Samsung's Skin Flick

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Everyone's drawn on human flesh at one time or another--whether on oneself when bored in math class or perhaps on a friend or stranger asleep after too much schnapps, it happens. To promote Samsung's new G800 phone and its high quality in-phone camera, The Viral Factory decided to tell a little story with only a few pens and photo stills from the phone. (Well, a few more things than that, but not much.)

We spoke to Viral Factory founder Matt Smith about making "How We Met" and some of the challenges involved in using a guy's body for an animation canvas (and he wasn't even passed out).

Where did the idea to do this come from? What were your goals for it?

It came from us! The idea, really, was to do something that would appeal to people on YouTube. From an advertising point of view, we were trying to get across the idea that this phone has a seriously good camera in it with a three-times optical zoom, as opposed to just digital zoom. It's one of the first phone cameras to have an actual optical zoom. We could've filmed this without the zoom but it was a way of showcasing how well it performs in close and showing the details. With a viral though, you can't just do an ad, you've got to do something a bit more interesting and engaging. So in that respect, what do people on YouTube like? They like cute little stories and something that shows a little homemade effort. They also like stickmen and stop motion. So we threw all that in a pot and, I'm doing our creatives a massive disservice here, those ingredients fit really well. People have done all kinds of stickmen, and tons of stop motion but no one had done it on a human body. So really , it just came up pretty naturally and we decided to give it a try. It's shamelessly pandering to the YouTube audience, that's for sure.

What were the primary materials?

Here's the list:
4 days
1,622 photos
10 gel pens (blue)
1 marker pen (red)
1 marker pen (black)
1 bottle of eyeliner
1 bottle of moisturizer
1 beard trimmer
1 razor
1 torch (flashlight)
1 mirror
1 Samsung G800

How many frames/photos is it?

We shot about 1622 photos were shot but we didn't use all of them.

How long did it take to shoot?

It was in production for about three weeks and the animation bit took about four days. The bulk of it was shot on the male model so the girl only had to be there for a day. So he spent most of his time sitting in an apartment watching DVDs while they drew all over him. It was done pretty low budget because we wanted it to be like something someone could do in their own apartment. So the lighting was done by desk lamps and that sort of thing. We just figured, if we want it to look like this, let's just do it like this.

What were some of the job's biggest challenges?

It was actually a lot more complicated than we thought it would be, not from a technical viewpoint, but things like making 2D animation on a 3D canvas–the guy's body. Other challenges were just things like the model having to stay still for so long and the level of concentration required from the artist. One of the things that was difficult for him was remembering the position of the previous drawing to keep the sequences looking right. I mean, there were no major issues like on a big production but it was just incredibly uncomfortable, tedious work.

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