Interview - Ismael Obregon/Oishii



Oishii Creative
Creative Agency
Ismael Obregon, President/Creative Director

 717 N. Highland Ave, Suite 18
Los Angeles, California 90038 
 Hello and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us a bit about your company, when did you start, what are your goals?
Oishii is a creative agency specializing in strategy, branding and promotion.
I started 22 years ago working at a local TV station in Houston, Texas. I realized then that I had worked in great working environments, surrounded myself with great creative people and worked with great clients. This desire served as the foundation for Oishii Creative some 12 years later.

Do you collaborate with production companies or manage everything in-house?
We can do both. Collaboration is a one of our brand attributes -- we try to connect with other great creative companies. 
What programs/plugins/scripts do you use? 
We use the usual suspects like: Adobe Creative Suite, Cinema 4D, Final Cut, Nuke, and a variety of After Effects plugins.
How do you keep up with all the changes in technology? 

Because our main focus is branding and strategy, we have the opportunity to use all and any type of technology. Using the latest technology is one of our brand pillars -- to push ourselves creatively means to know and use all the latest technology to produce new, exciting work -- often times more efficiently.
How involved is the interview process at Oishii? 
We’re always looking for strong, curious people and we vet people through a tiered system.  
We look for people that can answer one basic question: What motivates you? If your answer satisfies us, you’re in.  We’re not looking for just technicians, we’re looking for thinkers.
With the market becoming more and more competitive, what do you believe is a must that an artist has in his portfolio or skills? 
We look for amazing creative work that shows: Clarity, Discipline and Consistency, as well as an ability to talk about their work and what inspires them.
You received a Gold Award for Rebranding Ovation.

We consider ourselves very lucky any time we have an opportunity to brand or rebrand a company.  We get to do what we love, with people we admire and the added bonus is when we are recognized by our peers.
What were the challenges on this project?
The only challenge we encounter was to come up with a solution that would balance great creative with a good framing platform for the Network’s programming to shine. 
As with most companies, our partners at Ovation had a very clear idea of what their brand message was. Our job was to translate their beliefs into clear, powerful visual solutions.
Can you give us an insight on the process, the goals of the project and the difficult parts?
We have an extensive process where we balance creativity with clear and consistent brand messaging. We don’t force any style or trend in our process; instead, we listen to what the project calls for and create the appropriate solutions.
What were some of the challenges on NFL Network Special Presentation ID?

We had to work with existing footage shot from different angles, distances, lighting scenarios and speeds. We used the NFL league logo morphing into the NFL Network logo as our bridge to connect all the stylized footage into one single piece. Our job was to make it all look consistent and unified; not to mention, it needed to look amazing. 
What is the typical starting point in a 3D/VFX commercial? 
All projects are different, but a common process would start with boards followed by animatics and rough cuts. We then continue to create CG elements and test our effects.  After we plan our shoot and marry our elements on a secondary rough cut, we continue to refine the comps and then move on to final color correction and finishing. 
How long does it usually take?
Depending on the project and the techniques used, it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months.
What other supporting departments do you typically involve on an average project? How large does this list grow when you’re working on a longer project like Freedom is Expression PSA?

Depending on the project we can involve many different departments ranging from copywriting, production, editorial, CG, motion, print, digital, social, programing, etc.
In the case of our PSA for Freedom is Expression, it was a collaboration between Oishii Creative and Director Mark Pellington. We were asked to help out with this great cause and we answered by providing our design, motion and editorial departments.
Do you use the same techniques from one project to another? What is your company’s strongest point (motion capture, storyboard, 3D modeling, animating, VFX)?

We love technology and we feel fortunate to have great clients and projects that provide us with the opportunities to use any and all types of techniques, from MoCap to sock puppets.
Was there ever something you wanted to do in a project and couldn’t? (Technology wise) Which design do you believe was the most difficult to achieve?
I always wanted to work with giraffes and shoot them walking down the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 
As far as the most difficult design technically to achieve it would have to be the Snipe system we developed for NFL Network. The creative called for CG versions of true-to-life mannerisms and motions of well-known football stars interacting with several of the Network’s programming logos. 
How important is it to have a proper education in this field?

You can never know enough. Education is at the cornerstone of all the creative we do. It can evolve any natural-born talent into a well-balanced creative force. Everyone at the studio is pushed to keep learning and be curious about everything around us. 
Do you still find time for projects outside the advertising industry? What do you have up your sleeve for future projects?
I am interested in many different types of ventures; so it’s no surprise that we created our own vinyl toy, which you can buy from some vinyl toy boutiques or directly from us.
If you had the opportunity to spend a day with anyone from this industry, who would it be?
I would love to spend a day with the futurist Syd Meads. I know he’s up in age, but I believe that if you want to know the future, all you need to do is ask someone who has been there.
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