Monday, November 28, 2011
Lady Gaga is making her indelible mark at Barneys' Madison
Avenue store with Gaga-themed holiday windows as part of Gaga's
Workshop (multifaceted shopping offerings which donate a portion of
proceeds to Born This Way Foundation). Working with
aWhiteLabelProduct director Tim Richardson, The Mill L.A. animated
Gaga Constellation, an interactive short film that is part of an
experience letting Barneys' patrons tweet their holiday wishes to
Gaga's Constellation where they're streamed live and hosted on a
web site. Gaga Constellation's team also included Creative Director
Nicola Formichetti and New York-based experiential agency Q4.
"'Gaga Constellation' was amazing to work on and that it appears
in one of the most widely recognized store windows at
holiday-Barneys Madison Avenue-is a great profile," says Andrew
Proctor, Creative Director/Lead 3D Artist on the project for The
Mill. "It was a pleasure working with Tim Richardson who had a
clever vision for transforming a galaxy of particles into the image
of a Pop culture icon. Lady Gaga is one of the most provocative and
creative artists out there, so we knew we could push for a really
original visual experience. It was an extremely tight schedule with
the artistic bar set impeccably high, and we're proud of the end
In addition to Gaga Constellation, Lady Gaga Barneys' windows
include Gaga's Boudoir, made entirely of hair, Gaga's Crystal Cave,
featuring a mermaid sculpture reminiscent of Gaga, and Gaga
Machine, with Lady Gaga morphed into a gilded motorcycle.
See the other windows
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The British Arrows Craft Awards last night named The Mill LA's
Head of Telecine, Adam Scott, best Colourist for his stunning
grade on a film for 'Dior Homme'.
Set in Paris, the 5 minute film entitled 'La Rencontre', was
directed by Guy Ritchie through Anonymous Content and stars Brit
actor Jude Law. Adam, who has previously collaborated with
Ritchie on the award winning Nike 'Next Level' ad,
worked closely with him to create the filmic grade for this elegant
Other big winners from last night, on which we are proud to have
worked, include: AT&T 'Entertainment', which earned
Joost Van Gelder best DP award; Doritos 'Dip Desperado', which took
the Casting Director award for Hubert Koestinger; and Heineken's 'The Date', which won Rebecca Hale
the Costume Designer award.
Well done to all of this year's winners!
The full list will be available shortly on the British Arrows
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Audubon Society's Birding the Net, says Goodby Silverstein &
Partners' Jeff Goodby, "was truly a new, humanistic use of the
Internet." Beautiful photo-real birds flit across web pages as part
of this innovative social media project from Audubon and Goodby
Silverstein that encourages people to learn more about birds. http://www.audublog.org/?p=6190
The Mill L.A. lent a hand animating, texturing and rendering a
Loggerhead Shrike and an Acorn Woodpecker. Matt Longwell, 3D Lead
Artist who worked with 3D Artist James Brady, says the project was
right up his alley. "I was a bit of a science geek growing up," he
admits with a smile, "so researching these birds, their habits and
movements was a lot of fun. We stayed true to how they acted in
nature and in the end, were pleased with the results. That the
project is for such a great cause as Audubon Society makes it well
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
We are pleased to welcome Jon Chads on-board at our London
studio as Business Development Director - Creative.
Jon joins us from BMB London where, as Head of Broadcast, he was
responsible for leading strategic direction as well as the day to
day management of producers, TV Admin and freelance teams. He has
worked with an array of clients including Nike, Nokia, Honda,
Carling, McCain and Samsung.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Jon to the team," commented
Darren O'Kelly, The Mill's London MD. "Jon shares our vision for
producing outstanding work in the most creative and innovative way
and I believe he will be an excellent addition to the team and
instrumental in leading the future growth of The Mill."
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
We're on the cusp of a new age, where the touch of a key can
have profound impact half way around the world. Yet, despite these
strides of progress, crisis always seems to have a way of rearing
its ugly head. With the ubiquity of the social web, we have new
possibilities to tackle these problems in more inclusive and
creative ways. But ultimately, nothing will happen unless we take
This is the thinking behind 50/50, a collaborative experiment of
50 digital projects created and run by individuals and creative
teams to raise 1 million dollars in funds for the East African
As home to a vast array of talented artists and designers who
are always game for topical, worthwhile work, The Mill was more
than eager to throw their hat into the 50/50 ring. And as
enthusiasts for poster art, Posterity-a limited edition
series of 'Posters For Good'-was born.
