Bowe King, The Mill's Co-Director on Emerson explains: "The first time we spoke with DDB about their idea for the spots they asked us, 'Do you think this is possible and if so, how?'"
As with any great commercial, the first priority was the story. It was also a great opportunity for The Mill to flex its CG and compositing muscles. The team had a few ideas about where to go with DDB's original sketches, but also tried to see how they could change the story. "We wanted to try different options and see what would happen. We knew our key players were a Kangaroo and a Wolf, so we explored how their stories would be told. Especially with the Wolf--we wanted to see what story made the most sense and what kind of journey he should go on. Working with storyboard sketches we began to find images that lent the most drama to the campaign," says King.
In tandem with story and storyboard sketches, the design team came up with stoic and evocative images for each spot. In the initial style development phase, the idea was to make sure they respected and incorporated the brand while pushing the brand image forward and in order to get everyone on board, they knew they had to make art-worthy images. The Design team and directors made beautiful style frames that got everyone excited and were invaluable tools throughout the process and carried over until the final days of compositing.
The excitement of the group and their desire to see everything come to life led to the biggest challenge of the job: that the entire spot would be fully CG. "We couldn't just go to Australia and shoot back plates to composite our CG creatures into," notes Rob Petrie, Co-Director. "But it did give us more flexibility with camera moves. It's also always more of a challenge creating a whole world digitally."
The end result came through a process of considerable collaboration and communication among The Mill, the team at DDB Chicago and the team at Emerson. Together, they were able to create a truly art-worthy campaign.