Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This year at Cannes Lions we wanted to create something new,
something different that best demonstrates The Mill capabilities.
We wanted something that is quite unexpected and surprising as well
as entertaining and useful! We decided to look for a
connection between the event in Cannes, The Mill and what we
We came up with 'Time', literally... 'Time'!
The inspiration behind the project by The Mill's Design, Motion
Graphics, and Digital teams was to create a hybrid cross media
platform piece of work which represents The Mill's digital
offering, and also focuses on our ability to create outstanding
design, motion graphics and VFX-work.
So 'Time' explores and references actual time as a concept over
four screens throughout the duration of the Festival. The
clock-like elements and graphical representations of time are
interwoven with abstract clips and actual clocks where one
animation can trigger the next one. Some of the clocks are
easily recognisable, others... you'll need to stare at them for a
The time-based aspect of the project creates a grid - clockwork
- in which the content will play out. The clock runs over all 4
screens with each panel representing a different aspect of
time, dividing it into days, hours, minutes and seconds,
centiseconds or milliseconds.
We managed to create around 45 uniquely different
clock-type-animations with many more in the works...
Nils Kloth, Head of After Effects at The Mill explains: "We (the
Design and Motion-Design departments) developed the idea - always
in close collaboration with our Digital team and the guys from Beam
to ensure that what we wanted to attempt was feasible. We
eventually found a way to work around the things we couldn't do
without cutting back on the design, aesthetics and technical
developments. The project in its raw form is a clock, which has to
display the time accurately every step of the way.
"We also made use of Beam's incredible scheduling system, which
was designed to distribute video content worldwide and built a
flash-based application for the real time clock functionality. The
system now cuts back between more abstract video content and
the flash-clock at regular intervals. It was a great experience
with a lot of talented people contributing."
Tony Volpe our Digital Team's Creative Technologist explains:
"On the Digital side we created a template that ensured we could
create clocks that required programming to be millisecond perfect,
without having to program it themselves. In many cases the creative
was also able to alter the structure of the template to fit many
Luke Colson, Head of Mill Studio tells us: "It's a great
departure from our usual Cannes films approach, and really sets a
new benchmark for future installation projects. We hope to offer
this project out to the creative world in the not too distant
future... it'll be exciting to see where it ends up in 12
If you are in Cannes why not 'make time' and check out The
Mill's installation in the entrance of the Palais!
For an exclusive sneak preview you can check out a selection of
the clocks in the film above, or have a look at the footage playing
out on Beam screens in Cannes, below...
Tick tock, tick tock!