Southern Railway - Fred & Eric - Stopframe Animated TV Commercial

Southern Railway

When F&E were asked to create a commercial for Southern Trains children's activity book, we put ourselves to work creating our own oversized handmade 3D activity book!

Fred & Eric were commissioned by VCCP to produce a short handmade TV spot for Southern Railway, showcasing Southern’s free children’s activity book! Leading the narrative was Southern Railway's imagined mascot; Mexican Wrestler, Loco Toledo.

The creative brought visual elements of the wider "Loco campaign" to life with an animated papercraft re-imagining of the activity book.

Our Process:

Embarking on a creative that optimises Fred & Eric's house style, we began storyboarding. Creating highly detailed photoshop mock-ups to visualise each scene of the narrative.

Detailed animation storyboard.

Paper Craft

Using the storyboard as a scale visual guide, our team of top paper engineers began crafting. Cultivating the dense jungle by separating layers of foliage and building up a rich 3D setting. Next, our creative crafters changed their blades, producing an adapted version of the activity book. Filling it with fun jungle characters (and a crab) alongside representations of the book’s puzzles and games. Finally, a scaled up 3D hummingbird and butterfly were engineered and rigged, ready for animation.

The Stopframe Shoot

The team were excited to return to the iconic Clapham Road Studios for the stop-motion shoot. Placing the camera on a track, we shot the opening sequence by moving the camera back, frame by frame. This created a feeling of parallax, accentuating depth within the layered papercraft set. Our next shot transported the jungle into a representation of the train carriage complete with our handmade activity book and in-camera movement shadows. Finally using our young hand-models, the book closes in the last transition to the end frame and call to action.

Handmade version of Southern's Activity Book
Stopframe animated paper hummingbird

Separately, we shot our butterfly and hummingbird in flight. All in anticipation of being composited into our mini jungle set in post.

Post Production

Shoot complete, our final task was to combine the stopframe shots into one fluid sequence in time to the VO. Completing the post-production magic for this fun and crafty handmade commercial.