The annual 30-second TV spot promoting NC State — which airs (among other places) during all of the institution’s televised athletic events — is the product of a lot of thought and effort on the part of University Communications. The spot for 2012 had to be particularly strong, as this was the university’s 125th anniversary.
All of the materials related to NC State’s 125th up to the production of the commercial had focused on the same theme: the positive impact that the research and learning going on at NC State has on the world. The commercial was to be no different. In order to show the breadth of what NC State does, a large number of scenes were desired. Before attempting something so ambitious, our creative director wanted to carefully plan each shoot, and to have a clear “roadmap” of the path we were following, and to use that to get approval on all of the elements from university leadership…and request the necessary budget.
As I still do much of my concepting work by hand, in marker, and can work quickly, I was asked to produce detailed storyboards for the initial pitch. I worked with the creative director to brainstorm subject matter and types of shots we could get and their order, and then sat at a drawing table for a day-and-a-half and rendered. Excepting one or two subbed-out scenes, my drawings were followed very closely during the ensuing shooting and editing.