I am epic win Gregor’s bulging biceps presented a fun challenge for The Mill’s team. “The biggest difficulty with creating the muscles for the Oligarch in Gym was finding the balance between making them big and vein-y but still believable,” notes Smith. “They had to remain realistic and look like part of the actor’s body but be remarkable enough to make the audience notice and laugh at them. We tried many variations until finding exactly the right tone.” Another challenge for the animators was recreating all of the diodes in CG so they could move with the now animated muscles.

Agency: Grey
Producer: David Cardinali
Creative Director: Todd Tilford
Creatives: Lu Romero, Chris Rubino,
Production Company: Uber Content
Director: Chris Hooper
Producer: Karen Rohrbacher
Editing Company: Arcade
Editor: Paul Martinez
Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
Mill Office: New York
Executive Producer: Adam Isidore
VFX Producer: Carl Walters
Shoot Supervisor: Vince Baertson
Creative Director: Ben Smith
2D Lead Artists: Evan Schoonmaker
3D Lead Artists: Ben Smith
2D Artists: Joji Tsuruga
3D Artists: Joshua Merck, Pete Devlin, Tom Bardwell, Tom Kushwa, Santosh Sailesh, Rob Petrie
Assist: Melissa Graff
Colourist: Fergus McCall
Telecine Producer: Claudia Guevara



Opulence, I has it – the first spot of the campaign:

In this spot for DirecTV called “Opulence,” one thing is clear: the convenience and quality of DirecTV appeals to people from all walks of life. Grey NY, Biscuit director Tim Godsall and The Mill NY teamed up for this quirky commercial featuring a Russian billionaire oligarch, his posse of gorgeous females and his prized possession, a miniature giraffe. Yes… a pet, pint-sized giraffe.

Agency: Grey NY
Producer: Tor Myhren
Creative Director: Todd Tilford, Luis Romero, Jon Lallus, Bennett McCarroll
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Tim Godsall
Editing Company: Arcade Edit
Editor: Geoff Hounsell
Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
Mill Office: New York
Executive Producer: Jared Yeater
2D Lead Artists: Westley Sarokin
3D Lead Artists: Ben Smith
2D Artists: Albert Cook, Randy McEntee
3D Artists: Joshua Merck, Tom Bardwell, Michael Panov, Emily Merger, Per Bergsten, Ajit Menon, Chris Hill
Colourist: Fergus McCall

What’s cuter than a petite lap giraffe who sits next to you on the couch, perched atop a pillow? Absolutely nothing! That wasn’t lost on DirecTV or Grey after thousands of people raved about the diminutive creatures on a YouTube post of Opulence, the spot which introduced the exotic pet to viewers in the first place.

“Creating the petitelapgiraffe.com site was a great way to work across all platforms within The Mill,” says Ben Smith, Creative Director at The Mill. “It was truly an integrated effort.” The Mill’s charge was to create entertaining content and direct the live action for the website. This included sourcing and dressing the farm (a petting zoo in Queens, N.Y.), finding props and capturing footage. The footage was then used to create scenarios for the website, allowing 18 unique experiences for the user when logging in to visit the giraffe. The teams had access to the already created giraffe asset from Opulence, making a much more efficient pipeline for creating the website and Gym. Visit Petite Lap Giraffe website.