls) and a less-bitchy looking barbie. It was really fun to chop her head off and put it on the alien. We wanted to have a female lead, as *most* people who plan a Go Game are female. But we didn’t want her to look like a coked-out supermodel either; Sandy was a good mashup. The Superhero guy (who I like to think of as a younger, more earnest version of Ponch from CHIPS), was another creation of Jon Hendy and just worked right off the bat. We tried to represent other personality types as well — like the alien as the smart guy. Not sure what personality type is represented by the Reno 911-looking cop, maybe the annoying, yet endearing guy that wins you over by the end of the party.
One of the more fun days was spent getting props this gigantic dollhouse superstore in Marin called Dollhouses Trains and more. It’s like a combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell/Train Store/Dollhouse Furniture freakshow. Tenaya, our office manager also produced about 10,000 pieces of dollhouse furniture that took over the conference room for a while. She even made a play dough pizza!
We are THRILLED with the result. We ended up with 2 versions — a long and a short. I like the long one, as it actually explains the types of missions that happen in a Go Game. But the short version is good for the attention-challenged.
A huge thanks to Nick, Julie and Adam at 1/29 Creative. If you’ve an idea that you need represented in moving pictures, you should absolutely give them a call.
Love our video? Does it make you want to play our app — or at least play with your kid’s superhero toys? Let us know your thoughts, and get a free app game code!