Spotlight | VFX Supervisor Carl Norton on creating maximum destruction for Winamax’s ‘Anything For Mama’ campaign

Work June 18, 2021

What was the brief for the spot and how did you go about bringing it to life?

The overall brief was to bring maximum destruction! The heaviest post scenes were the swimming pool and penthouse, where we shot 1/3 and 1/2 scale lifts respectively. For the penthouse scene, we also had a half-scale room for the lift to smash through, allowing us to keep some interaction. Shooting miniatures requires a fair amount of maths, so Sam (Director), Kasper (DOP) and I did plenty of prepping and testing before heading into the shoot. For a lot of the other scenes, such as the elderly couples’ apartments, we managed to capture a certain amount of chaos and destruction in-camera and build it up afterwards. It was a huge production effort with large set builds on gimbals and a full-scale lift shaft for the lift to run through. The SFX guys did an amazing job.

With almost all of the spot being a studio shoot we had a fair amount of matte painting to do. We also created full CG environments for when the lift is up high in the sky. The job involved producing lots of dust, debris, liquid, smoke, atoms, not to mention clouds, cracks and explosions- all the fun stuff basically!

Winamax BTS Assets

What was it like working with Director Sam Pilling on this film?

It’s always great working with Sam. He fights to get as much as possible in-camera and understands where best to use VFX. Having spent a long time collaborating on our approach and pre-vising certain scenes, we went into the shoot with a solid methodology. Sams vision, alongside Kasper Tuxen as DOP and Andy Kelly as production designer meant that we had some really beautiful material to work with. Having worked with Sam on quite a few projects, I feel like I know what he looks for in an aesthetic. I like that he really pushes things for the right reasons, it always gets the best results which is why we all do what we do.

How did the 2D and 3D teams combine to create the final picture?

The 3D team had quite a huge undertaking. Working with FX always creates its own challenges but when across so many different forms it becomes quite a mammoth challenge. Luckily Kate (3D Lead) had a great team working with her and everyone really pushed it. In 2D we tried to relieve some of the workload by shooting and using real elements where possible. Outside of that, we were lucky that in shooting things for real, we were able to get things to a certain level in 2D. On a project like this, there’s always a back and forth between 2D and 3D on how to get the best results, which generally ends up being a combination of the two.

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