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Iron Horse


TBWA Chiat Day, Skunk and The Mill go back to 19 Century Ireland with Jameson and create a fully CG train crash

Working with director John Hillcoat, The Mill was brought in to recreate the1800's of Ireland and show what happened when the train, aka 'Iron Horse', first rolled through the country. With a mix of CG, matte paintings and antique train tracks the spot sees a train running away at full speed whose most precious Jameson Whiskey cargo must be rescued.

Corey Brown, The Mill's 2D lead artist, explains "On the shoot we had a short antique track and a period train, built by our art department. These were pushed or pulled by a small diesel locomotive, but by the end of the day we also took to pushing by hand, urgently trying to get as much out of the daylight as possible! The horses were also afraid of the FX smoke and steam being used on set, so we decided to film this separately and add it in afterwards.

For the end shot, when the train runs into the sea, we found ourselves almost 700 miles from the nearest coast, so an artificial "end of the track" was used. The train crashing and going over the cliff along with the underwater shots of the boats and train were all the work of our CG team.

Lastly, and crucially, the Romanian countryside needed to look like Ireland! A great deal off attention was paid to the matte painting of the wide train reveal shot, combining elements from Transylvania, the Bulgarian coast and footage of the Ireland's Cliffs of Moher to perfect the authentic look!"



  • Agency: TBWA Chiat Day
  • Producer: Darryl Hagans
  • Creative Director: Kris Wixom, Alisa Sengel Wixom
  • Creatives: Jonathan Marshall, Chris Valencius
  • Account Director: Chris Valencius, David Suarez
  • Executive Producer:Joshua Morse


  • Production Company: Skunk
  • Director: John Hillcoat
  • Executive Producer: Shelly Townsend, Matt Factor
  • Producer: Scott Craig
  • Director of Photography: Linus Sandgrwn
  • Music and Sound Design: Stimunng
    Sound Design:Heard City


  • Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
  • Editor: Toby Louie
  • Edit Assist: Nate Gross

Post-Production / VFX

  • Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
  • Executive Producer: Sean Costelloe
  • VFX Producer: Boo Wong
  • Shoot Supervisor: Corey Brown, Jeff Dates
  • 2D Lead Artists: Corey Brown
  • 3D Lead Artists: Jeff Dates
  • 2D Artists: Iwan Zwarts, Kyle Cody, Suzanne Dyer, Nathan Kane
  • 3D Artists: Ajit Menon, Laurent Makowski, Xuan Seifert, Billy Dongyoon Jang, Joshua Merck, Alex Allain, Jimmy Gass, Ryan Hussein, Hassan Taimur, Olivier Varteressian, Zang Chen, James Williams, Chris Bernier, Nick Couret
  • Assist: Melissa Graff, Robert Bruce, Liz Berndt, Brendan Oneil
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