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As the creative engine room of the world’s biggest brands we are driven by one purpose: to solve our client’s toughest briefs beautifully. Our Makers believe in the power of cooperation and partnership to deliver ambitious ideas to that break new ground and deliver awe-inspiring creative work.
Everything we do as a team makes great ideas come to life. We are thinkers, designers, artists, directors, producers, developers, colourists, coders, technicians, editors, animators, writers, doers and makers.
In our Makers At Heart series, we introduce the people behind the projects to hear more about their inspirations, motivations and creative insights. We spoke to Creative Researcher & Storyboard Artist Lizzie Hammond Hunt on what inspired her to pursue a career in the creative industry.
Tell us a little bit about your role at The Mill and how long you have worked here?
I’ve been working at The Mill for about two and a half years now. I started in the running team, where I got the chance to storyboard for a variety of projects. This led to my promotion into the Mill Direction treatment team where I now work as a Creative Researcher and in-house Storyboard Artist.
Both aspects of my role consist of working alongside directors and producers to help visualise how we approach a project. Be it storyboarding or designing pitches, it’s always rewarding to be a part of this process. Each director has their own way of working and The Mill takes on such a broad spectrum of work that every job is a brand new experience.
What led you to take up storyboarding?
I have always wanted to go into animation, but I was never sure which part of the pipeline I wanted to specialise in. After graduating from university (where I studied animation and VFX), I realised my favourite aspects were in developing the story and the first stages of animation when you see all these individual concepts begin to come to life. I found storyboarding blended these two aspects perfectly.
Tell us about a project you most enjoyed working on?
Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one! During my short time at The Mill I’ve been lucky enough to work with such talented Directors on such a wide variety of projects – from detailed VFX sequences to interactive installations and traditional TV spots.
The Voxi spot ‘I Am Endless, Even In Isolation’, directed by Jocelyn Anquetil, was possibly one of the funnest projects I’ve boarded on thanks to the completely unique circumstances it came from. For a bit of context, this was our first project in lockdown and one of the quickest turn-a-rounds I’ve ever experienced. Joss had already been working with Voxi for a while but suddenly needed a new concept to work with the rapidly changing situation around COVID. On top of that, you have the style of the ad itself, made to be something you could find naturally on Instagram or TikTok, a style of video I highly doubt anyone is out there storyboarding beforehand.
The necessity for speed also meant that my drawing style could be a bit messier. One of the things I love about storyboards is the draftsmanship, the understanding as much as you can from as little as you can and it’s rare to have that experience when doing boards for advertising.
What is keeping you inspired during this period?
This is a tough question as it’s something I’ve been struggling with, especially in this second lockdown. When I find myself in a slump I tend to turn to other forms of art rather than making my own. I’ve been playing some of my favourite games and rewatching films and cartoons that I love. I also follow a lot of story artists online, seeing how they might approach a scene or use software in a way I would never have thought of.
Learning something new really helps me get excited to start a new project, so I can try applying those techniques myself.