This poster series is a part of the 50/50 initiative to aid
famine relief efforts in East Africa, designed by The Mill's
creative staff and its extended network of artist friends. Each
poster is released in a limited edition of 50, and they are
gallery-quality Giclée prints on 100% cotton rag archival paper,
printed with archival inks.
All net-proceeds from Posterity will go to UNICEF's relief
efforts in the region. To help make this possible, The Mill has
partnered with Inprint, a premium provider of gallery-quality
archival prints, who has generously donated its services.
And while there is never a wrong time to contribute, the fact that
Posterity is being launched during the holiday season doesn't hurt
either. Beautiful limited addition pieces of art that actually do
help in a serious way, the Posterity posters are the perfect gift
for multiple reasons.
• Visit posterity.themill.com, and grab your
favorite poster before they sell out.
• And while you're at it, spread the word. Share it, tweet it
and tell all your friends.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A great start to the week as The Mill was last night named Post
Production Company of the Year at the London International
Awards! The London team was also awarded a Gold Statue in
the Visual Effects category for their work on Volkwagen's 'Black Beetle' spot.
The LIA's honour creativity and new ideas in Advertising, Design
and Digital media, and in what marks the 26th year, the
hotly-fought competition saw 14,283 entries from 79 countries.
Other big winners at last night's event, which was hosted at
London's Troxy, include BBDO who were named Agency Network of the
Year; Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, who took The NEW Category
Grand LIA; Marshall Street Editors who took the Technique Grand
LIA, and Warrior Poets, NY, who took the LIA Special Award.
Congratulations to all of our friends, clients and collaborators
who won last night!
To see the full list of winners, visit: http://www.liaentries.com/winners/
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
On November 3rd, The Canon EOS C300 was announced at 3pm (PST)
hotly followed by RED's 6pm show and tell of their new Scarlet
camera. Over the course of the next 24 hours, people watched,
tweeted and blogged as Canon and RED attempted to out-announce each
other with their individual kit and corresponding features.
Its only been a matter of days but people (as we always are in
this industry) are quickly taking sides and picking their corners,
mostly based upon spec sheets and rumoured costs, which is a good
place to start but its nothing like actually using the thing is
Thankfully, someone has, well, the Canon at least. Vincent
Laforet, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and regarded as a
pioneer DSLR filming and one of the first people to shoot with the
Canon 5D Mark II, which he used to make his short 'Reverie' -
(http://vimeo.com/7151244). Lucky Vincent has already used the
Canon to make 'MOBIUS' which is worth a watch:
I wont go into spec debate too much here, there's a bunch of
geekier (yes really) people than I who can give you a very thorough
breakdown. As you can see, the picture, even compressed for online,
is pretty awesome. Canon are saying it is effectively a 4K sensor,
shooting at 50mbs ,4:2:2 MPEG-2 in an MXF wrapper and according to
Vincent's shoot stat's they shot 18 hours of footage and squeezed
it all onto a 500GB drive, with audio and stills. The main
point of contention re the spec, is that its not true 4K.
It actually gives you 1080p up to 30fps and only 720p at 60fps
(which seems like a missed opportunity, especially considering the
RED Epic shoots 2K at 300fps and the Alex will give you 120fps at
1080p). Canon's new Super 35mm senor, is said to remove rolling
shutter by instead of line skipping when reading the data, it
splits up the pixels into channels (Red, Blue and Green which also
holds the luminance) making each primary colour effectively
1920x1080. When combined, Canon claim it has 1000 lines of TV
resolution and greatly reduces any artefacts that you might find on
a standard HD-DSLR. So no, not a 4K image technically, but 4K's
worth of information, which is why Vincent is quoted as saying how
incredibly sharp and accurate the images were, even on a 60ft
screen. The low light performance and ISO range are also recognised
to be excellent, though people will and already are arguing that it
will be interesting to see how far you can push it when it comes to
heavy colour grading and VFX.
For a full debrief on the Canon and a making off video of MOBIUS,
I urge you to check out Vincents blog
In contrast, RED, blew a lot of people away with the specs of the
new RED Scarlet, and frankly, its easy to see why. Again, a long
list of specifications do not a great camera make, and many people
will be wary of the habit RED have of using Beta software in the
hardware. The Scarlet has a 14 MP Mysterium-X sensor which allows
for full 5K RAW at 12fps max, 4k at 30fps max, 3k at 48fps max, 2k
at 60ps max, 1k or 120fps max. Resolution is capped, otherwise, as
Phillip Bloom points out, it would be an EPIC. From what I gather
though, those specs are a touch misleading, as with every over
crank, you effectively zoom in, meaning replicating the same 30fps
4K shot at 120fps becomes a faff, having to move backwards and
change lenses etc.
