Mill Paris | “When Wine Conquered the World” film explained by project Supervisor Michael Moercant

Work March 27, 2023

In February 2023, the “Cité du Vin” (Wine Museum) of french-city Bordeaux inaugurated its new scenography for the pleasure of culture and wine lovers.
The agency Clémence Farrell created several audiovisual and sensory devices in close collaboration with our The Mill’ team was in charge of the production and post-production. Our team of motion artists mainly collaborated on the film “Le Vin à la conquête du monde” (When Wine Conquered the World) directed by Nicolas Thépôt and Bérangère Lallemant retracing the past of this thousand year old beverage in an 8 minutes film with various settings.
One of the key pieces of the exhibition, this film is projected on a large circular screen, transporting the viewer to the heart of the story.

To find out more about this film, we interviewed motion designer Michaël Moercant who supervised this project :

  • How does this project differ from others?

Michael : We are used to working on shorter, more ephemeral advertising films, whereas this time we had to create an 8-minute film that would be shown every day in front of visitors of the Cité du Vin of the french city of Bordeaux (Wine Museum). The big difference was also the format as the film is projected on a large 220° curved screen so all the details matter.

At The Mill Paris we are lucky to be able to work on cultural projects. Two years ago, I had the chance to work on the film “Hotel de La Marine à la Loupe” shown in the historical museum of the 8th district of Paris. The other particularity of this project was the team. Whether it is the directors Nicolas Thépôt and Bérangère Lallemant or the producers Hugues Allart and Maud Chirat, we are all used to working together and we trust each other. It’s a chance to have all these talents in-house and the little bonus is that Nicolas has a graphic designer background so he had a total understanding of the technical and budgetary issues. In addition to his role as director, he simplified our work by preparing Illustrator files.


  • How long did the project last?

Michael : I think we started the first tests in July and we finished in December


  • What is the main challenge when creating a film over 180°?

The main difference is the perspective with different camera angles. When we look at our images on the computer screen compared to the big screen, everything changes. For example, when we went to Bordeaux and watched the film on the big screen, we realised that the images were too textured and that the white light was eating up the black. So when we got back to the studio we tried to banish the dark images by avoiding the black images. Then of course, as a difference we must not forget the weight of the images which is 30 mega against 4 mega usually..


  • Can you tell us more about the creative process?

In this film, we retrace the history of wine through different regions of the world with different settings for 8 minutes. Nicolas Thépot and Bérangère Lallemant already had validated references and a wanted to make the film in a theatrical style with cut-out paper. As we mentioned earlier, the film is projected on a large curved screen of unusual proportions, about 8000px X 1400px, so we had to ask ourselves a lot of questions about the production method to adopt.
As Nicolas Thépot is also a graphic designer, we quickly did some 3D tests with C4D renders on Arnold which proved to be conclusive. Nicolas Thépot and Bérangere Lallemant sent us Illustrator files that we put them into 3D, we animated the characters in After Effects and then put them back into 3D, fine-tuning the details in compositing.
We went to Bordeaux several times to do tests on the big screen and make adjustments to the size of the characters, the textures and the lights.

  • How was the artists team organised?

We worked with a small team of artists where each one had a specific mission. As VFX supervisor I was in charge of the contact with the client but also of the 3D set up. With Manon Baillet, motion design artist, we each choose scenes to create and our duo worked very well. As there were a lot of characters, especially in the UK scene, Marine Fekkhari Berger, an intern at the time of the project, and Tanguy Puech animated part of the characters in parallel and then we integrated them into the final film with Manon. The collaboration went well and in a good mood, so it was very pleasant to work under these conditions.


  • Do you want to add a final word about your experience?

It was a really great project overall, both for the result of the craft and the collaboration with the whole team of The Mill Paris, Clémence Farrell agency and the Cité du Vin of Bordeaux (Wine Museum). It’s rewarding to contribute to a work that will be shown in an exhibition for years to come, especially when the subject is as interesting as the one we dealt with.

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Nicolas Thépot, Bérangère Lallemant:
Clémence Farrell:
The Mill Paris:
Executive Producer: Hugues Allart, Maud Chirat
Post production
The Mill Paris:
Illustrator: Maris-Paule Jaulme, Bérangère Lallemant, Nicolas Thépot
VFX producer: Kahina Lamblin
Scenario: Didier Laval
Scientific direction: Véronique Lemoine
Narrator: Romane Boringer

Supervisor: Michael Moercant
3D animator: Michael Moercant, Manon Baillet, Jean-Yves Parent, Jeremy Wulff
2D animators: Tanguy Puech, Maxime Orsini, Marine Fekkari-Berger
Sound and mix: Bruno Ginestet
French narrator (or french voice over): Romane Bohringer
Additional voice-overs: Nicolas Thépot
Original music: Remi Boubal
Cello: Guillaume Bongiraud
Mix: Philippe Avril, Studios Ferber
Assistants: Nicolas Beugnot, Igor Princ