Friday, July 29, 2011
On July 21st, the Telecine Department at The Mill NY hosted a
forum for local cinematographers and directors to encourage a more
open line of communication among directors, DPs and colorists.
The night kicked off with a demonstration of the new Mill Touch
given by Creative Technologist Andrew Bell. Bell
also gave attendees--including director Earle
Sebastian (Madonna's "I Want You", The Fugees "Killing Me
Softly") and DP Ron Egozi (Cottonelle 'Chief Roll
Officer', Herman Miller 'Designers', Queens of the Stoneage "In My
Head")--an overview of The Mill's traditional VFX, content, digital
and design divisions.
Senior Colorist Fergus McCall talked about how
the role of the colorist has changed over the years, specifically
since the emergence of file-based camera formats and the
accompanying digital workflows. McCall gave the audience food for
thought when he posed the question, "Do we try to make digital look
like film or do we try something new and adapt to the new digital
format?" A lively discussion ensued, followed by examples of work
shot and graded on film including Cannes and AICP award-winner Puma
'After Hours' and Jaguar 'White World'.
Senior Colorist Damien Van Der Cruyssen offered
his take on the European vs. American markets. Drawing on his own
experience in both markets, he noted that the European director is
expected to be more involved with every step of the editorial and
color grading process. He showed an example of work he had recently
completed for Maybelline, specifically highlighting the process
between colorist and director.
Rounding out the night was Colorist Sal
Malfitano. He took the audience through a digitally shot
spot - Audi 'R8 Spray' - that he worked on directly with DP Stephen
Blackman. He explained their collaborative creative process behind
achieving the final look and feel of the spot.
One of the examples shown that night, a flat vs. graded Jaguar spot
Thursday, July 28, 2011
GGOOOAAALLL! That's what the Manchester United Red Devils fans
got to scream repeatedly last night as they watched their team
destroy the MLS All Stars in a 4-0 victory in Harrison, New
To celebrate our British heritage (and to enjoy a few pints), a
few of The Mill NY's producers took some football-loving clients
out to witness the massacre. Although predominantly Arsenal fans,
the gang was just happy to be out enjoying the great atmosphere and
the sight of Thierry Henry in action against Man United once
The All Stars team consisted of 32 players, many of whom were
fan-voted selections. Players such as Brad David, Nick LaBrocca,
Landon Donovan, and of course David Beckham, a former Manchester
United, player made the cut this year.
In typical Beckham style, the former England captain and PR
darling spoke of the 'emotional' experience of playing against the
'greatest club in the world', and played every minute as though it
were his last.
Beckham's contract with the LA Galaxy expires later this year. On
his way out of the locker room, he joked with reporters saying that
Sir Alex Ferguson wants to sign him. Could there be a Red
Devil jersey in his future again?
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And when you already have seven
successful projects in the can, you can be sure you're doing
something right. Director Michel Gondry has teamed up with Bjork
once again to create their eighth music video together for
"Crystalline," the first single off Bjork's forthcoming album,
Biophilia, which drops September 27th.
Gondry gave some insight into the making of the video to Billboard:
"We shot it frame by frame, and we shot it by recranking the
camera and re-exposing the film many times. I decided for this that
the shower of meteorite would hit the ground and produce a sound...
The idea that a beam of light can have the impact to make these
things move is something that intrigued me. Later on, they create
some ripples-like rain. At the third verse, they create bubbles in
which the metallic objects appear. All of those are the result of
multiple conversations with [Björk] that were going in many
For the final touches on the video, Gondry came to The Mill NY.
Co-Head of 2D Westley Sarkoin used Flame to dimensionalize the
hand-drawn light effects created by Gondry, while the color was
graded by Colorist Sal Malfitano.
Think the pair should reunite for a ninth video? Take a look and
decide for yourself:
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The Mill's Andrew Sommerville rounds up all the best
action at this year's Comic-Con in San
San Diego Comic Con - For some, it's a chance to get a sneak
preview of next year's geekiest films, TV and comic books and for
others it's a chance to indulge in inappropriately revealing
cosplay in a sweaty conference hall.
