Friday, April 23, 2010

Indemnification Dog

Before my stint at The Ink Tank, Brian produced a few animated scenes for a national commercial.

These were quick, 3 to 4 second shots.  One feature a "Warner Bros." style dog.   It was more of classic MGM dog, but that was fine -it was what the agency wanted.  After the usual back and forth the design was approved.

A couple weeks later, the pencil test long approved, the film goes to camera and transfer.  The next day, Brian gets called into the agency.  There's a problem.

A big problem.

The dog is off model, in a bad way.  Seems a production artist felt the design could be improved by adding gold spikes to the dog's collar.

Of course, it had been long decided that would be too close to Tom & Jerry dog.

The agency screamed that the studio must "indemnify" the client against any possible infringement.  Dictionaries were consulted and the character was rechristened "Indemnification Dog".

I saw the clip a few years later and would never confuse the two.  The commercial dog was a completely different color, for one.  The line work and shapes were all different too.

There are several lessons to be learned here. 1)  Check all your art -don't trust production artists. 2) If you are the production artist -stick with the model book.  Chances are there are decisions made beyond the scope of your knowledge. 3) Get indemnified.


Elliot Cowan said...

Is the screengrab from the project or from the Tom and Jerry cartoon?

roconnor said...

That's "Tom & Jerry". All copies of Indemnification Dog are being stored in a vault under the Pentagon.

Sean said...

This is priceless.