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O2 “Things are changing”

19 March 2012

The latest campaign from VCCP and O2, is Directed by Simon Ratigan (HLA) with stunning visuals. All three commercials (1x 60” and 2 x 40”) were shot over 5 days in Almeria, Granada and Barcelona. “The toughest part was on set” says Steve Murgatroyd, Flame Artist at Finish. “Everything was shot at twilight, so when you arrive on set everything is in total darkness and then you only have one or two hours before the sun comes up”.

Whilst on set Steve gathered as much information as possible on what lenses are being used and set measurements, as well as taking reference stills. Also used was a chrome HDRI ball which gives the 3D team accurate references for lighting and reflections in the environment for use back in London. The greatest challenge by all accounts was trying to make the post look as unlike post as possible. “Although Simon appreciates post, he likes to not use it wherever possible” says Steve. “As much as possible is created on set and in camera”. The “floating” letters were shot in camera where possible, lifted on rigs and then enhanced using post, with 3D building the impossible ones floating in the trees. Paul Wilmot (flame artist) notes “You usually have to pick one approach to capture something, in camera, 2D elements or 3D but in this case all three were used to achieve the end result”.

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All the butterflies in the commercial are 3D built and textured by Harin (Finish) who adds “you have to study the butterflies themselves, the way they move, the way they function. Simon likes every thing to look photo real and shot real butterflies which we could use as reference. He adds “The real challenge was to sell the idea that this was a real butterfly, in texture and movement but that the wings are made out of money - all in a really quick shot”. He initially created the butterflies as if they were real and then incorporated the money design into the wings.

Does Ratigan’s approach to photo-realism make the post work more or less of a challenge though? Steve says that “because he did things like shoot a real butterfly we had some really strong references. Everyone knew what things were supposed to look like and often we just have to guess. This really helped given the time restraints”.

O2 “Things are changing” first aired on UK television on March 8th. For more information please contact Anna at Soho Pantry on 07855 406 650 or