If you're interested in film and TV, here's a brief rundown of
some interesting stuff from the last week. If you're after the
"cosplay", just skip to the end.
Unsurprisingly, superheroes films are big news and this year sees
Andrew Garfield take over the role of Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man...
A teaser for the highly anticipated The Avengers was shown, but isn't online
yet (you'll apparently be able to catch it post-credits if you see
Captain America this month), Marvel did release some fantastic
character posters instead though. Click here to view them: http://collider.com/the-avengers-concept-art/104859/
The first Dark Knight Rises
trailer was released just before Comic-Con started. Looking great,
and predictably doesn't give much away. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apMXFloDH6M
As a massive fan, one of my personal highlights was Aardman's
panel for their new feature, The Pirates! It's probably
the only film you'll see featuring a Blue Peter badge-winning
pirate and a leper boat:
Angry monkeys finally show their disdain for San Francisco in
some impressive footage for Rise of the Planet of the
Apes - view the promo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOmq3B6B86M
Comic-Con wrapped up on Sunday with a new trailer for Doctor Who featuring, as always, some
great work from the Mill TV team...
Other bits and pieces:
- Ridley Scott talked about Prometheus, but the jury's still out
on whether it's an Alien prequel or not. The official answer is…
- Steven Spielberg confirmed that Jurassic Park 4 is in
development. No word on whether it'll be the Dennis Nedry spin-off
everyone's been waiting for.
- Beavis & Butthead are coming back to our TV screens next
- Guillermo Del Toro promised that Pacific Rim will have "the
finest f*cking monsters ever committed to screen'" A tall order,
but if anyone can do it…
Oh, and as promised:
I wonder if the real Joker has to draw his own pinstripes on…?
Monday, July 25, 2011
After an impressive turn with a D&AD nomination for How to
Destroy Angels' 'The Space in Between', The Mill LA is stoked about
an MTV VMA nom for Chromeo's 'Don't Turn the
Lights On'. Nominated for Best Special Effects, the music video is
directed by Caviar's Keith Schofield, with FX led by Flame Artist
Andy Bate and produced by Arielle Davis. Thanks for a groovy track
The MTV VMA's will be held on Sunday, Aug. 28 at L.A.'s Nokia
Theater. Good luck team!
See all of the VMA nominees
Friday, July 22, 2011
To celebrate the launch of her first luggage collection, 'The
World is Your Oyster', we have helped Lulu Guinness create this
rather lovely animated film alongside White Lodge - the new fashion
and luxury imprint at Blink - and award winning director Vicky
Look out in particular, for the lovely grade from Colourist Luke
Check it out below, or click here to visit
Lulu's blog for some exclusive behind the scenes photos...
Friday, July 22, 2011
Marking four years since its inception and a winning run of
creative work recognized with Cannes Gold Lions, VES and Emmy
awards, our L.A. office has moved to a new office in Culver City's
Blackwelder Arts District, 3233 S. La Cienega Blvd. The
24,000-square-foot digital studio includes a new Telecine division
headed up by colorist Adam Scott, who joins from our
London office with a showreel of iconic work. The L.A. office is
home to a creative culture that includes some of the industry's
most acclaimed artists, with new additions Paul O'Shea, Andrew
Proctor and Sarah Eim among them.
"The move reflects a huge endorsement over the past four years
from agencies, production companies, directors and edit houses
which has driven our business," comments Ben Hampshire, Managing
Director, The Mill L.A. "We are excited about the move and the
opportunity for our talent to grow our creative culture and
continue to deliver top-notch work for our clients. And we are
fortunate to have in Adam Scott one of the most accomplished and
experienced colorists in the business heading up our new Telecine
Head of Telecine Adam Scott brings nearly 20 years' experience
grading commercials, promos, TV and film projects, working with
many of entertainment and advertising's top directors. Some recent
commercial highlights include the Dante Ariola-directed Super Bowl
'Beetle'; Guy Ritchie's Dior commercial 'La Recontre'
starring Jude Law; and Rupert Sanders 'Even Angels will Fall' for
"After building a phenomenal team in London, I am looking forward
to re-creating that strength and vibrance here in Los Angeles,"
comments Adam Scott. "This will also give me the opportunity to
continue working with some of the finest directors."
