Framestore was proud to join AMV BBDO and Pulse Films director Sam Pilling aboard Galaxy’s ‘Thought Train’, the latest CG-infused campaign from the confectionary brand. Taking the reins from the long-running and highly successful ‘Chauffeur’, in which Framestore famously recreated Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn in digital form, ‘Thought Train’ works to pinpoint a moment of undivided calm in a buzzing world of relentless distraction.
Framestore called upon its global pipeline to handle the project, which would span its core VFX teams across London and New York. VFX Supervisor Chris Redding and CG Supervisor Gabriel Portnoff joined the film’s shoot, for which three full size train carriage sets were built: one static; one rotated freely along its length; and the other tilted down 45 degrees from one end. All would be used to portray actress Jade Anouka’s surreal journey through three distinct worlds.
Anouka passes through three technology-hued states on the train: first encountering a blue bird sitting upon her mobile phone, before being enveloped by its flock; second, a car papered in endless notes; and lastly, entering a carriage of suspended colourful orbs, in a nod to video gaming. Returning to her seat, Anouka takes a time-out with a bar of Galaxy, blocking out technological distractions for just a moment of pure, undivided pleasure.
Framestore’s artists got to work on a task list which included full build and animation of the initial blue bird, and simulation of the bird flock using Houdini particle systems. All window views, and views beyond the individual carriages, were composited with footage accrued from an additional shoot day, shot at a massive 8k from the open door of a moving train. A variety of angles were captured and used to create the train’s external surroundings. The team also crafted and animated the movement of the third scene’s colourful spheres, which combine seamlessly with a dynamic performance from Anouka within the set’s slanted train carriage.
Colourist Simon Bourne added the film’s grade, working closely with Chris to finesse the details of the piece. Says Simon, ‘It was a pleasure to collaborate once more with Sam [Pilling, Director]. This stunning commercial has a sense of film, with its moody lowlights and soft pastel colours. The aim was not to go too bold and colourful, but to keep a filmic aesthetic that would help bed in the visual effects and the green screen backgrounds. We worked to create a unity between the distinct environments of the three carriages, so that the overall piece maintained a single flow.’