SalmonFest 2021 Behind the Scenes – The Announcers

Hey film and animation lovers! This is part 2 of our behind the scenes look at the Steveston Salmon Festival 2021 Digital Parade. We made this, if you haven’t seen it:

Today we’ll be sharing a bit about the announcer team of Mike and Bob, who narrate the parade.

These two ‘characters’ first appeared in our video for the Barigord Studios Parade Float, seen here:

You will probably notice a similarity between soundscapes in the two videos, which is because we made them out of many of the same composite parts, like people cheering, horns, vehicle motors, and music.

Mike and Bob aren’t much in the way of characters, more caricatures of the kind of smiling tele-prompter readers that announce the Rose Bowl and Macy’s parades in the US. That same sort of characterization has been done by dozens of films and TV shows, and we figured it would be easy for our audiences to relate to.

Andrew Wade wrote the script for the entire video, and voiced Mike. Mike is genuinely enthusiastic about the parade, but also wants to sound enthusiastic. Mike’s head is from a Jurassic World character, and the body is from President Business, who wears one of Legoland’s best suits.

Mike has the Octan cup also. We’d like to note that President Business changed his ways in the movie, and presumably Octan is now a clean, green energy concern. AFAIK, Mike’s perfect hair came from the pick-a-part bin at the Lego Store.

Bob was voiced by me (Josh Hallem). I was also a script consultant. Bob’s head is from an off-brand robin hood-style figure, and the hair is from Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, a favourite comic of mine as a kid. The body is from another tyrant of animation, Mr. Burns. Another excellent suit.

The cup comes from Ned Flanders, and says ‘I (Heart) Southpaws.’ Don’t we all? I wanted Bob’s voice and personality both to seem like they came out of a can.

You can see in the wider shots above that the announcer’s pavilion includes both a video camera operator and Lego Movie stalwart Unikitty in front. We had some ideas of doing a wide shot that showed a little bit of production to open things. We had Unikitty in as producer, and the camera guy on a crane, rotating in for the shot. It was a cool enough idea, but there wasn’t a great angle, and it didn’t fit with the opening we went with. Unikitty’s horn did get into some of the shots, though. The pavilion itself was built to be very minimal and just show enough of the elements of the parade to highlight them, and then get out of the way. We went with ornate curves, cherry blossoms, two colours of salmon, and a simple awning over top for sun protection.

In the video you can see that we went with a green screen background. If we’d had the time, we would have developed an image to put there instead of the green. The green worked ok, but one thing we never had was a specific geographical location for the announcers. We decided they were close to the Marine Garage location for the dialogue to make sense.

These characters have been effective twice, and we’ll probably use them again. Moving forward, we have a better handle on the technique of how people move when they’re sitting and talking, and how that translates to Lego. We’re also going to add to our Lenses, so that we can do better at getting in nice and close and in focus on tiny elements like Lego faces. Next time isn’t far off, and it’s still pretty amazing that we made the parade video in just a week, even if everything isn’t in focus. Thanks for reading and supporting us! You can follow us on Twitter @barigord!

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