The BBC is one of the world’s most iconic brands and, this is a sort of feel-good piece showing their heritage and the fact that they are forward looking as well. On paper, putting together a montage of existing BBC footage in to a nice neat promo, sounds like a simple task. However as soon as you look at the list of credits on this job you can see that it was a lot more involved than sticking an editor in a room armed with their trusty After Effects… Continue reading “The Mill – BBC – Where Next? promo” »
I was invited to The Mill’s Christmas drinks the other day – and, while I was enjoying their hospitality I noticed a couple of cool things going on in reception.
Firstly that they have pioneered a very snazzy way of looking at and presenting their showreel. The Mill New York Digital team dreamed up a rear-projected, 5’ (1.5m) x 3’ (1m) interactive touch screen panel made entirely of reflective glass. This in itself is a pretty imposing piece of hardware. However the touch screen interface is aesthetically very pleasing and dead easy to use. Continue reading “Seasonal Fun with Mill Touch & Mill Wishes” »
A sweltering day in Havana, the muscle-bound delivery man comes to the door and is greeted by a curvy girl who is popping out of her blouse a sensuous female voice over laden with all sorts of old school innuendo – how can you not carry on watching..? Havana Heat is a combination of a few good things – it looks great, has a cheeky script and is for a good cause – what could be better? Once you realise that it is part of a series of animations advertising a service called Good Books and each film is written in a well known literary style, things start to make sense. This one pays homage to the bodice-ripping language made famous by Mills & Boon - hence the melodramatic flirting.
Animated by renown duo mcbess and Simon of The Mill in London and produced and masterminded by String Theory. Continue reading “String Theory & The Mill – Havana Heat animation” »
So, in a blur of hands and fingers the new “Unleash Your Fingers” Samsung Galaxy Siii commercial is out for Samung in France. Made in collaboration by The Heaven agency, Unit 9 production company and The Mill design, this amazing ad was made inside two months. I particularly like the way that the graphics fit right in with the live action – almost as if the dancers could see it as they were moving – it all looks pretty natural.
I recently met up with Tom Robinson, from Mill Design to find out more. Rather surprisingly Tom, who recently left Double G studios, used to be fridge engineer before he retrained to cinema 4D & After Effects – good job, really! He told me that the motion design part of the job was all done with Cinema 4D & After Effects inside a month – which is pretty astounding.
The incredible finger routine is handled by JayFunk and Joey Daniels and this ad forms a sequel to the 2011 YouTube hit “Unleash Your Fingers”. Music was by Justice with the track ‘Helix’. Continue reading “The Mill Design – Unleash Your Fingers Commercial” »
I was recently contacted by Jason Mayo – lead technical director at The Mill. He sent me a link to a recent behind the scenes film about the the making of this year’s Primeval series four – including interviews with himself (lead technical director) and the non-nonsense Jean Claude Deguara (VFX supervisor). This should be a special treat for all you VFX fans out there – as The Mill are one of the top VFX houses in the world at the moment.
Jason went on to explain that it was all made using Maya, Soft Image and Mental Ray together with lots of custom in-house software plugins . I think we are fairly blase about this level of effects now, but when you think of what we were having to watch on TV shows even five years ago – this is pretty amazing. Essentially The Mill is being smart by re-using lots of techniques that they have developed on high -end Hollywood pics on TV-only work.
I especially like the fact that the underwater scenes were made entirely from CGI, to think that they used to film this stuff in water tanks with scuba divers!
Jason told me that the original script for this episode called for two computer generated humans in wet suits to untangle a cable from the prop of a big submarine, but with humans being notoriously difficult to do convincingly in CG he suggested to the client that they put them inside a futuristic mini sub with mechanical arms. The clients liked the idea and the script was altered. The actors seen inside the mini sub were then filmed behind the wheel of a Mercedes parked in a studio (he assured me that no one got wet during the making of this…)
Primeval was broadcast this year on ITV to an audience of over 5 million viewers and also has a massive following both in Europe and the U.S. If you want more Primeval VFX based shenanigans – there is a “Part one” video that was made from series Four – which you can watch here
Next up they are working on a new TV series of Sinbad, made by Impossible pictures – the same company that makes Primeval