In Hannah and Mum’s Day Out, the collectors are separated as the latter attends university so connect remotely over the shows they love; this time Sky original series I Hate Suzie and Discovery of Witches and Netflix hits The Crown and Sex Education

The portal appears, as it usually does, in new live action plates shot by the production team at Biscuit which are carefully matched to existing shots from the TV shows. Three out of the four sections in Hannah and Mum’s Day Out (I Hate Suzie, Sex Education & Discovery of Witches) were shot in the shows’ actual filming locations which added an extra level of realism to the sequences. 

With many of the locations already matching, Framestore’s Head of Creative Colour Simon Bourne does an excellent job of helping to seamlessly combine the new with the existing footage by expertly matching the colour grade of each section to the show in question. This is very important for the likes of Sex Education and The Crown which have a very particular visual style which would be easily noticeable if not matched closely enough. 

For the I Hate Suzie vignette in the commercial, the portal appears in all of its power behind Billie Piper’s character Suzie who’s swapped out with a stunt person as she’s sucked into the portal, accompanied by leaves and debris added by the VFX team, making a really convincing collection shot. ​

The CG portal created by Framestore’s VFX team is designed to be easily scalable so it can fit wherever and however it’s needed in each collection sequence. The Sex Education sequence for example features one of the biggest portals we’ve seen yet throughout the campaign, taking over almost the entire ceiling of a hall as the school-set cast are in an assembly. For a portal of this size, the team adjusts the size of its procedural elements, making its internal features smaller in order to convey its size. Inversely in executions that require a smaller portal, the effects need to be made bigger in comparison to the overall portal. 

In this instance, it’s insinuated that almost the entire cast of Sex Education has been collected. To do this, the team created a number of CG elements which are seen trailing the cast into the portal including chairs, curtains, a banner and a sign along with smaller debris like paper, headphones and sunglasses. 

The Discovery of Witches sequence features a range of different VFX elements as the portal is put in newly shot live action scenes, alongside a VFX firedrake from the show created by REALTIME who worked on the series itself. Stunt doubles of the show’s witches were filmed on wires on greenscreen at Pinewood Studios while the rest of the plates were shot on the original location in Tretower in South Wales with replicated camera moves carefully planned. 

The firedrake and the witches are collected into the portal which saw Framestore’s VFX team combining several CG elements such as the firedrake and extensive elements of the Rowan tree, embers and dust clouds with the live action plates of our collectors and stunt performers. ​