We collaborated with Director Randy Krallman of Smuggler and MullenLowe to help bring the beloved E*TRADE baby back for Super Bowl 56. Voiced by comedian Pete Holmes, top level agents take a helicopter to a remote location to convince the talking tot to come out of retirement and re-join the mission.
We sat down with Executive Creative Director Chris “Badger” Knight to learn what it took to help bring back E*TRADE’s most beloved hero.
“To bring the classic E*TRADE baby into a new era, we first put him in a setting that he’s never been in before – a sweeping landscape. We shot in Vancouver with the house and helicopter on location. To create a more secluded-looking environment we employed matte painting to create the mountains in the background and long overgrown grass.
Taking the E*TRADE baby away from its traditional format – in front of a 2000’s style webcam – elevated the picture, making it look more filmic. In turn, this meant that the quality of the CG had to be seamless. We created a full muzzle for the babies in the spot, meaning their cheeks, jaw and mouth were fully CG. This allowed the babies to move freely on set, giving us more movement and expressions to work with later in the edit.
One of our biggest challenges was matching the babies eye movements to the mouth. VFX Supervisor Nate Shaw, lead the CG Team and spent a lot of time on the babies’ mouth articulation. There was a very fine line between getting the articulation right, keeping the character of the baby, and syncing it to an adult’s voice.”