Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The latest Google Chrome TV ad in 'The Web is what you make of
it series' features 20 year old "media mogul" Jamal Edwards, and
explores the amazing things people have done with the web.
Directed by The Mill's Carl Addy and PK, the spot has already
notched up over 1.3 million views on YouTube since it launched last
week during the commercial break of The X Factor on ITV1.
Check it out on YouTube above or click here to read more
about the spot...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Fergus McCall has been an integral member of
The Mill since the company opened its doors in London in 1990. In
April 2004, McCall moved from London to the newly opened New York
office to lead the Telecine department. Over the past 20 years he
has worked with some of the most talented directors,
cinematographers and agency creatives on some of the world's most
With his recent Cannes 2010 Golden Lion and AICP wins for Puma's
'After Hours Athlete', directed by Ringan Ledwidge and Jim Beam's
'Parallels', directed by Dante Ariola, Fergus has been more in
demand than ever.
Q: What has been your favorite project this year?
A: Probably the Gillette 'Homage' spot that we
recently finished. As a project, it has all of the ingredients that
make a job rewarding; Input from the director and DoP, a creative
who wants to produce something distinctive and memorable in a spot
that contains a variety of interesting looks and styles and is not
compromised by creative insecurities. The end result smacks of
quality and of great collaborative film-making.
Q: What was your favorite project of all time?
A: I can't give one in particular, so I'll give
you a few. From before some of my co-workers were born
(almost), Tarsem's 'Swimmer' for Levis. While they were
attending preschool, it was Michel Gondry's 'Drugstore', also for
Levis. Moving into this millenium, Jon Glaser's 'Swim Black' for
Guinness and more recently, Ringan Ledwidge's 'After Hours Athlete'
for Puma. The last of these might just be my most favorite, not
because of my part in it but because everything about it is
brilliant and it has a v/o that sends a tingle down my spine every
time I hear it. It's writing and execution in perfect
Q: You have been here since the Mill opened its doors
over 20 years ago. How has Telecine changed over the
A: Not quite from the beginning, but almost. In
another few years somebody will be handing me the engraved gold
watch and golf clubs and leading me out to pasture. Has it changed
much in that time? Yes and no. Almost everybody reading this will
be aware of the significant changes in technology both in
production and post- production. The endgame remains the same,
however. Make the images look great and make them look right for
the imagery they are portraying. When I first started, editors
stuck film together with sellotape (Scotch tape), we used to
drink beer at lunchtime and CG didn't exist apart from in the heads
of some clever blokes at a company called Pixar.
Q: How is TK different in New York compared to
A: Every market has their own particular
aesthetic and way of working. But when comparing New York and
London specifically the question should be, "Are they in any way
the same?" There are many dissimilarities between the two -
different sensibilities, priorities and chains of command.
The advertising aesthetic is just different in New York, and it
takes time to learn those differences.
Q: Do you prefer to grade Film or Digital
footage? Is it much different?
A: Film, by a mile, though the people over at
Arri are beginning to close the gap. However, the other camera
company that purports to be offering the future of image capture I
am not a fan of yet. It seems they've spent the last few years
telling us how fantastic they are without ever delivering on their
well-managed hype. On a more conciliatory note, all of the newer
digital capture cameras have their strengths and I'm sure other
colorists will have noticed that since the largely noise free
pictures of Alexa and Red have become the norm clients have become
much more sensitized to grain and don't always like
Q: What advice would you offer to aspiring young TK
A: As somebody that happened upon color
correction by mistake I might not be the right person to offer
advise to the young aspirant, but I'll give it a go.
At it's most fundamental level it requires an appreciation of
imagery and an aesthetic of what works and what doesn't work.
Remember that just about any clown can get a digitally captured
image to about 85% of its potential. The magic is in the last 10%
Always be able to step back and see the wood from the trees...
so much of what is done in post-production is done at an almost
pixel level while staring at single frames. The role of the
colorist is to make the whole piece work rather than obsess on
Don't slavishly copy the style of your mentor, use your own
aesthetic. Color, texture and contrast are all subjective so there
isn't ultimately a right or a wrong way to make something look.
There is an appropriate way, however.
Make sure you're not color blind.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Just come across this clever little video by Everynone that
explores symmetry in a series of thought-proving split screen
images, turning the regular into something quite special.
If you haven't already seen it, it's well worth a look...
Thursday, August 11, 2011
After Mill New York's great success with a number of acclaimed
Design projects including winning a Gold Lion for Design at this
year's Cannes for their work on the title sequence for the OFFF
event, Mill London officially launches its Design department this
month headed up by Luke Colson, with Carl
Addy as Creative Director, Ross Urien as
Head of Print, and Adam Brandon as Designer.
