Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Scheduler Ben Burdock and director Will McGregor report from
this year's Watersprite student film festival...
We were invited to attend last weekend's Watersprite:
The Cambridge International Student Film Festival after our
film 'Polaroid', directed by exciting young director
Rob Savage, was nominated for Best Fiction. Will has been involved
with the festival since 'Who's Afraid of the Watersprite?' won the Film
of the Year award at the inaugural festival, giving the festival
its name. The festival is headed by Hilary Bevan Jones, who
produced the classic TV series 'State Of Play' and more recently
'The Boat That Rocked'. Hilary is currently producing Will's first
feature film 'The Rising'.
As well as screening nominated short films from various
categories, the festival included an incredible selection of guest
speakers from across the industry. The weekend was kicked off by
veteran producer Duncan Kenworthy, who has produced British
classics including Love Actually, Notting Hill and The Eagle to
name a few. Other guest speakers included Oscar winning make up and
Prosthetics artist Christine Blundell and our very own 3D artist
David Fleet, who headed the VFX talk in front of a sell out
audience at the Cambridge University auditorium. The closing
festival talks were headed by HBO's Vice President of film Maria
Zuckerman and David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter
films. All of the talks were highly inspirational, giving an
insight into the many exciting elements of the industry.
Amongst the many films we were lucky enough to see at the
festival, two of our favorites were the animated films 'Zing' and
'The Visit', which were both great examples of 3D animation, once
again proving that the bar for student work is being consistently
raised every year.
The festival as a whole was a great experience and we would urge
anyone to attend next year who has an interest in the film
Monday, February 27, 2012
Oscar night is the hottest ticket in Hollywood's events crown,
as millions tune in to watch the showbiz glitterati don their
finery to walk the red carpet and find out who will leave the
theater clutching an iconic gold statuette…
For this year's 84th Annual Academy Awards celebration, The Mill
L.A.'s Design team premiered their own show-stopper, having created
the entire graphics package for both the Oscars' television
broadcast as well as the live theatrical experience itself.
This included the graphic design and branding work for three hours
of primetime TV and the 90-minute red carpet pre-show.
The Mill team - lead out of L.A. by Stephen Venning and Design
Producer Lusia Boryczko, with additional creative muscle from both
London and New York - contributed over 250 deliverables including
the logo of Oscar himself, the backdrop behind host Billy Crystal
and the nominations packages for Writing-Original Screenplay and
Read the full story about our involvement here… and check out some of our
design highlights below…
Thursday, February 23, 2012
By day, he works at the Library & Despatch desk at the Mill
LA. By night, when he is not doing Improv, Antonio Hardy takes it
on the chin for the promise of cold, hard cash!
Let's get into the mind of a reality show contestant:
How did you get involed with "Wipeout?"
I got involved last August right before I became a runner at The
Mill. It was my roommate's idea to sign up, but at the last
minute he couldn't make it to the interview. 42 pages of
paper work, three interviews and three physical tests later I was
able to shoot the show on November 3rd. Since I started the process
before working at The Mill, they used my previous job title -
What is your role in tonight's episode?
Tonight I am one of 24 contestants competing in Winter
Where did you film and how long did it
We filmed in Northern Califronia (I'm bound by contract on
details!) It was a 12 hour day and it was the most physically
intense thing I've ever done in my life. Super fun and super
strenuous. I was sore for 4 days!
Do you plan to do any more of these shows?
I would love to do more shows. I think anything that gives
you the opportunity to challenge yourself in a fun way can't be too
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I wish I would have watched more episodes. All
together I've seen about four episodes of the show...and three of
them were the night before the competition!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Look no further: Barnsley talks to Shots about 20 years at The
Mill. Read more here.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
UK charity Breast Cancer Care have launched their new campaign,
'The Woman Behind the Cancer', and we are proud to have worked
alongside them, M&C Saatchi and director Julia
Fullerton-Battern to help create a striking online video to
illustrate that behind every breast cancer diagnosis is a real
woman with emotional and practical support needs.
The video makes its debut on Breast Cancer Care's website and Facebook page
today and will air on television later this year. The
campaign is also supported with a series of posters across
Learn more about Breast Cancer Care's great work here: www.breastcancercare.org.uk/thewoman
And find out how we helped bring the video to life here.
Monday, February 20, 2012
I'm a big fan of my D700 and it has travelled everywhere with me
over the last 3.5 years and it has never failed me. The performance
in low light is amazing, but every so often i found my myself
wanting for the ability to record video and often looked enviously
at my Canon 5D holding friends.
