Leviathan Inspires for Chicago's Art Institute

Leviathan Inspires for Chicago's Art Institute

A new integrated campaign has recently launched for the Art Institute of Chicago, promoting several innovative digital tools the museum is introducing to the public. Featuring multiple video, print and digital assets courtesy of specialized creative agency Leviathan, the museum's campaign is currently unfolding on the Art Institute's website, on digital signage throughout the museum, across the museum's social media channels, and in traditional media placements.

First to debut externally was a video spot for JourneyMaker, highlighting the museum's innovative new digital installation that is empowering families to create their own one­of­a­kind journeys in the museum. Showing families with young children visiting the interactive kiosk in the museum's Ryan Learning Center, the video uses colorful animation and seamless visual effects to illustrate how using JourneyMaker can transform museum visits into themed adventures.

The Art Institute recently released the second spot introducing its new Mobile App. Also combining high­ end VFX with the campaign's clean design aesthetic, both spots use the museum as a canvas.

According to Leviathan's creative director Bradon Webb, "The Art Institute is the perfect background for animated visuals to move throughout the space – as well as being a metaphor of the visitors' journey and what it feels like to experience art with these new interactive technologies."

"Our work with the Art Institute of Chicago is a great, ongoing opportunity to help the museum tell its story of leadership in digital media and interpretation," said Leviathan's executive creative director Jason White. "Our mission was to create compelling and unique assets the museum can use to spread the word about innovative technologies they're introducing to inspire engagement with technology, all of which is designed to help visitors better understand art while driving curiosity surrounding the collection."

Specifically aiming to attract new audiences, the Art Institute's executive director of digital experience Michael Neault envisioned the campaign as engaging visitors both inside and outside the museum.

"As a result," White added, "our campaign proposed a collection of premium videos and digital posters promoting the launch of the new digital tools which could appear throughout the museum, and everywhere the museum can reach using traditional and social media."

Another goal for Leviathan was delivering a new way of perceiving the Art Institute, which Trip Advisor consistently ranks as one of the world's top museums. To achieve this, the company's artists set out to convey the actual experiences visitors can anticipate.

"The overall stories were developed completely in­house with collaboration from Michael and his colleagues at the Art Institute," said Leviathan's creative director Kyle Shoup. "A lot of pre­production planning went in to ensure we'd have the shots necessary to integrate illustrative characters and motion graphics on the back end. Pencil storyboards helped sculpt the storyline, and style frames brought the vision one step closer to our final."

Production took place over the course of several shoots, during the early morning hours before the museum opened to the public.

Webb added, "It was such a pleasure to be in the museum with the morning light and to experience the artworks in quiet solitude. Both productions had their own requirements and unique galleries that were featured, and our focus was on capturing the poetic beauty of each space."

Led by director Daniel Ryan and director of photography Mike Weldon, principal photography was captured at 5K and 6K resolution with the Red Epic Dragon digital cinema system, while Gareth Fewel and Andrea Mandel used the Nikon D800 for the campaign's still photographs with talent.

Editorial, design, 2D and 3D animation, VFX and finishing all occurred at Leviathan. For both spots, color grading was provided by Mikey Pehanich at The Mill, and music and sound design are courtesy of Joel Corelitz of Waveplant. Complete project credits are available upon request.

"From early conceptual phases to final delivery, it's been an honor to collaborate with the Art Institute of Chicago and further support their standing as a leader in digital media and interpretation," White concluded. "We fully embrace these digital interactive initiatives that are reinventing how visitors perceive art and culture, while providing new ways to experience the Art Institute's diverse offerings."