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June 13th, 2014

Mill+ created the 2014 AICP Awards Opening and Category Titles, transforming their concept 'a delicate balance' into a series of quirky and colorful sequences that celebrate the the art and technique of the American commercial.


The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) is the advertising industry's trade association for companies that specialize in producing commercial content across various media - film, video, digital. The annual awards show anchored AICP Week which included 'The Directors Lecture Series' and the premiere of the AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the American Commercial at the Museum of Modern Art.

Clarice Chin, creative director, led the team in building an incredible installation to celebrate the art and technique of the american commercial. With a wealth of quirky, colorful objects placed in a clean setting, the Mill+ team brought their concept to life.


Clarice explains how the team created the sequences and found the perfect objects and location for the project below:

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It was important to make all our concepts relevant to each category. We thoroughly considered the purpose, the venue and the AICP Awards themselves. We wanted to make sure the elements were fun, quirky and uplifting and that they all had a sense of humor! And after looking at the details, we moved to the macro – looking at the actual sculpture as a whole and how it pieced together. The whole concept was 'a delicate balance', so it was about ensuring all the components came together and had a sense of harmony – just like a concept does in great advertising which is what AICP is all about celebrating.

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The team chose to physically build the components because there were certain qualities that could only be achieved through live-action shooting that were really important to the piece, like physical textures, subtle natural lighting and dust particles. We wanted to make it feel tactile and relatable – and decided the best way to go was to actually build it.

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Finding the right production designer was key and Robin Banks totally suited the project. We felt had the right sensibility - when he puts things together they feel very raw, handmade and real but the overall piece feels very finished and like it could live in an actual space. We were able to browse his studio filled with his collection of quirky toys, objects and costumes. If we didn't find the right piece in Robin's studio, he'd go on the hunt for the perfect piece through a range of amazing places including amazing doll exhibits and junkyards, and search through eBay and art stores.

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Some of the categories were a little more obscure visually, but we were always checking an object's relevance. A lot of the items had to be rigged so that they could move on set with some CG work in there. When it came to the installation, we only had a couple of days to put it up in the location which was a beautiful space in Venice Beach with amazing ceilings. It was exactly what I had in mind and everything came into place!

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See a complete list of credits here.