Nikon fans have been waiting a while for their 5D II counter
part, and thankfully that wait is now over with the release of the
D800 (as well as the D4). Obviously the major selling point of this
unit is the video capture - covering practically all the frame
rates you might want at HD resolutions of 1920 and 1280 HD. Its
still making H264 (I had hoped for image seq's) so when it comes to
post etc you will need to stripe TC onto it. However, a bonus is
the audio input and outputs for Linear PCM recording and
monitoring, which might mean no more horrible syncing of audio
tracks recorded on a separate digital recorder. It also provides a
full HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2) output which can be used for external
monitoring or the signal sent straight to a separate
The D800 records video up to 29mins 59secs and lays claim to
being able to reduce the 'rolling shutter' effect which is so
prominent in many DSLR videos, due to the way its intelligent
sensor reads out movie data so quickly from the (quite frankly
bonkers) 36.3MP CMOS sensor (that's a stills resolution of 7360 x
4912 by the way). All of this combined with the same range of ISO
from the D700 (100-6400) makes it a very tempting piece of the kit
for the hi-end pro-sumer, or second body for the full pro who
likely have their eye on the equally impressive D4 which is nearly
twice the price.
At the end of the day though, Nikon will hope it has entered the
DSLR video market with a bang rather than a whimper and with
footage like the below I expect there will be many people keen to
give it a whirl (me included), but with the Canon having just
released the EOS C300 and the 5D Mark III surely around the corner,
will Nikon find themselves back chasing the pack? Only time will
For a full breakdown of the D800 v the D4 check out this link.
And the full D800 Nikon PDF is here.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Giving birth has never been so sweet. Directing team Jordan
Sharon and Keith Hamm, A.K.A. "Cousins," follow up their infamous
Skittles "Newlyweds" viral with Reese's "Love Child." The new viral
features an unexpected twist in the delivery room, or rather,
several unexpected twists. Reese's "Love Child" may well leave you
thinking, "Oh no they di-dn't!"
Oh yes, they did.
And they had some help from The Mill L.A., lead by Adam Carroll in
3D and Nick Tayler in 2D, along with 3D Assists Kyle Moore and Matt
Vogan, and 2D Artists Steve Cokonis, Remedy Huynh, Margolit Steiner
and Patrick Munoz. Matt Longwell animated and Gregory Reese graded
"Love Child." And lest we forget Cousins' line producer Kali Erin
Niemann, DP Eric Robbins and editor Ryan Delk.
While over 14 million views between Vimeo and YouTube for Skittles
"Newlyweds" may sound a little mind boggling, directors Sharon and
Hamm weren't entirely surprised. "We think Skittles is a smash
because it's so unexpected," they say. "It's the kind of thing
someone might joke about, but you'd never ever expect to actually
see it. It's got the OMG factor. We hope Reese's will, too."
Take a look! Reese's "Love Child"
Friday, February 10, 2012
When we re-created Rome for Gladiator the pinnacle of our work
was undoubtedly The Colosseum. From the painstaking detail
within the architecture to populating it with ancient Romans, we
very much started a trend for large scale recreations of venues
that required populating with thousands of people.
We applied the same thinking and creativity to last year's multi
award winning 'Write the Future' (in fact it was last year's most
awarded commercial). Our technical prowess is unparalleled as
is our library, which includes a large range of international and
With over 11 years experience The Mill team can populate our
stadiums with fully realistic crowds including artificial
intelligence, meaning they can behave and celebrate as any creative
Our most recent addition of course is the London 2012 Olympic
Stadium, ready and waiting to be filled with an expectant
Here's a taste of our work...
For more information, please contact:
Rahel Makonnen firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Costume Designer Casey Storm takes a seat in the director's
chair to helm this celebratory short film for lifestyle fashion
brand Geren Ford. Storm, whose credits include Being John
Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things
Are, teams up with designer Geren Lockhart to direct a series
of short films inspired by her Spring 2012 collection. Our Mill
L.A. team, creative directed by Phil Crowe and led by 2D Artist
Steve Cokonis with Margolit Steiner assisting, handled numerous FX
the 150-shot short film. Final Cut's Matt Murphy edited.
Cokonis explains the job encompassed adding practically shot
fireworks and smoke for the 4th of July party and
setting a flaming typographic treatment for the end frame logo
type. "Perhaps our most notable efforts are the design and
implementation of a camera flash and still frame photograph effect
that was used to highlight the clothes throughout the video," he
The Mill's Gregory Reese graded the film, adding a bit more
contrast throughout to give the scenes a touch of fashion
spread-type feel. "We did an overall grade at the end, focusing
especially on enhancing the photographic feel of the camera flash
in the still images throughout the party," Reese says.
Lockhart and Storm seem to be onto something. Together their
aesthetic evokes the mischievous, playful and uninhibited spirit
associated with a particular time in life. Or a funky new Geren