Friday, November 26, 2010
To round off a fantastic week, our Mill TV team has won their
first RTS Craft and Design Award in the 'Effects - Digital'
category for their work on the Doctor Who episode, 'The Pandorica
The RTS Craft & Design Awards recognise the huge variety of
skills and processes involved in programme production, from costume
design and digital effects to editing and lighting. The winners of
the 2009/2010 awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Savoy
in London on Wednesday evening, hosted by Richard McCourt and
Dominic Wood (aka Dick and Dom).
In their comments about the winning episode from series 5 of the
hit BBC 1 series, the judges were, " ... impressed
by some beautifully integrated effects and by green
screen. This is about as good as it gets on TV."
Congratulations to The Mill TV team for continuing to light up
our Saturday nights with Hollywood style VFX and to all the other
For the full list of winners, visit the RTS website
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This year's British Arrows Craft Awards we saw Nike's - Write
the Future wipe the board, scooping six awards including the
Special Award for Best Crafted Commercial of 2010. We were also
delighted that out of these six, we were awarded 2 gold's for The
Foundry Award for Best VFX and Visual Composition.
The British Arrows Craft Awards (previously known as the British
Television Advertising Craft Awards) recognise those individuals
whose production crafts and skills make the UK a major centre of
Huge congratulations to all of our clients and everyone who won
We are pretty sure you've seen it but if you wanted to check it
out again just follow the link Nike - Write the Future.
Click here to see the full list of winners and finalists:
Also this year we worked with MPC to create a short film for the
BTAA's to mark the 2010 sponsors.
After brainstorming sessions across both studios, our Design
Director Carl Addy, came up the idea for Rat Race. Addy
created the concept based around the idea of a 'Rat Race'. Using
cleverly depicted images of 'rats' as yesteryear's Sporting Hero's,
following Addy's direction these were used to bring to life the
BTA's hall of fame.
Click here to see the full list of winners and finalists: http://www.btaa.co.uk/index.cfm/s/craft/fa/craft.intro
Friday, November 19, 2010
First up today we have a beautiful short film by our old pal Robin
Fenlon, ex PR boy wonder, photographer, film maker and currently
botherer of women tennis players for the WTA. Robin travelled 2
days by train and car to Yogjakarta in Indonesia to film the
eruption of the Merapi volcano. He'd planned a 4 day shoot but due
to the disruption of flights and airport closures, he was left with
one day to shoot from his hotel window. Shot on, as far as I'm
aware, his trusty Canon 5D II, lets hope he gets another chance to
record something equally awesome for longer next time.
Secondly and on a completely different plane of reality, heres
YouTube user Okreylos who has hacked the Microsoft Kinect already,
after it only being on the market for a matter of hours, to create
a "holographic" image by combining the color and depth from the
camera's sensors. Essentially he has managed to take what the
sensor records and put the image back together. Obviously, as he
says, the camera is only looking in one POV, so the shadowy dark
parts of the image are what the camera cannot pick up. This is just
the tip of the iceberg of something that is apparently just $56
dollars worth of parts & that is only a few geek steps away
from producing full holographic pictures and real Minority Report
moments. The opportunities are endless…
Could we being seeing a shift in the Canon dominated market of
tapeless filming, With the Arri Alexa doing the rounds with its HQ
Pro Res format (used recently for KFC at BBH) and a variety of
other systems coming on the market such as the Panasonic AG-AF100,
the worlds first micro 4/3's digital single lens camera. Next up is
the Sony NXCAM HD. This baby comes with a super 35mm equivalent
CMOS sensor behind an E-Mount interchangeable lens system.
Recording to AVCHD, in 1080p and all your favourite flavours of
frame rate including 23.98 and 59.94, all of which is progressive.
Planned to be released in mids 2011, but no price as been mentioned
Oh, and if you didn't already know, there's a new band available
on iTunes, called 'The Beatles' if anyones interested....
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Earlier this month, the winners of the London International Awards
were announced and The Mill's effects and animation work came out
on top. The Mill LA won a Gold in the Visual Effects category for
Old Spice 'The
Man Your Man Could Smell Like' out of Wieden + Kennedy,
directed by Tom Kuntz. The Mill NY took home two Silver
Awards for AT&T 'Birthday'
for Animation and Visual Effects. The spot was directed by
Peter Thwaites via BBDO.
Old Spice also won in the Cosmetics and Direction categories,
while AT&T hit big in the Music License category.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Click here to see a full list of
Friday, November 12, 2010
Ever dreamed of becoming a top CG Artist and seeing your work on
the big screen or during the ad break on X-Factor? If so, our very
own 3D Artist, Adam Droy, shares his top 5 tips for breaking into
the visual effects industry in this week's Guardian Careers
Click here to read the full
Friday, November 12, 2010
Some of the Digital industry's greatest minds came together at
LBi headquarters in London's Brick Lane yesterday, for Creative
Review's 6th annual CLICK London
The day was chaired by W+K's Andy Cameron, who did a fantastic job
refereeing the panellists as the ongoing debate about the role of
the traditional ad agency in the digital space continues. The
impressive line-up of speakers included inspiring presentations
from Brothers and Sisters, ustwo, Seeper, Happiness Brussels, Ogilvy Digital Labs and Dare, to name but a few.
From iPhone apps to projection mapping and holograms, to talking
trees, Twitter-driven inflatable space hoppers and a bespoke
car-created font, the day featured some of the most innovative and
exciting examples of digital thinking and interactive technology at
Even lunchtime brought a treat in the form of a Brick Lane
special - curry!