Its not officially released until the new year, so there is a
limited amount of preview footage out there, but considering it has
the same chip as the EPIC, will be upgradeable and the list price
is an impressive $10K, you imagine a lot of folk raiding their
savings and ordering one immediately. Price is where these 2
cameras differ, or they do at first. The Canon C300 is listed at
$20K. Yes. Twenty. Thousand. Dollars. As its a list price, its
bound to be less, but that's not Mark II territory, that's TV/Film
kinda cash and has put a lot of people off. Though, when you
consider that A] its the list price so will probably end up being
$16K ish and B] It takes your current Canon lenses, so you're up
and running immediately, maybe its not so crazy. The Scarlet
requires about another $7K to make it use-able (it is just a box
after all), the 2 cameras all of sudden become a bit more evenly
matched. Another bonus about the Canon in my opinion is the
on-board XLR audio inputs and on camera playback. For documentary
or low(er) budget content and TV work, it negates a lot of
additional faff such as audio sync of rushes (bleaurgh).
How these cameras are used and how we deal with them in the VFX
industry will be interesting. From a finishing POV, I'm a big fan
of the Arri Alexa, thanks to its very impressive Quad 4 HD Pro-Res,
that is remarkably flexible in the grading room and of course slips
straight into FCP for offline.
At the moment, the Canons new XF codec, borrowed from the
camcorder series, is MXF wrapped and already supported by a number
of NLE systems, so I would hope AVID, FCP and Premiere wont have
any issues taking the footage straight in from the CF cards. One
gripe of using Canon Mark II footage is that it doesn't have any TC
on the data which is a royal pain for offlines, and dealing with
the QuickTimes it produces, requires multiple steps that have cost
and time ramifications. Hopefully Canon have sorted these 'quirks'
out now that its a dedicated 'Cinema' device, but you have to ask
if an 8bit codec is worth $20K?
People have pointed to the RED footage to be hard to work with due
to it being RAW and generally massive, made even trickier in my
recent experience now that the EPIC doesn't provide proxies,
(though we may have just been unlucky that time around). However,
computers and NLE systems are working hard to catch up, and as you
can see from the clip below of Tom Lowe (of TimeScapes fame),
working with 4K footage on Adobe Premier 5.5 (across media types)
it doesn't have to be a drag anymore.
Until we start to see the influx of footage from either of these
cameras, it will be hard to predict how easy their files are to use
and what kind of quality footage we can create with them. My heart
hopes that Canon is as good as MOBIUS makes it look, but my head
says RED is going walk away with this one, for the price (even with
add-ons included). With the future proofing and resolution/frame
rates that it provides, any director wanting to do any serious
amount of VFX work will look no further. I'm not saying the C300
wont succeed, but I think at the moment its a camera that Canon
needed to release 18 months ago.
We will wait and see. NEil.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Take a peek at how, alongside TBWA\London and Partizan Labs, we
helped bring a host of much-loved famous characters to life for the
latest Müller spot - Wünderful stuff.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Entries to CG Whiz, the competition to
find top new CG talent from Escape Studios, have now closed, but
you can still get involved in the action as we're giving you the
chance to vote for your favourite entries in the brand new 'User
All you need to do to register your votes is "Like" the entries
that you prefer on Facebook. There are no limits to how many
entries you can "Like" and the winners of the User Choices Awards
will be those who get the most likes.
Don't forget that there are two categories - 'Amateurs' and
'Young Pros' - and you can vote in both. Voting for the Users
Choices Awards is now open and will end on December 1st.
Simply click here to visit Facebook and
follow the instructions...
Friday, November 11, 2011
Televisual Magazine has unveiled this year's Commercials 30 -
the annual survey of the UK's commercial production sector - naming
Blink number one commercial production company. Rattling
Stick's Ringan Ledwidge - with whom we most recently collaborated
on Barnardo's 'Life Story' - was named top
Director, and Mother was awarded Top Agency.
We are also delighted that The Mill has been named the 'Most
Rated Post House' and 'Most Used Post House' for the second year in
As well as this, we are proud to see that six spots our teams
from across the globe have worked on make the Top 10 Ads of the
year, including Nike 'Write the Future' at number one
and Heineken 'The Entrance' in second
place. Our other commercials to make the list include Old Spice 'The Man Your
Man Could Smell Like', Hovis 'Miss Chief', Puma 'After Hours' and T-Mobile 'Welcome Back'.
We'd like to congratulate Blink, Ringan, Mother and all of our
clients, friends and collaborators who have made 2011 another
fantastic creative year!