OUR MONEY, OUR JOURNEY
EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
At the end of 2018, we were kindly invited by Havas, Dusseldorf to pitch treatment for the promotional video of the new 100€ and 200€ banknotes issued by the European Central Bank. It had to be emotionally engaging in some way and not to feel like a tutorial.
After receiving a brief from the agency, our director Darko Prolic came up with with a “never-ending story” concept, sort of virtual journey, a flight through the world inside both banknotes. With the idea of using a simple everyday situation in which someone has made payment with cash. Use this as a starting point before going on the journey and discovering a series of situations which had to refer to some aspects of the real tangible economy such as retail, restoration, transportation, logistics, culture and tourism. The whole piece had to feel “European”, but in a generic way, with absolutely no reference to any specific country, recognizable landmark or building.
Instead of trying to find visual metaphors for the values of the Euro, with a risk of being too political, we decided to focus on the banknote as a physical object. It was meant to be a homage to the money printing process. The incredible amount of detail each banknote has, and all the hard work and craftsmanship behind its design, was really inspiring. This is why we tried to replicate as closely as possible the look of printed banknotes.
The security measures inside Proxima Milano were brought to the next level, as we came in possession of highly classified hi-res image assets. There was a small dedicated team of designers and animators who, secretly and with maximum discretion, executed the project.
“The trickiest thing was to squeeze everything into a 90-second single take as there was a lot going on, but once we were satisfied with the layout and camera movement, the rest was pretty straightforward.” said Darko Prolic.
We’ve modelled and assembled a huge library of 3D assets and animations, did a mocap session for the remaining ones, designed some of the environments to match Art Nouveau and Classic architectural styles, manually created dozens of geometric patterns inspired by those printed on both banknotes.
"Even after optimizing everything, the scenes were very large and with lots of geometry, so we relied on good old c4d sketch and toon to build a procedural setup for materials. We got exactly the look we wanted and I might also say this is one of the fastest rendered projects I've ever worked on" said Jack Lietti, lead 3D artist.
Music and sound design were a very important part of the process, so we decided to bring a composer Philip Abussi at the very early stage of the production. We worked together to synchronize everything, and to make sure every change of tempo corresponded to a precise moment in the animation. That unexpected jazz twist in the middle, really made everything even more attention-grabbing and enjoyable.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the project, at Havas Düsseldorf and ECB for making this such a smooth and enjoyable ride.
Head of Production/Nadine Baltes
Management Supervisor/Monika Pfeiffer
Account Manager/Melanie Kreuzig
Creative Director/Claudio Falconi
Executive Producer/Marco Guarnieri
3D Lead/Jack Lietti
3D Artists/Federico Gunes Gnoni, Tommaso Montepoli, Gabriele Ricci
2D Artist/Giulia Surdo
Compositing/Darko Prolic, Gabriele Ricci
Storyboard Artist/Simone Antonucci
Music: "RESPIRA" composed by/Philip Abussi
Music Production Company/Mokamusic
Music Production Coordinator/Anita Falcetta