BIGSMACK recently delivered a new energy-packed, mind-tickling promo campaign for the National Geographic Channel’s new series, Brain Games. The campaign launched earlier this month in advance of the series premiere on April 22.
BIGSMACK founder/head creative Andy Hann and senior creative director Matt Hall collaborated with National Geographic’s in-house creative team on the concept. BIGSMACK wrote, produced and created extensive CGI and graphics for the campaign.
Hosted by filmmaker and TED Talks icon Jason Silva, the new television series will use illusions, mind games and interactive experiments to reveal the inner workings of the human brain. Each episode of Brain Games will explore a different topic. These will include attention, fear, perception, sense of time and memory. Silva is a self-professed “wonder junkie,” who has spoken widely about neurology, the human brain, and technology.
Silva is joined on Brain Games by “The Gentleman Thief” Apollo Robbins, a deception specialist.
“National Geographic Channel has been a great, long-term client of ours,” said Hann. “We worked on the promo for the Brain Games special last year, and it was so popular and successful that Nat Geo decided to turn it into a series. We were thrilled when they came back and asked us to work on the promo campaign for the new series.
“One of the biggest challenges was the research that we needed to do in order to find fun and thought-provoking examples of brain puzzles and teasers, as well as the choreography of the spots which required the cameras, experiments, and the on-screen talent to be in sync,” explained Hann. “Many of the shots were all done in one take, which was quite a feat.”
Hann shared the director’s chair on set with BIGSMACK’s senior creative director Hall, since a great deal of the work was done in CGI and post, after the studio production wrapped.
“The series host, Jason Silva, is renowned for his ability to improv,” explained Hall. “So we gave him an outline, but he added a lot of the material on his own while we were shooting. Because of the improv, most of the CGI/effects were added in the postproduction phase, without a lot of pre-planning. The creative process was truly an evolution, with BIGSMACK working with the in-house team at Nat Geo. At every stage, something new was added on-screen, continually making the spots that much better, and leading to a great end result.”