state farm – microsite and animated series
creative directors: dana satterwhite, rob story, art director: rob story, writers: dana satterwhite, lauren miller, dani pipes, carter pagel, animation: transistor
state farm wanted to do something fun (online) for their african american segment, so my partner (dana satterwhite) had the idea of joining forces with steve harvey. we decided to create an animated series of webisodes where steve would do a mini routine that related in some way to health, family, finance or another of state farm’s “pillars.” two approaches were comped up and sent to state farm (and steve harvey) for approval. one was going to be a cartoon where steve was a superhero – the caped comedian (you can also see the demo in my “digital” section) – and the second direction was this one. steve felt more comfortable with this approach, so we ran with it. greg hughes was our director and matt manroe was the producer. here’s how greg and matt figured out how to pull it off: a. we hired a body double and filmed him doing everything we could think of – jumping, running, push-ups, laying down, standing up, etc., etc., etc.; b. we had every writer in the agency come up with loose subjects for steve to use as thought starters; c. we traveled to atlanta on two separate occasions and filmed steve doing the bits while wearing a green screen apron so that just his face was visible; and finally, d. we handed everything over to transistor who came up with the gags and did all of the animation. this is a ridiculously oversimplified description of a very complicated process that took over a year to complete, but it gives you an idea of how we did it. below you’ll see all 39 episodes that were produced. not all of them “ran.” in the end, i think there were only three or four episodes that weren’t deemed pc enough. steve was great to work with, though. i’ll never forget that when we went up there to pitch the ideas to him, we had to wait for a while because he was busy interviewing al green (who was appearing on steve’s live radio show). wow.
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