Santa Monica-based Steele Studios recently delivered extensive visual effects work for a new five-spot TV campaign for Overstock.com. Launched Aug. 27, the campaign features the first Overstock.com song, “O is the One,” sung by up-and-coming artists. In the first spot, the song is performed by new artist Sonnet Simmons, as she floats through a virtual warehouse with an assortment of products encircling her. Future ads will feature other new artists singing “O is the One” in their own musical styles. The song was written for Overstock.com by director/writer Matt Hodgson of Matt Hodgson Directs, with composer Chuck Myers of Big Idea Music providing the score.
“The Overstock.com project was a long process of CGI and live action integration, with a lot of modeling involved,” explained Jerry Steele, co-founder Steele Studios, and creative director and colorist for the campaign. “We start out with storyboards and animatics, which show us the action and all of the different facets we want to put into the job. And once we have all of those laid out, then it’s the very simple process of making things look real, by adding shading and lighting and texturing and animation. We take all of these elements and put them all together, put a bunch of CG lights in it, and render it out and make it pretty. The lamps and beds and sofas and Overstock products, as well as the backgrounds appearing in the spot, are all rendered separately.”
“This was an enormous project for us – one that required many thousands of man hours to accomplish five spots within a short time span,” said company co-founder Jo Steele. “We approached this campaign as a highly stylized, visually artistic endeavor, one that would convey the ease, gentleness and extensive offerings that our client Overstock.com provides to its client base. We believe our CG work significantly embellishes the message of these spots.”
The campaign was executive produced by Jeff Miller, of Vineyard Productions. Matthew Williams served as DP and Jeff Tillotson of Lightpress served as colorist. For continuity, Overstock.com plans to move forward with the same team as it features additional new artists in upcoming spots.
“There is a magical feel to the commercial’s futuristic 3-D warehouse, as it displays to the customer the large array of products we offer,” said Timothy Dilworth, Overstock.com’s senior vice president of marketing. “Couple that with the music element, a catchy song specific to Overstock.com, and the overall effect is terrific.”