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The Mill Develops Fantastic Promotion for BBC Music

Working with Karmarama, Redbee Media and director Francois Rousselet, the BBC brought together a range of recording artists to promote the launch of BBC Music, creating a video populated by an “impossible orchestra” of performers for a version of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.”

Since it was logistically impossible to shoot all of the project’s 27 musicians in one place at one time, let alone in the fantastic situations depicted in the video, Mill VFX supervisor Hugo Guerra explains, “We set about planning an ambitious shoot over the course of a year to capture each one.” After shooting them separately against greenscreen, the 2D team from The Mill brought the musicians together in London’s Alexandra Palace theater.

Elton John.

The “orchestra” was then enhanced with a host of effects created in 2D and 3D, including a crystal particle system surrounding Stevie Wonder, Lorde’s CG wings, a kaleidoscope of butterflies sitting on Elton John, Kylie Minogue’s CG bubbles and an exotic jungle backdrop surrounding the original Beach Boy, Brian Wilson.

Guerra continues, “From the first time we saw the offline of ‘God Only Knows,’ we knew we had a one-of-a-kind project on our hands.”

Adds 2D lead artist Zoe Cassey-Hayes, “Due to the scale of this project, it required the input of almost every department at The Mill. We used a huge array of software including [Side Effects] Houdini, [Autodesk] Maya, [The Foundry] Nuke, [Autodesk] Flame, [Adobe] Photoshop and [The Foundry] Hiero to bring it to fruition.”