Kronenberg, an award winning photographer and filmmaker, and Schreiber, an award winning animator and director, received the commission after one of their previous films – a music video for Australian band Firekites –caught the attention of Saks executives. The Firekites animation was produced using the same stop-motion chalk process as the Saks window animation.
The Saks 80 second stop-motion chalkboard animation required the creation of 608 hand drawn frames which were captured on film during a marathon 35-day shoot. Displayed simultaneously across five screens, the finished film is a whimsical fairytale featuring sprouting trees, dancing snowflakes, regal reindeer, and metamorphosing birds. Included in the film are several Saks snowflake motifs designed by US Artist Marian Bantjes.
“A lot of time during the production was spent working to create the illusion that the screens appeared as real chalkboards rather than LCD screens. I wanted the animation to play out as if by magic. This was a combination of lighting, exposure, stabilisation, flicker reduction and grading,” Kronenberg told creative advertising trade magazine Campaign Brief.
Of the six Saks flagship store holiday windows, the window created by Kronenberg and Schreiber is the only one that was created by international artists and the only one by any invited artist. Saks’ long-standing design company contractor installed all the other windows.
See the Kronenberg/Shreiber animation in the video below