ExxonMobil 'Once Upon a Job'


Recent, Live Action

Scholar was happy to team up again with our friends at BBDO NY and ExxonMobil to create Once Upon a Job. Our goal was to find an elevated and entertaining way to demonstrate the far-reaching impact that ExxonMobil has on job creation in the community.  

We continued to push the design-driven world we've been crafting for ExxonMobil and evolved it into a practical, art-directed execution with precisely choreographed camera moves.  Our talent moves from set to set leading the camera on a journey, guiding us through the story.


  • Production Company: Scholar
  • Directors: Will Johnson & Chris Finn
  • Executive Producer: Christina Roldan
  • Head of Production: Tyler Locke
  • Line Producer: Richard Kaylor
  • DP: Ernesto Lomeli
  • Production Designer: Trae King
  • Design & Animation: Scholar
  • Creative Director: Will Johnson
  • Executive Producer: Christina Roldan
  • Head of Production: Tyler Locke
  • Associate Creative Director: Chris Finn
  • CG Supervisor: Tim Hayward
  • Producer: Nicole Smarsh
  • Associate Producer: Kev Jones
  • Designers: Macauley Johnson, Hana Eunjin Yean, Cynthia Lou, Hanna No, Conner O’Brien, Logan Sprangers
  • 2D Animators: Logan Sprangers, Andrew Tan
  • Previz Animator: Hillary McCarthy
  • Social Editor: Miki Gilmour
  • 3D Animators: James Lane, Eric Molina
  • 3D Generalists: Allan Bernardo, Jacques Clement, Billy Maloney
  • Compositors: Eddie Anton, Andrew Hardaway, Chris Russo
  • Flame Artist: Matt Lavoy, Tom Leckie, Amir Qureshi, Federico Saccone
  • Storyboards: Arien Walizadeh
  • Editorial: Whitehouse Post
  • Editor: David Cea
  • Social Editor / Assistant Editor: Devin Stevens
  • Telecine: Freefolk
  • Colorist: Paul Harrison
  • Mix: Heard City
  • Sound Design: Barking Owl
  • Music: Mutato
  • Track Name: Energy Creating Jobs
  • Client: ExxonMobil
  • Agency: BBDO NY

Set Designs

Within our warehouse, we designed each set as a sculptural snapshot of the workspace to provide a glimpse of each job plucked from its environment. This ambitious execution was technically challenging yet visually seamless as we leveraged rehearsed camera choreography and precise VFX integration.

Process Breakdown


Utilizing the strengths of our concept development and CG teams, we began exploring the camera moves and dialing in our performance timing early in the boardomatic phase. This allowed us to seamlessly transition into 3D previsualization and step onto the live action shoot with a concrete idea of motion and timing, aligning each beat of action with our script. This preplanning allowed us to finesse every nuance of performance on our shoot day and plan our VFX integration accordingly.