2:32 p.m. — 321 Fast Draw

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Diane De Re, Ken Nilsson, and Sal Pecoraro

Diane De Re, Ken Nilsson, and Sal Pecoraro

It’s getting close to quitting time for most businesses, but 321 Fast Draw is preparing to work well into the night.

“Three videos need to be done for ESPN,” says partner Sal Pecoraro. “It’s a simple, 2D animation explaining an app.”

Pecoraro founded 321 Fast Draw with former college friend Ken Nilsson and production vet Diane De Re in 2011. They each bring separate but complementary disciplines to the table.

“My expertise was film editing,” says Pecoraro. “Diane is a producer / writer and Ken is kind of our creative director, who also does editing and correction and all of that stuff.”

At the time of its inception, 321 Fast Draw boasted the ability to “Make Boring Presentations AWESOME!” Millions of online and broadcast views later, the company’s unique whiteboard animation style is a common site on consumer spots as well as corporate videos.

The visuals feature realistic characters rendered with the whimsy of cartoon illustrations. Relevant objects pop up and move around the frame to help tell the story. In the early days, they also included the actual hand doing the drawing.

“A client came to us and said they wanted an animation,” recalls Pecoraro. “We’d never done animation before, but we studied and came up with something in three or four months.”

The ESPN job is an explanation about “Fan’s Best Friend,” an app that allows sports fans to personalize network programming on their smart phones. 321 will complete three 30-second videos for the campaign.

“It’s about giving an ESPN experience to people in their everyday lives,” says Pecoraro.

Percaro and company have been working for ESPN about four years, but they got the green light on this job less than a week ago.

“ESPN gave us notes on the concept and everything on Monday, and we’ve been working ever since,” he says. “They kind of let us go to town.”

They are also working on a virtual tour through an animated human colon to present to pharmaceutical companies. The video allows users to waste harmful bacteria in a first-person, shooter style game.

“It’s like you are being attacked by ninjas,” explains Pecoraro.

321 occupies an office on the fifth floor of the gargantuan complex situated above Cinespace Studios. They moved in about a year ago, after a friend introduced Percaro to Alex Pissios.

“Alex pretty much said, ‘I’ll have space for you if you guys need it,’” recalls Pecoraro. “He’s been very helpful with everything since.”

In a former era, the building was the headquarters of Ryerson steel. These days, the combination of high ceilings, old-school construction materials and high-tech communications suites appears like a movie in itself. It’s a place where 321 is happy to be.

“We love being around the people in the industry,” says Pecoraro. “This is something we’ve always dreamed about being in, an environment like this, without being out in LA.”

To read more “Day in the Life of Cinespace,” click here.

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