A United Nations panel with multiple people at desks with headsets, there is a velociraptor at the front of the room at a lecturn.

Don’t Choose Extinction

Framestore Pictures and Oscar-winning VFX studio Framestore worked with creative agency Activista on a project for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that raises awareness of how devastating fossil fuels subsidies are for people and planet and to urge more climate action in the wake of the UN's Code Red announcement.

On Set Vis
Effects Simulation
Animation Supervisor
Visual Effects Supervisor
dont choose extinction text over an animated t-rex dinosaur shadow

The team delivered a world-class shoot and impressive CG dinosaur for the film, ‘Don’t Choose Extinction,’ which was translated into over 32 languages and VO-ed by international celebrities, all in an effort to bring attention to the climate crisis.

Having worked closely together 20 years prior on the BBC Emmy Award-winning docuseries, Walking with Dinosaurs, Framestore Pictures Director Murray Butler and Framestore Creative Director Marco Marenghi, were a perfect duo to bring the striking Utahraptor to life.

Shooting at the iconic UN Assembly Hall in New York, Butler and the team used the dinosaur’s dimensions to mock up stand-ins out of PVC piping, allowing the extras and actors something to react to in real time.

“We studied the way great speeches were delivered in film and TV and approached this project with the same cinematic language (just with a dinosaur as the orator),” said Butler. “We opted to use two cameras, which enabled us to covertly capture spontaneous reactions and cover action from a variety of levels and angles throughout the Hall. The stirring musical score, our CG dinosaur hero, and the senior UN staff member and delegates who volunteered their time each brought this incredible film to life for an important cause.”

animated t-rex dinosaur giving a press conference
shadow of an animated t-rex dinosasaur in front of a united nations emblem

The Framestore animation team headed by Marenghi, one of the world’s leading dinosaur animators, developed the look and feel of the menacing creature, delicately striking a balance between anthropomorphism and realistic behavior. In the absence of soft tissue on a dinosaur’s “lips,” the team worked to achieve a believable lip sync that maintained a level of authenticity, opting for manufacturing phonemes by using jaw and tongue motion.

“We set about designing the dinosaur asset with unique skin that featured some iridescence, as we couldn't have feathers,” said Marenghi. “We wanted to retain some of the familiar raptor features, whilst feeling heavier and more imposing. It was important that the creature felt menacing, but not so much as to cause a panic stampede when it entered the Assembly Hall. It was a delicate balance to build the tension without terror.”

The dinosaur was then seamlessly integrated into background plates, paying careful attention to shadows, reflections and surrounding influences. Finally, the Compositing team created a plethora of crowd duplication shots and placed imagery on the jumbotron to tell the story within the story. 

The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ film and digital ecosystem by Wunderman Thompson can be found at www.dontchooseextinction.com.


UNDP Director of Advocacy, Marketing and Communications
Anjali Kwatra
UNDP Global Engagement & Partnership Manager
Boaz Paldi
UNDP Senior Consultant, Creative Strategy
Nick Garrett
UNDP Executive Producer
Helen Trickey
UNDP Associate Producer, Campaign Advocacy
Rebecca Webb
UNDP Associate Producer, Campaign Media
Gabriela Goldman
Executive Creative Directors
Paco Conde, Beto Fernandez
Film Production
Film Production
Framestore Pictures
Managing Director
Jennifer Siegel
Head of Production
Anne Vega
Line Producer
Laura Morris
Director of Photography
Wyatt Garfield
Director of Production
Carla Attanasio
Executive Producer
Pete King
Senior Producer
Chris Harlowe
Associate Producer
Jose Alvarado
Creative Director
Marco Marenghi
VFX Supervisor
Karch Coon
Lighting Supervisor
Richard Shallcross
Head of 2D
Woei Lee
Compositor Lead
Mark Casey
Oscar Tan
Tracking Supervisor
Todd Herman
Editorial Supervisor
Jacob Sadowsky
VFX Editor
Dustin Indrebo
Kevin Rooney, Taylor Hodgson-Scott, Edwin Schaap
Craig Tozzi, Kun Hang Wu, Raul Ortego
CG Artists
Jessica Groom, Kaho Horiuchi, George Saavedra, Marco Amador, Soren Barton, Andrew Thompson
Beau Leon
Colour Producer
Jamie Runkle
Colour Assistant
Evan Reinhard
Jon Grover
Audio Post Production
String and Tins
Sound Design & Mix
Jim Stewart
Music Coordinator
COOL Music
Digital Ecosystem
Wunderman Thompson
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