Happy Holidays from Android : Director’s Cut

This past holiday season I had the good fortune of being asked again to conceive and execute upon a Holiday Video Card for the Android team at Google. These type of projects are always fun yet very tricky to pull off. They require the right balance of cheer, joy, and honesty and yet have to fit inside of the larger corporate agenda of the client.

It is always a delicate game but expressing gratitude on behalf of the entire Android team is an important and worthy endeavor.

For those of you who haven’t seen last year’s Holiday Card, here it is: 

This year I decided to go with a narrative that would be a mix of live action and stop motion animation to tell the story of a lonely Android Bot that feels left out of this year’s Holiday celebration. But fear not, this story has a happy ending as the Android engineers, with the help of Nexus 4, 7 and 10 devices ensure that no one is left without Holiday cheer.

As the holiday season was already upon us, we had to scramble resources rather quickly in order to be able to shoot the live action sequences in the Android building, with actual Android Engineers (no actors were used/harmed in the making of this motion picture). Once we acquired the live action elements, we had to leave the Android building (where everyone was still busy wrapping up before the holidays) and recreate the office desk environment on a stage, where we could spend a few days animating the stop motion elements of the piece. Here’s a still image of the stage elements:


From start to delivery, the whole project was completed in less than a week. This does include a couple of 24hr days and quite a few 18 hour days. This project was very much a passion project for all involved and there were quite a few people involved as it would be impossible to pull this off without a great support team. Our head-honcho producer and Studio G front man Will Moran, assembled a great team to get this done. Matt Siegel was brought on to DP, Heather Duthie to manage production, Tyson James to animate our little green bot, Carson Porter to edit, Mick Brin to ingest all kinds of crazy footage and generally keep us sane and on track, and the incomparable Kazimir Boyle to score the piece like only he could.

We ended up with a 2 minute piece that we all felt pretty proud of. For technical and other reasons, Android could only post a shortened version of the piece (1:37) which you can find on YouTube, but they were kind enough to allow us to post the original Director’s Cut of the “Happy Holidays from Android” video. Here it is, and we hope you enjoy it!


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