I was surfing YouTube for official movie trailers and music videos when I saw a link for the new Arthur Christmas animated movie. Being a big fan of animated movies and having seen a billboard for Arthur Christmas while driving down the freeway I clicked on the link and rolled over to their official YouTube Trailer page with big hopes to check out some greatness. Instead I was greeted with this:
Since the movie trailer player and the body content required several seconds to load, even on my 15 Meg Internet Pipe, I sat for several long seconds staring at the obvious white blurs between the elves, the badly blended shadows in the foreground, the lazy way the image was repeated by flipping the shadows and just wholesale erasing the parts that didn’t blend.
Finally the page loaded and I watched the trailer with a jaded eye and was mostly distracted with the idea of right-clicking and choosing “View Background Image” to see if it was really as bad as it seemed in those awful seconds of loading.
So after the trailer was finished and I went back to the background the first thing I thought was, “I wonder how much they paid for that”? I have first-hand experience with these big media houses and their huge accounts with these interactive marketing agencies and I know for a fact that these outfits can spend stupid amounts of money on these branded social media pages. How much did you pay for this page guys? How many hundreds of bucks did they bill you for “production design”?
And then my second thought as I looked at the area that had to be erased, and the obvious flip that they used to extend the image, and the complete lack of attempt to blend the shadows, that you know, it would not even take an hour’s worth of honest time, putting a vector mask around the characters needed, building the scene from cleanly vectored characters in layer, rendering (or at the very least blending) the shadows. If I had the original images I bet I could get it done in about an hour, two hours max. That’s a hundred bucks worth of my time.
And the third thing I thought was that anyone who knowingly put up this background image, for a national movie, on a branded YouTube page, even under the lame excuse of “no one is going to see it under the body content”, even if they only got paid 100 dollars – obviously doesn’t even have enough pride in their own work to be ashamed of what a lazy shoddy job they did.
But, I wasn’t there; who knows. Maybe there was a baby on fire and the graphic designer had to save the baby as opposed to working on this background, or maybe the Movie Distributor only spent 35 bucks on the whole project, or maybe the Movie Director’s Nephew did the web-work in exchange for a Pizza-night party with all his friends. Who knows. There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for why this background image went up.
But there’s no excuse for it.
Arthur Christmas opens in theaters November 23rd of 2011.
View the official trailer here, and see if they’ve fixed their shoddy background yet: