Cannes Lions Vault | Creative Director, Jorge Montiel Meurer revisits Gold Cannes Lions winning promo, SSE ‘Pier’

With the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity returning this week, we're revisiting some of our most iconic gold award winning projects. We spoke to Mill Creative Director, Jorge Montiel Meurer to discuss the impact that creating a photorealistic orangutan had on the VFX industry.
News June 20, 2022

Collaborating with renowned director Frederic Planchon and adam&eveDDB, the team set out to achieve what hadn’t yet been done before, they invented brand new pipelines and tools on the job to allow them to reach new levels of photorealism.

SSE is the most awarded project in Mill history, winning over 20 accolades for ‘Maya’ alone. ‘Maya’ was game-changing and set the benchmark for crafting photoreal creatures. We received several complaints for animal cruelty as Maya appeared to be so realistic. We went on to work on an additional six campaigns for SSE including ‘Pier’, ‘Neon House’, ‘Longer, Longer More’, ‘RWC Idents’ and ‘Rain, Wind & Sunshine’.

“There was a substantial creative collaboration where The director, the creatives and The Mill's talented team aimed to create the most realistic creature. We studied how orangutans move, behave and interact with their environment to give us the most life-like animal possible. To help achieve a realistic look, we based our model on Maya, a female orangutan living in a San Francisco-based sanctuary; this was crucial in understanding their body language and all of the more minor details. A vital element of the animation was creating a solid and natural body language to convey her emotions; this greatly helped with the attention to detail and was also one of the main ingredients to bring her alive and convince the audience of her existence.”
Jorge Montiel Meurer, Creative Director

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