Science Channel’s new show ‘Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships, launched on July 5, was sent on its way with two promo spots (:30 and :60), and a comprehensive toolkit for Science Channel producers to use in future teasers, bumpers, promos and more. Part reality show, part competition, Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships centers on rocket enthusiasts from around the country who gather every year in Lucerne Valley, CA for the ultimate event in competitive rocketry. Contestants launch homemade rockets of all types and sizes (including one made from a port-o-potty) to altitudes of up to 100,000 feet. The ‘Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships’ promo begins with a shot of a vast desert with four distinct objects in the foreground – a lawn chair, a barbecue, a pick-up truck and an actual rocket that looks to be about six or seven feet tall.
Seemingly shot with a handheld camera, we hear a group of unseen guys narrate the action. The promo takes an unexpected twist as the guys’ countdown and instead of the rocket, the lawn chair fires up and launches, followed by the barbecue. Finally when the actual rocket is set to go, there’s an unexpected breakdown. The guys are temporarily disappointed, that is until the rocket lights up and lifts off dramatically to a chorus of cheers. The promo ends with the BIGSMACK created tagline: ”Average guys, not so average competition.”
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The Large Dangerous Rocket Ships promo pack was developed at Bigsmack, Philadelphia, by creative director Andy Hann, visual effects director David Zeevalk, art director Jason Salo, executive producer Heidi Erney, producer Tommy Leonard, visual effects Jeremy Fernsler, 3D animators Adam Stockholm, Kevin Fillie.
Working with just a few still photos of the Mojave desert with a pick-up truck in the background, the team added extensive amounts of 3D animation, everything from specific objects like the rocket, the lawn chair and the barbeque; to the smoke and fire that accompanies each launch; to the miscellaneous debris and dirt around the objects.