To support Honda Canada's image as progressive and committed environmental advocates, Yves Geleyn directed five spots that detail some of their initiatives—from releasing the first hybrid car in North America to planting one tree for every Honda vehicle sold. The spots use a mix of CG and handcrafted, eco-friendly materials that bring to life Honda's message with a sophisticated yet cheerful charm.
Director Yves Geleyn
Client Honda Canada
Production Co Hornet
Executive Producer Hana Shimizu
Head of Production Sang-Jin Bae
Development Producer Kristin Labriola
Producer Matt Creeden
Editor Anita Chao, Stephanie Andreou
Storyboard Artist Gabriel Pages, Natalie Labarre
Character Designer Natalie Labarre
Environment Designer Patrick O' Keefe
Designer Yves Geleyn, Natalie Labarre, Patrick O' Keefe, Andrew Serkin, Sara Litzenberger
CG Lead Eric Lane
Compositor Lead Jeff Billon
Modeler Ivan Joy, Bryan Eck, Michelle Ko, Angela Rivera, Orges Kokoshari, Eric Lane
Texturer Christine Kim, Rui Zhu
CG Layout Artist Eric Lane, Oliver Castle, Kwan Au
Pre-Viz Sam Crees, Michael Sime, Anna Cardillo White, Paolo Cogliati
Rigger Eduardo Enriquez
Lighting & Rendering Kwan Au, Christine Kim, Eric Lane, Richard Kim
Compositor Eric Lane, Hae Deun Woo, Hieu Phan, Anthony Simpson
Animators Sam Crees, Michael Sime, Anna Cardillo White, Paolo Cogliati, Anthony Travieso
Matte Painter Andrew Serkin
Music & Sound Design Grayson Matthews
Executed using CG with wood and paper texture, the spot is designed to have an organic look and feel. The campaign, after all, is about the environment and Honda’s environmental initiatives, so the style needed a lightness and airiness in the design, with bright colors and soft textures, that achieved this quality. Overall, it needed to be an ownable style for Honda and representative of the brand’s committed character, while still adding a whimsical playfulness to the tone. The result is a fresh, oxygenic atmosphere that almost makes you want to hop in a Honda and take a road trip through some far-off evergreen forest in Northern Canada.
Hornet director Yves Geleyn is a storyteller, to his core. He possesses not just a wide range of creative styles and techniques, but also a deep devotion to exposing the small truths that make any story worth telling. For him, technique functions to support the story, not the other way around.
Luckily, Yves is a true master of both. He has a giant toolbox of techniques, but his innate instinct for unearthing the finer details is what makes his work so powerful.
Maybe because the details of his own story are so interesting in themselves. Yves was brought into the world by a German mother and a French father. His childhood was defined by a mosaic of moveable homes and travels, growing up in Britain, France, Germany, plus adventures around the world. His world became an empty canvas where he was allowed to funnel his curiosity—arguably his most defining personality trait—into whatever inkblot-shape his passions du jour led him to. He attended rugby school. He attended culinary school. Eventually, he discovered the world of graphic design and motion graphics and fine art.
Yves is a self-admitted perfectionist. From start to finish, he’s hands-on. By intimately knowing everything possible about a subject matter, he’s able to create an almost subterranean story below the main narrative—something not everyone can see at first, but that they can feel in the finished work. And the finished work has a simple, sweet, timeless quality - like poetry.
Over the years, Yves has directed numerous short films and commercial campaigns that have earned him industry awards and major international recognition. His work Monster in the Closet explored the subject of safe gun storage with a powerful and haunting story. His 2014 holiday spot for UK retailer John Lewis, The Bear and The Hare, took the festival circuit by storm and still receives applause from all sides of the industry to this day. His 60-second spot for McDonald’s, Always Working, was aptly indicative of Yves’ quest for perfectionism; he and his team of fifty people spent 12 intensive weeks to bring the spot to life. The 2017 short for Cabrioni was a feel-good tale that showcased Yves’ ability to weave together multiple animation techniques. And his work for Frooti was a testament to his ability to create an entire story from scratch and turn it into a colorful universe all his own, yet relatable to all.