We also asked guests to participate in our very own data
visualisation project throughout the day. Their responses to
a series of statements about the future of digital in creativity
and innovation were data-visualised to form the basis of a design
for a scarf, which is being produced by our friends at Folk Clothing as we speak.
Well done to all those involved, and a special congratulations to
Creative Review on another fantastic event!
Come back here next week when we'll have an exclusive video
featuring highlights from the day. In the meantime, check out
the Twitter stream from the event to see what got everyone
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Televisual magazine published the results of their annual
Commercial 30 survey today, listing the top 30 commercials
production companies as well as the sector's best directors, ads,
post houses and agencies.
Our good friend, Rattling Stick's Ringan Ledwidge was named the
sector's favourite director, with Rattling Stick voted number one
commercials production company by their peers; Mother was
named top agency by the commercials production companies and
Independent's Nike 'Write the Future' spot was crowned best ad of
We would like to congratulate all of our friends and collaborators
on another bumper year of creative excellence and look forward to
many more in 2011!
You can read the full report online here.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Firstly heres some impressive test footage of a new game due for
release soon on the iPhone 4. Developed by Vertigore Games, the
software uses the phones camera and gyroscope to give the
impression that the Empire's TIE-Fighters are attacking your city.
Quite how this might work when you play it on the tube, I'm not
sure, and obviously the bad guys ships aren't interacting with the
environment (now that would be worth playing on public transport)
but so far as an entertaining aside, its a cool step forward.
Published by THQ Wireless, Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner will
hit the Apple Store in mid November for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch
4th Gen. No support for the ageing 3G as the RAM and memory on that
model just isn't up to scratch.
Secondly, those boys at OK GO have come up trumps with another
great music video. It's not often i get to combine my two favourite
things of being geeky and eating, but this is pretty close.
For their latest single 'Last Leaf' director Geoff Mcfetridge,
working out of The Directors Bureau in Los Angeles, decided he'd
try out some of his trademark animation, but this time via the
medium of toast.
Yes, i said toast. Geoff spent 2 solid weeks creating the
animation in flash, then exported out each frame, which in turn was
used as a template to burn the image into the bread, then stop
motion animated each slice.
Someone has already pointed out that if you keep an eye on the
ridges at the top, you can tell that they worked their way through
each loaf as a whole before starting the next, which is mindless
info, but somehow bizzarely comforting.
Monday, November 08, 2010
For anyone with a passion for CG and ambitions to break into the
world of visual effects, this could be the lucky break you've been
waiting for. We have teamed up with our friends from Escape Studios and sponsor 3D Artist to launch the second annual
CG Whiz competition, to uncover future stars of
the CG industry.
And you only have until Friday to enter!
Stephen Venning, 3D Executive Producer, explains: "We're delighted
to support CG Whiz in its second year. For us it's a great
way to check out the best amateur CG talent and offer the cream of
the crop a real opportunity to build a career as a professional
artist. This year, we're pleased to offer the winner a month's
placement in either The Mill's London or Los Angeles VFX
studios. This, plus the state-of-the-art training offered by
Escape Studios, is as close to an open door to a career in CG as
you can get."
Open to anyone interested in computer graphics (professionals in
CG aren't eligible). This competition offers over £15,000 or
$24,000 worth of prizes and a unique opportunity to come and spend
a month here at The Mill.
How to enter
To enter CG Whiz 2010, all you need to do is submit a show reel or
set of stills compiled into a video. Make sure that you clearly
label your entry with your name and title of your work, and then
complete the following two steps:
Step 1: Upload your entry to any one of Escape Studios' social
This can be done by:
- Adding your entry as a response to our CG Whiz competition video
on YouTube (insert URL when video uploaded)
- Uploading your entry to 'Escape Studios' Facebook page
- Adding your video to the CG Whiz 2010 group on Vimeo
- Or even sending a link to your entry via Twitter to @escape
studios , using the hashtag #CGWhiz
Step 2: Send your contact details including name, the title of
your work, email address and telephone number to
The closing date for the competition is 12th November
2010 and winners will be announced in early
For more information, visit: www.escapestudios.com or watch the video
Friday, November 05, 2010
I don't class myself as being particularly huge or massive
limbed, but i for one struggle to knock out a quick text reply
(whilst avoiding obvious yoof speak) on my iPhone, due to my
inability to hit the touch screen keys accurately. Replying that i
will be 'just 5 minutes' can sometimes take me, 5 minutes or
Saying all that, if someone suggested we remove the keyboard
from my phone, much like that awful car on Top Gear that had a
joystick instead of steering wheel, i would laugh at them and point
This hasn't stopped a company called 8pen, doing just that, by
replacing the standard QWERTY keyboard with a large, open space in
which letters and phrases are constructed by a series of gesture
inputs through specific sectors of the pad. The input free's up a
lot of screen space, allowing for bigger Enter, Shift & Delete
The concept aims to bring back a more simple and fluent
technique that better replicates actual handwriting. The video
explains it much better than i can in words, so take 4 mins to look
through how you might be sending texts and emails in the near
8pen is available on handsets running Android 2.2, would love to
hear if anyone has used it and how successful it was.
You can read more about it at www.the8pen.com
Secondly and on a much larger scale is this fantastic demo of
projection mapping 3D content. To help celebrate the Vimeo awards
which in turn was sponsored by Honda, they used the Frank Gehry IAC
HQ as a canvas in which to project this impressive light and sound
display, created by the guys at Seeper.
My favourite part is @ 1:13 when things go a bit TRON, and yes,
you'll have to bare with the slightly infuriating camera work too,
i for one would be happy to watch the whole thing on a wide shot
without it being over cut by some enthusiastic editor.