In addition to this existing talent, Mill Design will call on
creative input from all corners of The Mill on a project by project
basis, as well as recruiting and collaborating with external
Designers and Artists.
Mill Design offers Creative Direction, Art Direction, Character
Design, Type Design, Print, Branding and Identity, Concept / Style
Frames and Storyboarding.
Darren O'Kelly, The Mill's Managing Director comments: ''The
launch of Mill Design is a natural extension of the work we have
been doing in London and builds on the achievements of our award
winning Design team in New York following on from their recent
success with the OFFF Title Sequence and London's MTV Rhythm Jerk,
we are looking forward to producing more great work.''
Luke Colson, Head of Mill Studio explains: "We are very much
looking forward to evolving the Design team and over the next six
months our ambition is to more than double our size of in-house
design talent. We have completed a number of significant design
briefs this year, and have several ongoing projects and commissions
in place for the coming months. Exciting times."
Pictured above, the Mill Design team from left to right: Luke
Colson, Carl Addy, Ross Urien, Adam Brandon
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Our double-BAFTA winning Mill TV team has joined the crew of Sky
1 HD's forthcoming fantasy adventure series, Sinbad.
Reuniting with Impossible Pictures, with whom we collaborate on
Primeval and the forthcoming
Neverland film for Sky
Movies, our VFX team has created a number of key shots to help
drive the action and drama and bring the legendary adventures of
Sinbad to a 21st century audience.
The 13 x 60 minute series follows Sinbad's sea-bound journey
when he is forced to leave his home town under a fateful curse.
Newcomer Elliot Knight (pictured above) stars in the
iconic role as the reckless and charming sailor who joins the
motley crew of The Providence. The adventure sees them face their
inner demons, hopes, loves and fears on an epic and emotional quest
as Sinbad attempts to rid himself of the curse and fulfil his
Currently filming on location in Malta and scheduled for TX in
2012 , the all-star cast includes Lost's Naveen Andrews, who plays
Sinbad's nemesis Lord Akbari, Sophie Okonedo as Razia, Queen of the
Water-Thieves and Timothy Spall as Anicetus, The Old Man of the
Sinbad is an Impossible Pictures
production for Sky and BBC Worldwide, produced with the assistance
of Nine Network Australia.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Victorious Mill L.A.'s Team
U.S.A (left to right): Brian Babaian, Steve Cokonis, Adam Reeb,
Billy Higgins, Shane Zinkhon, Tom Graham
Although the final score was close, only 3 seconds into the
game, the Brits scored and seemed poised to capitalize on that
momentum. "After that early goal, we were hoping for a rout!" Mill
L.A.'s Team England captain Phil Crowe confessed. "But those young
whipper snappers on Team U.S.A. came fighting back."
Leading those young lads on Mill L.A.'s U.S.A. franchise,
Captain Shane Zinkhon, who has been kicking a soccer ball around
since age 3. He has also enjoyed a successful amateur career as a
sweeper back. The Yank captain gave a commanding performance and
frankly commented: "You want the bragging rights in a game like
this. With the Brits' first early goal, I'd be lying if I didn't
say I dreaded a long game ahead. We thought conditioning would come
into play more than it did. The truth is, we've got younger legs.
They were good, but we were better."
"The series is young," Crowe laughed. "We'll be back!"
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Producer Captain Blyth and Art Director Rob Roth
recently traveled down to São Paulo's Biennial Pavilion for The
Creators Project to set up their piece,
Life On Mars Revisited by David Bowie, Mick Rock and Barney Clay.
Located within Ibirapuera Park, Biennial Pavilion is considered an
icon of Brazilian modern architecture.
The pavilion housed five other principal installations by
artists Quayola, Cantoni + Crescenti, Muti Randolph, BijaRi and
United Visual Artists. In the screening rooms, attendees
could take in films like Scenes from the Suburbs by
Spike Jonze and Arcade
Fire, Logorama by
H5 and 4 by
Edouard Salier. Hosted panel discussions and workshops with Cisma and Casa da Cultura
Digital and K-Salaam &
Beatnick were also open to festivalgoers.
The "Bowie" installation took our team about three days to
complete. Initially they ran into some challenges with the build,
but were able to find help from the local technical crew, Tomeu
Fiol and Ricardo Palmieri. Despite the project 's
initial challenges, the piece was a huge success. There
was a line to view installation every night, and one night the wait
was over 40 minutes long!
Didn't make it to the Sao Paulo event? Try to catch the next
stop on the tour September 18th in Bejing, China.
Photos credits: Rob Roth and Captain Blyth
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Sumo Science and
Aardman made history last
year with the award winning 'Dot' animation for Nokia, the world's
smallest ever stop frame animation. Not content with the host of
awards and record breaking notoriety, they're back! This time
they've gone big, very, very big!