How to Manage a Cast of Hundreds

BSL has just launched a campaign for Canadian Geographic to promote their Canadian Atlas Online – now with History added! The first two videos can be found on YouTube, with the following two in the can awaiting post production. In an effort to spark a conversation amongst the audience, we have embodied History and Geography into two characters, who spar across the country to determine who holds more importance.

Telling the epic tale of History vs Geography has literally taken a cast of over 100 characters.

To begin, we needed to bring some real life to Geography and History, by recruiting some real life talent. We searched for the crème de la crème of character faces, voice talent and hand actors. When it was all said and done, a total of eight people were required to bring our two crusaders to life.

As for the stories themselves, over 100 cutouts were constructed to set the scenes. Our monstrous cast was made up of characters that ranged from Queen Victoria to Godzilla-sized beavers (see how these fit into the debate in “Montreal Mixup” – to be posted on October 1, 2009).

The action was filmed in one take (with many rehearsals and much sweat under very hot lights) to capture the spontaneous and irreverent style we were going for. This resulted in some hilarious mishaps. We may even have to release an outtakes video to show just how many fumbles we made. The end result seems so simply put together, but the concentration required to match the voices to the action was surprisingly challenging.

And a huge shout out goes to Bill, our Mock-up Master! You sir, are the man!

Be sure to check out the first two video installments online, and be on the lookout as the story progresses, with new videos to be posted over the next few weeks!

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