Jesse Cervantes Motion Graphics, Animation, Video Production Sun, 16 Jul 2017 01:53:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 53638377 U-Naughty Healthcare Thu, 08 Jun 2017 20:55:00 +0000 At U-Naughty Healthcare, we got an excuse for every situation – so give us your money!

I shot this comedy spoof in NYC over two weekends. It was inspired by a United Healthcare ad I saw on TV one night. (I’ll include the link below for comparison)

I shot on the Canon 5D mark iv. What a great camera! The primary lens was a 24mm-70mm. Got some nice wide angle shots with the 24mm. The touch focus feature is fantastic and the white balance presets got me the look I wanted very easily. I shot the whole thing HD, deciding against the 4k due to the crop factor on the 5D, also, it didn’t seem necessary to have the massive files and I wanted to focus on the framing without relying on extra room “just in case”. Additionally, the wi-fi feature came in handy. On the childbirth scene, I was crammed into the corner of the room and wouldn’t have been able to see the camera’s viewfinder without the app shooting video to my iPad.

The big production item was the Edelkrone slider, which I used for almost every shot. I did a fair amount of hand held as well and was thankful for the new “Warp Stablizer” in After Effects for making it look like it was on a tripod. The actors are almost all stand-up comedians, so they’re natural performers and I was really happy with all of them. The ‘Alzheimer’s’ couple are my aunt and uncle, long-time NYC actors. My wife did the ‘bi-polar’ scene and I’m pulling my own tooth out. The music was created by my office mate, Rico Welch (@ReekRhythm).

There’s a lot of visual effects, the Bees are obvious, but I also changed some signage in the BG and did a sky replacement on the Bee scene. Add blood in the childbirth scene and additional blood when I pull my tooth out. Overall, I think the outdoor scenes had the aperture too open, so there’s a bit more highlights than I would have liked.

For the look, I’d noticed videos that I’ve made in the past had so much light that the images seemed very flat. What I mean is, the whole scene was lit equally, so it lost dimension. So in this video, I tried to keep lighting less obvious. Used a lot of natural light and a basic key/fill/hair light set up, but since I have LED lights for key and fill, I brought them down, so the subjects faces were well lit, but there was enough shadow and the background offered varying color values. I’m mostly pleased with the results and will try to do it this way from now on.

The script changed a lot. The original version focused on more specific issues like cancer, arthritis, and epilepsy. A friend of mine read the script and was very concerned that it might seem we were mocking the disease, so I re-wrote to focus on how people might handle problems when they have no other options. The only scene that stayed was the childbirth scene. Innitially, she would just be pushing, but the night before the shoot, I thought of her actually having the baby and ran out to find a baby doll. Luckily, I found a cheap one at the local Conway Store.

I tried to do some practical effects on this too. For example, the placenta was a shower cap. The bee hive was a soda can wrapped in gauze. I did some photoshopping/SFX for the final video to make it look like a hornets nest. The tooth is a marshmallow.

I had 19 performers on this video, which is the most I’ve ever worked with on a single video. They were fantastic. As mentioned, most are stand-up comics, so check them out.
Full credit list on the YouTube page and below –

Here’s the original commercial that inspired this:


Jesse Cervantes – – @JesseComedy

Cast – (in order of appearance)

Ron Barba –
Kate Villa –

Nadine Ahmed –
Paul Philipps – @peeps123
Ryan Dowd – @thereisnopoint

Pumkin Escobar – @pdotesco –
Stephen Werbeck –

Jesse Cervantes – @JesseComedy –

Daniel Ares –
Alysia Hush – @AlysiaHush – @alysia_hush
Cara Francis – @FantasyGrandma –

Orlando Dole –
Rebecca Maiden-Dole –

Heather Apostolidis – @Apostolidis_H

Chris Crespo – @Cresposts

Jimmy Peoples – @jpeoplescomedy –
Meghan Radespiel – @MeghanRadespiel –
Vanetta Schoefield – @DatsFunnyV
Rajid Ali Ludhianvi – @ludhianvi05

Daniel Ares –

Rico Welch – @ReekRhythm

Mazars: Dress for Your Day Tue, 02 May 2017 21:41:45 +0000 I wrote and animated this video for the global financial firm, MAZARS.

This was a fun video to make. I designed the characters and their clothing based on a series of vector files, mixing and matching eyes, noses, mouths, and outfits. I felt pretty lucky that the clothes ended up fitting, but I suppose proportionally, people are relatively the same, so it worked out.


Mazars – Dress For Your Day from JesseCervantes on Vimeo.

Comedy: The Life – – Gootz Goes Pro Thu, 10 Nov 2016 01:49:56 +0000 NY comic Ray Gootz quits his job to do stand-up full-time
Part 6 of the ongoing mini-doc

See more at:
More Gootz Here: Gootz On YouTube

Quickly Make Shape Layers from Masks Sat, 05 Nov 2016 00:33:55 +0000

Here’s a quick tutorial for making animated outlines for any shape, still image, or text – (creating shape layers from masks)

Ode to Coffee Sat, 08 Oct 2016 20:54:48 +0000 I made this for a contest on Project Greenlight – partly to test out a new slider I got and also because I love coffee – – the video didn’t win or place, but I had fun making it. My wife, Heather, has a cameo at the end. We shot the interior shots with the BlackMagic Cinema 4K camera and the exterior shots with my Canon T3i – The outdoor stuff was done in The Cloisters area in Upper Manhattan. The interior is my apartment.

