CTCP – “Tell Your Story”

“I was really attracted to this brief for its commitment to telling real stories, in an evocative, visceral storytelling style. I think I also revelled at the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, collect their stories, and find a way to present their journey that authentically supported their voice.”


These are the real stories of smokers’ quitting journeys. We created a series of unique animated shorts in which real smokers relate their smoking and quitting journeys. After conducting hours of interviews with real smokers, we curated a diverse selection of unique, and unfiltered quitting stories. Each of the animations are in a unique style, each adapted to the authentic voice and personality of each smoker and their journey. The stories were created with the view of inspiring others to quit smoking for good – no matter how imperfect the path may be.



California Tobacco Control and Duncan Channon were looking to make a series of spots that connected with smokers and vapers at a deeply emotional level, allowing actual smokers and vapers to tell their stories. All smokers have something in common – the story of their journey. Of how they started and the reasons why. Of what fuelled their use of nicotine beyond “it’s just something to do” and into a physical, social and mental need. Of what opened their eyes to their addiction and the want to quit. The heart of this project is normalising the quitting process, and a critical step in doing so is highlighting the importance of attempts in the journey to quit for good. They wanted to reach current smokers and vapers in a human way from a place of empathy, and they wanted them to recognise themselves in these stories. The brief was to capture their natural, off-the-cuff takes with the intention of it sounding more like found audio as opposed to rehearsed.


“One of the biggest challenges was running the interview process, and trying to arrive at three final 30-second stories. Part of this challenge was running these interviews remotely through Zoom – at first it was difficult to achieve the same connection with an interviewee from a face-to-face meeting, but eventually we figured it out. Working with editor Simon Adams, we were able to trawl through hours of interview time and find some of the best nuggets which fit perfectly into the allotted time. But it was painful saying goodbye to many other stories which didn’t make it into the cut. Another challenge was setting the bar high at ensuring we avoided scripting voiceover at all costs, keeping the story recordings as authentic as possible. It was a fine line to walk while trying to ensure we had enough sound bytes that would cut well into a 30-second spot – but I think we got there!

Creatively it was also a challenge putting together a diverse team of animation talent which could bridge the unique animation styles of all three films – but the team at Mighty Nice did such a great job assembling a versatile team – I think everyone really threw themselves at the challenge and the results were beautiful.” – Robertino Zambrano

  • Director
    Robertino Zambrano
  • Head of Production
    Tina Braham
  • Producer (Mighty Nice)
    Diana Angelius
  • Producer (Nexus)
    Fernanda Garcia Lopez
  • Head of Studio
    Jeremy Howdin
  • Editor
    Simon Adams
  • Print & masters
    Darrin Hanley
  • Sound
    Bamm Bamm Wolfgang
  • Lead animator/motion designer
    Brian Neong San (STEVEN & RYAN)
  • Animator/motion designer
    Max Wanniaratchy (STEVEN)
  • 3D artist
    Trent Rogan (GEORGE)
    Charles Ewart (RYAN)
  • 2D animators
    Lester Chan, Leanne Lee (GEORGE)
  • 3D animator
    Duncan MacLaren
  • Compositor
    Fiona Lu (GEORGE)
  • Animators
    Michael Shiao Chen, Lester Chan (RYAN)