About six months ago I had the opportunity to design the creature for GE’s Ideas Are Scary commercial. Initially, the direction was that this “bird-like” creature had to be part Muppet, part Dr. Seuss, but it also had to be ambiguous, as it was supposed to be representative of an idea. Like the ugly duckling, this pitiful creature is ugly and repulsive from birth, but it eventually transforms into something beautiful.
The design process actually went on for a few months. The direction went from more bird-like, to less bird-like, to not at all bird-like. They asked for something that could be from The Labyrinth, but then that was too creature-like, so they wanted something like Big Bird, with simple, yet soulful eyes. They director and the agency were looking for the “ah-hah” moment. Eventually they settled on a furry bipedal creature with little beady black eyes.
The amazing crew at Legacy Effects brought this guy to life for the commercial. As always, they did an excellent job.
Here is a gallery of the design process, starting with my final stages:
Check out the commercial below. (You might want to grab some tissues).