The Edelkrone Slider was used liberally and we love the look it gave to the short.

The hardest part for me was doing the VO – I wasn’t happy with the style and tried it several different ways. I like the way it finally came out at the end.

The music was done by my friend and former bandmate, Ed Miranti. I sent him a rough cut and he sent the music back in a couple hours. Very impressive.

Ben Jurin ran camera and Paul Philipps covered as grip.

Enjoy the video!

My Big Fat Mex Greek Wedding – Comedy Show Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:05:39 +0000 My WIFE is a stand-up comic. She set up this comedy show and I hosted a few days before our wedding. It was a lot of fun and a great experience. Enjoy!

Bernie Sanders – series 1 Sat, 05 Mar 2016 00:41:28 +0000 I haven’t felt political or excited about politics in many years.
But after hearing Bernie Sanders, I’m inspired again…

Truly, these videos were stylistic experiments for me. I wanted to make something kind of comic book-ish.
It happened that Super Tuesday was coming up, so I put the shoot together in a week, found most of the actors, including Bernie and Trump, on Craigslist, recruited a couple friends, and shot this.


Ep. 5 – Zen Mon, 22 Feb 2016 23:23:52 +0000 When I was in college, a student asked our writing professor, “When will I know I’m ready for an agent?” The professor responded, “You have to be ‘zen’ about it… when you’re ready for it, an agent will appear.”

A couple weeks ago, my former boss, the guy who gave me my first job in this industry – asked me to lunch.

After chatting a bit, he offered to team up on a project and, in a sense, I felt like my ‘Zen’ had arrived – finally, after years of chasing, asking, begging for help, here was someone approaching ME. What’s better, this is a consummate professional with several TV credits and tons of filmmaking experience. Clearly, I was thrilled.

At some point during lunch, he asked me WHY I’m doing this, or, more specifically, what I hope to GET out of this…

It’s strange because in a weird way, I hadn’t really thought about it – what DO I really want? And WHY do I want it?

I answered, awkwardly, that at some point, I wanted to be rich and famous, but now, I’m settled and older and, really, just want to know I can do it. Basically, to prove myself… to myself… But that’s a little disingenuous. It’s hard to admit, out loud, that I want to be rich. Or, have lots of money, which, in fact, I DO want. And I want to do it by creating art. Something GOOD. Something people like and WANT.

But if that’s a GOAL, it’s a guarantee fail. You can’t just want to be rich. You CAN. But it seems empty, even if you achieve it, without CREATING something of value.

Anyway, I’d been ready to dump the teacher idea I’d written about in the previous entries, but didn’t know what to do instead.

But after the meeting, I was re-invigorated and started revisiting old pitches and ideas.

And then it hit me… THE thing. The ABSOLUTE idea that is EXACTLY what I want to do an make.

So I sent a quick email with the pitch and my old boss said he liked it – I got pumped and a couple days later, sent him an email outlining a storyline… that was 3 weeks ago and I haven’t heard back.

At first it was kind of upsetting – maybe depressing is more to the point – of course radio silence could stem from hundreds of things… he’s a very busy guy. He’s got a successful career, a family, and a life…

Also, my new idea is big. Very big and when I really consider the undertaking, I KNOW I can’t do it alone… but that doesn’t mean I can’t start it alone.

So I’ve started doing just that. I’ve begun a couple of test shoots/composites – have pitched the idea to filmmaker friends who are interested in assisting – begun contacting actors… and am planning a first official shoot next month (March 2016) – –

That’s all I want to say about it right now – – but here’s a couple of GIFs that give a couple hints to what I’m planning – – –



Desert Cop Chase

Free Bounce Expression Animation Presets Thu, 07 Jan 2016 01:59:55 +0000

FREE Bounce Expression Animation PRESET ! from Creative Congo on Vimeo.

I use bounce expressions on practically every animation I do.
So I finally made a set of animation presets.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE: Creative Congo Bounce Animation Preset

Watch the video to see how it works and installation :
OR, if you want to jump into it –

To install, just unzip, then go to DOCUMENTS (on Mac), not Applications –

Documents – Adobe – User Presets – (and just drop the files in)

or Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CC\Support Files (Windows)


Free Wiggle Expression Animation Presets Thu, 07 Jan 2016 01:54:28 +0000

I use wiggle expressions a lot.
For simplicity, I made animation presets.
Useful for keyframing the wiggle or setting up wiggle on individual parameters – X or Y


Watch the video to see how it works and installation :
OR, if you want to jump into it –

To install, just unzip, then go to DOCUMENTS (on Mac), not Applications –

Documents – Adobe – User Presets – (and just drop the files in)

or Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CC\Support Files (Windows)