Upon arriving at the Emerald City the original story takes a humourous turn as Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man find Greg standing in for the Wizard of Oz as he invites them through the emerald doors and toward a Halifax branch booth.
The Mill’s VFX team were brought on to execute the challenge of seamlessly incorporating the character of ‘Greg’ into the scenes taken from the original 1939 film.
Mill 2D Lead Dan Adams explains, 'To do this we had to film real life Greg in isolation and then had to composite him into the scenes, matching each of his corresponding moves to the actions of the stars within the film to achieve the best comedic performance.
We then had to remove the wizard featured in the original film from the corresponding scenes and skillfully rebuild the backgrounds using matte painting techniques and 3D projections. We then had to rebuild the characters and subtly integrate Greg into the scenes adding shadows, chromatic aberration, flicker and matching film grain from the original film source.'
Mill Creative Director Andrew 'Barnsley' Wood was on shoot and explains some of the challenges facing the team, 'The shoot was a real history lesson in how films were created back in 1939. In order for us to match the original shots as closely as possible we had to look into the types of equipment used and the height at which the original was shot.
Films from that era were either shot on 25mm, 50mm or 70mm film and all were shot at the same height, commonly known as 'working men's height' this was because the equipment at that time was so heavy and difficult to operate. Once all of this was determined we could then mimic this style of shooting when we shot Greg separately.
The team did a great job at making this look seamless, matching the grain and feel of the original film so well, it's hard to not believe Greg was actually at the Emerald City.'
Mill Colourist David ‘Luddy’ Ludlam complemented the nostalgic palette of the original film in his grade to pull together the final look of the ad.