Know a Quick Swipe Mike? Been shunted by a Fake Felicity? Or perhaps you’re a Dirty Pics Derek? Naughty, but we dig that about you.
Feed Me Light had a blast capturing all the horrifying characters you encounter in the world of online dating, as part of a series for TrueView, the dating app you can trust.
FML were approached by London based start up TrueView, our lucky neighbours at the time no less, about creating a series of animated shorts for their new dating service.
Online dating changed the game of romance and courtship. Does the person on the other side of the screen really enjoy long sunset walks on the beach, or do they prefer to spend their evenings perched outside your bedroom window?
Billy Bad Chat, Six Pack Stu, Two Faced Tony - these characters are too familiar to anyone who has online dated. The client approached us with a set of characters that had been created based on real research on the dangerous individuals you encounter in the pursuit of love.
The final product would be a series of promotional shorts based on each character and a composite piece that included all six horrifying individuals, for a wide range of distribution across online, social and print channels.
Labeled the ‘Undateable Suspects’, the series was developed alongside Matt Verity and the team at TrueView and directed by FML directors Marc and Denis Bouyer. Matt had a very strong sense in the tone and humor that was to be at the forefront of these videos; smart banter and dry wit. We had the easy task of pushing this further in the storytelling, look and animation.
Co-Director, Marc Bouyer, explains,
“With this project we had to go straight to the point to try and nail down the bad clichés of the dating game right away. Designing them was the best part."
As the process began with an already developed set of distinct personalities, the duty fell immediately to how the FML team would lift these characters from script to screen. Careful consideration of how each shot was framed ensured the team could be as economical as possible in creating six narrative sequences that slotted seamlessly together to create an additional amalgamated short.
Director, Marc Bouyer, created an initial design based on one of the characters, Quick Swipe Mike, as a way of refining the style that the client wanted to pursue.
The approach was taken for a heavily stylised character design that ensured the characters were ambiguous, and could be seen as a representation of the online personas as opposed to their real life counterparts.
As great as these characters are for a laugh, the purpose of the video needed to support the launch of a new app that puts the control back in the serious daters court. And that was exactly the direction we went for – tell their stories and strong personalities to shock the audience and get them laughing, and prepare them for REAL dating.
The lineup of characters were refined and pushed to capture the essence of the real life horror stories of online dating.
The creative team opted for bright, colourful backgrounds that pulled out the individuality of each character and ensured the central focus would remain on them. This was both economical in terms of the overall design process but also reflective of how these were online personas, and so figuratively existed in a digital space.
A static camera meant the shorts would be perfect for use in online promotion as well as creating a dynamic flow between characters in the final short.
Remy Dupont brought the characters to life in 3D with his speedy and skillful modelling, with meshes that allowed the creative team to play with distortions and dynamics that they wanted to execute on certain character transitions.
The CG team played with development in deformers and dynamic cloth simulations for character transformations such as Six Pack Stu’s inflated abs and Two-Faced Tony’s big reveal.
Ludovic Habas joined the team to rig the characters using his Auto-Rig system, which was incredibly useful in creating character rigs that offered a great deal of flexibility in the short period of time that the project allowed.
Aurélien Duhayon then created dynamic, fun character animations that appealed directly to the clients humor from the word go, capturing the essence and life of the characters that they had brought to the table.
Matt Verity, TrueView founder explained :
"From the moment I sat down to chat the brief through with the Feed Me Light team there was a level of enthusiasm and passion that I feel is becoming rare. The whole process was so enjoyable and even last minute feedback was dealt with professionally, quickly and efficiently. Sometimes you can feel a little apprehensive about passing a creative idea over to someone else to execute. It can sometimes feel very difficult to align your thoughts and feel comfortable with the path that your idea is taking. Not with this lot. I felt like I was being carried along on a big friendly (3D of course) cloud.”
The TrueView shorts were a dream for the Feed Me Light team to work on, and a project we’ve been titillated to share with the world. The project ran super smoothly from start to end, appealing directly to the funny bone of the FML team. The humor and style aligned perfectly with that of our directors and creative team and we had a blast developing this colourful set of personalities with Matt and his team at Trueview; it was great to have a client that came prepared with such a strong set of characters and a VO that had us creased in two.
We really loved the scaleable potential of the series, designing shorts intended for use across such a range of platforms, and it was a great opportunity for the studio team in designing short form content. Director, Marc Bouyer reflects,
"Hopefully the result of our work won't bring back PTSD to some vets of the dating game!”
We hope our series of shorts have left you with that warm fuzzy feeling of trauma that only online dating can!
Creative Manager: Matt Verity
Creative Animation Studio: Feed Me Light
Producer: Kiri Haggart
Director: Marc & Denis Bouyer
Character Concepts: Marc Bouyer
Character Modelling: Remy Dupont, Felipe Hansen
Animation: Aurélien Duhayon
Rigging: Ludovic Habas
3D Generalists: Denis Bodart, Olivier Pirard, Denis Bouyer
Compositing: Denis Bouyer
Shading / Lighting / Rendering: Olivier Pirard
Sound Design: Stélian Derenne