Teaming up once again with Director Dan DiFelice and the production team at Biscuit Filmworks, Framestore has delivered a wide range of VFX to complement the beautiful cinematography and in-camera special effects on Sky’s new Collector campaign. Each spot in the major campaign led by Sky Creative Agency sees a protagonist - the titular Collector - transporting themselves into some of the best-loved fictitious worlds and using their sky remotes to open up a portal through which they collect their favourite TV shows and movies.
The Framestore team led by VFX Supervisor Chris Redding and CG Supervisor Beau Garcia, will provide a whole host of VFX throughout the months-long campaign. A key part of the campaign’s VFX work, the team was responsible for the creation of the campaign’s central portal that morphs its size and shape depending on the scene it appears in and the objects or characters it collects.
Working closely with DiFelice and the team at Sky Creative Agency, the portal was designed to encapsulate a heroic quality with a captivating, enticing energy. It went through the usual iterative design process, exploring several different ways of conveying a sense of power, yet remaining controlled. It also needed to tie in with Sky’s brand style and avoid anything that felt too sinister.
Mo's Best Bud
The second installment of the campaign features Mo, another “collector” who sets off on his dirt bike to capture his Sky content including a Formula 1 car and a dinosaur from Jurassic World. Framestore once again conjures the signature Sky portal, helping on his quest.
For the Jurassic World sequence, the team was also tasked with turning the live action location of Missenden Valley in Buckinghamshire into Gyrosphere Valley. The team did this with a number of digital matte paintings, using references from the film and photography of real-life locations like those found in Hawaii as a basis for Isla Nublar before compositing the island’s resident Dinosaurs into the final frames.
Talking about this sequence, Chris Redding said ‘The main thrust of our work was transforming a pristine English countryside into something much more rugged and exotic. We actually ended up replacing more and more in the live action plates than we’d planned and adding in more CG.
The team had more VFX-driven heavy-lifting to do for Mo’s Best Bud than in Harris and the Robots, not least as they replaced live action reference vehicles with digital Formula 1 cars that are seen racing around Silverstone. With the shoot taking place on a non-race day at Silverstone, CG crowds were added to the stands, along with mingling bystanders beside the track, and the plethora of other trackside vehicles, tents and structures that are an essential part of the texture of an F1 weekend.
‘We needed to make the F1 sequence quite intimate,’ commented Beau Garcia. ‘Everything we added had to place the viewer right in amongst the action and communicate the visceral nature of those shots which was a very fun challenge.’
Then throughout all the other vignettes that make up the film, it was Framestore’s job to not only to place the portal in the scenes, but also sell its power to the audience. The team did this with a number of CG assets that had to be created and added to the scenes as they’re whipped into the portal throughout. These Included a flurry of 50 Euro notes and one of the iconic Dali masks featured in the show in the Netflix/Money Heist sequence and CG facsimiles of the winning paintings from Portrait Artist of the Year.
Leon's Night Out
For the third film in the campaign which is all centered around music and dancing, the team added the finishing touches that added this film’s collector into several more entertainment properties. This included adding CG score signs and glitterball into a Strictly Come Dancing scene and creating a DMP to match the Hollywood backdrop from the La La Land sequence. The team also added the glowing blue portal into a scene set at the Spotify offices before everything was brought together by a grade by Simon Bourne.
‘It’s been a real pleasure working with Framestore on the delivery of The Collector. We had to ensure that the worlds we were creating were indistinguishable from the original IP we were borrowing them from and because of Framestore’s fantastic VFX work we were able to achieve that,’ commented Robin Garton, Executive Creative Director, Advertising, Sky Creative Agency.
‘It's been incredibly collaborative working alongside the team at Framestore on the Sky Collectors campaign. The series of ads covers a range of different disciplines and techniques and it's been fun building out our methodology of approach on such a variety of scenes,’ added director Dan DeFelice.
‘Beyond the uniqueness of each scene, we were tasked with the challenge to create a portal that not only worked throughout various scenes and mediums but also connected with Sky's Q. It was difficult to find that blend of something that was powerful enough to pull Megatron in but also connected to the subtle, sleek, swirling light of the Sky boxes. We're all looking forward to sharing the craziness of what'll get pulled into the Sky portals next.