Already a standout for its character animation work, AMF
'Caterpillar' is a recent VES Outstanding Animation winner and
the short film Carrot vs. Ninja premiered to rave
reviews earlier this summer at Flux's Hammer Museum film series -
The Mill L.A.'s new premiere VFX talent includes Paul O'Shea, a VFX
Supervisor, who worked recently on Tony Scott's Unstoppable which
was named a semifinalist this year by The Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Science for a Best VFX Oscar. VFX Supervisor/3D Lead
Artist Andrew Proctor also joins after working at both The Mill
London and New York. Like O'Shea, Proctor has contributed to a long
list of acclaimed work as well as recent favorites' AT&T
'Spring' and Daft Punk 'Derezzed'. And Sarah Eim joins as a
Lead Flame Artist, with Emmy-winning Coca-Cola 'Heist' among her
The Mill L.A. team includes 60 full-time staff members, ranging
from producers, 3D artists, 2D artists, designers, colorists and
engineers. Its new studio space is complete with color suite,
multiple conference rooms, a media reference library, CG work space
and project rooms, a full kitchen and second-floor sundeck.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Pay a visit to The Mill's basement and you'll be confronted with
a vast array of bicycles belonging to the ever-growing number of
cyclists who brave the London traffic everyday to ride to and from
Yesterday marked exactly a year to the day when double Olympic
medallist and all-round action man, James Cracknell was knocked off
his bike in a near-fatal accident that left him in a critical
condition and resulted in brain damage. To mark the one year
anniversary of the accident that nearly cost him his life, James is
fronting a special Cycle Safety campaign with a
new spot entitled 'Wear a Helmet', as his, quite simply, saved his
Alongside AMV and director Chino Moya, we helped create the
thought-provoking film which features James telling the story of
his accident and emphasizing the importance of wearing a crash
helmet by describing the nature of his injuries whilst x-ray style
images show the internal damage done to his head and skull.
Makes you think twice about going for a ride without a
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
When our employees aren't hard at work in the office they find
ways to keep themselves busy. You know, like shooting, directing
and editing feature length movies!
It turns out our own Ryan McKenna is something of
a triple threat - not only is he a talented editor, he can also
wield a camera and direct. On August 2nd his foray into feature
length films, Heavy Times, will be widely released on DVD
and as a digital dowload on sites such as iTunes, Netflix and
Heavy Times begins one summer afternoon, when out of boredom and
peer pressure, three best friends (Dan, Mark and Hugh) go to visit
Dan's sister for dinner. Soon after meeting Dan's
brother-in-law, Rick, the trio finds themselves miles from home and
far outside their comfort zone. What starts off as an innocent trip
spirals into an outrageous series of events none of them are
View the trailer:
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Introducing 'The Lovely Monster' a graduation film from the
University of Westminster Film School and four talented Mill folk;
Emmanouil Stavrakakis, Georgina Ford, Mikey Rossiter and Luis
Martin. The film answers your childhood question ...do monsters
really exist and are they lurking beneath your bed?
Editor Linton Davies explains …..
With just £8000 and a ARRIFLEX 416 we set about creating a
comedy that features the character of Andrew, a young man who has
trouble taking the final step into adulthood and the commitment
that comes with it. He un-expectantly encounters 'Lovely', a giant
purple monster that lives under his bed (and has been doing so for
all of Andrew's life). Through the peculiarly strong sense of
attachment that Lovely has towards Andrew, Andrew manages to
reconnect with his more childlike side - and its wild,
The Lovely Monster was envisioned as a fast paced, energetic
comedy that is a cross between Scott Pilgrim and Where the Wild
Things Are. This was reflected in the colour palate, camera
movements, lighting etc. of the film. One of the key phases in
accomplishing this style was, of course, the grade. We were
extremely grateful that we were able to acquire an
industry-standard professional grade courtesy of The Mill.
You can see The Lovely Monster at several
film-school festivals in the UK this year.
Click here to view.