The Mill Creates a “City of Possibilities”
Designed from the ground up to present rail freight in a
different light, Norfolk Southern: 'City of Possibilities,'
showcases the transformative power freight shipping. Using a
balance of cutting-edge visual effects and whimsical charm, the
spot seamlessly blends mesmerizing CGI characters into a live
Produced, designed and directed entirely by The Mill NY,
Directors, Angus Kneale and Ben Smith, worked closely with RP3
Agency and Norfolk Southern on the overall storyline and sentiment
of the commercial. The directors researched extensively all things
rail and freight, and spent time on the ground in Roanoke, Virginia
a major hub for Norfolk Southern. In addition, Mill Artists
meticulously created extensive storyboards, character design and
Pre-Viz prior to the shoot.
"The project really showcases The Mill's expanding creative
capabilities. It is a culmination of all the areas of expertise
within the company," shares Director, Angus Kneale.
Lead Designer, Tim Haldeen concurs, "It's that milestone project
you dream about being a part of".
Since brand name toys were unable to be used, the biggest
challenge was creating and designing the Toy cast of characters.
Mill Artists let loose their imagination to come up with cool,
impressive toys. Every character was designed from scratch
and animated to look and feel realistic. Over 40 individual toys
and pop-up books were specifically designed for the spot.
"Our cast of characters is a contemporary ensemble of timeless
and modern toys that includes robots, action figures, stuffed toys,
dumper trucks, cranes, diggers, etc. Between the charm of the
character designs, the fun, surprising ways they all collaborate to
build a city, and the fact that they all act rather human, each
toy, whether it's high or low-tech, has an expression, a
personality, and a purpose," explains Kneale.
Also helping to bring to life this epic vision was veteran
Director of Photography, Bill Pope, whose extensive VFX knowledge
gained on the ground-breakingThe Matrixtrilogy and his expertise in
shooting miniatures onTeam America, was invaluable.
"I am incredibly proud of the final result. I think we have
created something really special," concludes Kneale.
Tapping into our childhood fascination with trains, 'City of
Possibilities,' presents freight shipping and The Mill's
capabilities in a new light.
To find out more about what it took to create an epic
commercial, check out our 'Behind The Scenes' video which is a part
of this campaign and at the link below: