VIDEO: The Line and Electric Theatre Collective direct “Set Yourself Free” a new TV advert for Freeview Play.

Rows and rows of television sets march in formation, blimps shine down spotlights in the distance and red banners read: ‘subscribe’

In a world where we are forever told to ‘update’, ‘upgrade’ and ‘subscribe’, the entertainment options available to us can make us feel oppressed and subject to a constant feeling of needing to conform to new platforms, channels and services. Welcome then, Freeview Play’s new ad which aired last week – ‘Set Yourself Free’ – telling the story of an evil regime of brainwashing TV sets and our Hero, a blue faced little TV that’s here to save the day…

Introducing the largest development in the brand’s history, Freeview Play launches this month, combining catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television, bringing a greater power into the hands of the viewer and meeting the demands of the mass market. This new TV campaign includes shorter companion pieces and advert explainers complimented by wider in-store, print and outdoor advertising.

Screen Social had the pleasure of meeting the award-winning animation studio The Line back in 2013 when they submitted the beautiful music video for ‘Matt Zo & Porter Robinson – Easy’ along with the BAFTA nominated animation ‘Everything I Can See From Here’ into The Van d’Or Awards Official Selection 2013. 

Working in partnership with the Electric Theatre Collective this ad brought together a team of over 45 artists at Electric’s London studio. From concept to completion, both studios needed to bring together their specialist skills in character design, environment design, 3D modelling, sculpting and art direction to overcome a handful of unique creative hurdles. One of those hurdles, quite possible the largest being, how do you design and animate the narratives hero when it is essentially a small TV with a screen for a face? Here are some of the early concepts.

The Story
The film opens on a gloomy town square; rows and rows of television sets march in formation, blimps shine down spotlights in the distance and red banners read: ‘subscribe’. Amongst the rows of red faced TV sets we find ‘Blue’ our hero of the story who escapes and meets new friends along the way…

What We Love
What we love most is the emotion packed not only into the narrative but into the beautifully realised aesthetic. There’s a charisma to the way the characters move and perform along with a kindness and empathy that makes the characters unique and appealing.

Take a look at more work from The Line who we had the pleasure of meeting and screening further works at Screen Social – See here for more information about Screen Social and our upcoming events.