Mill Paris | Orange invites us into a Christmas tale with “Magic is a lot of refurbishing” campaign

Work November 23, 2022

This year, Orange unveils its end of year campaign with refurbishing as the key word, for a Christmas that is as magical as it is responsible. As a father and daughter ask about phones, the saleswoman tells them that Father Christmas takes care of reconditioned phones in his workshop. With stars in our eyes, we are invited into the young girl’s imagination where the elves are busy repairing the phones. The workshop works like a real factory, because Father Christmas receives many requests!

From motion design, to compositing, to flame and FX, our artists created a multitude of effects in a short time thanks to a meticulous organisation. Added to the effects, the combination of sets shot by the Division team, a storytelling written by Publicis and an art direction by Martin Kalina, gave life to a Christmas tale that will make many dream.

“This was my first film as a VFX supervisor with The Mill Paris, and I have very good memories of it. I went to Warsaw for 8 days to scout the location and assist in the shooting. A key step was to be present during the construction of the sets as this was a determining factor in anticipating the work in post. The first challenge was to be able to recreate the set elements and mechanisms that were not possible to build on the set.
We also had to agree on the artistic direction for the sequences where a large part of the shot was to be created in post, in particular the scene in the tower where the applications explode in multicoloured powders. It was essential to find a composition and a look in the image that was quickly understandable while respecting the imagination of a little girl.
Daniel and Martin (Dop and director) quickly agreed on the creative challenges of this film, and I was often consulted during the shoot on the choice of frame composition, angles and camera movements.
A real relationship of trust was established throughout the project.
The relationship was fluid from the start with the agency team, the production brand and the director, we were in agreement on the result we wanted to achieve.
It was a very intense shoot, a highlight for me: we shot in three locations simultaneously at a time when I had to supervise all three sequences, the powder explosions, an indoor sequence with multiple passes and the sequence of the galloping ponies outside in a forest at night, fortunately even for the latter we had a live feed from the indoor sets. And of course, to make it even more exciting, it was early in the morning and we had to complete the outdoor sequence before sunrise.
When the project arrived in the hands of our artists, it was immediately exciting because the world of the film was simply fun. There were a lot of different effects to be done, from adding snow, extending sets in cg, fxing the destruction of giant envelopes, matte painting screen or background overlays, and bringing stuffed animals to life with light animation.
It was quite interesting as we had a team of artists of all levels and even the juniors were very busy and did an exceptional job!
As the vfx supervisor, I was very close to the progress of all the processes, both on the shots that I was totally in charge of at the compo at the flame, but also to maintain the artistic expectations on all the shots and to bring technical and creative solutions.
I had never worked with this team before so it was really nice to get to know all these different people and work alongside them.
I think the main challenge was to keep up the pace without lowering the standards because there were many shots and the deadlines were very tight.
It was a great project on a professional level but also on a human level with a motivated team and a lot of trust between its members.”
Sébastien Aubert, VFX Supervisor
“This was my first time working on an Orange ads and I was immediately attracted to this project. We are transported into a fairytale world, with impressive sets and captivating storytelling. For a VFX Producer, this combination of live sets with a demand for very diverse effects, from 2D/3D to motion design or matte painting, is stimulating and invigorating!
As we only had 2 weeks of production time, we thought about all the problems and technical solutions beforehand with Mathias and Sébastien, in agreement with the agency's creative director Raphael Halin who was very present. Our team of 13 graphic designers was perfectly supervised by Mathias and Seb. The dialogue, both internally and externally, was fluid because everyone was moving forward with a common vision and dynamic. A really interesting Christmas project, as much for its images as for the people who made them.
Marie Cécile Juglair, VFX Producer

Want to join The Mill ? Discover all our career opportunities here.