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The Mill Builds a People Mountain for Playstation
Posted 20 May 2004, The Mill Publicity

The Mill has worked with director Frank Budgen and a TWBA creative team lead by Trevor Beattie to produce the commercial for Sony Playstation entitled Mountain. Barnsley from The Mill attended the six-day shoot in Brazil where five carefully placed cameras were used to film over 500 extras strategically choragraphered climbing buildings and running through the streets of Rio. The end shot shows what seems like thousands of people at the top of a very tall building.

- Watch 'Sony Mountain' here (7MB QuickTime) -

After the concept and storyboard stages it was agreed, with Barnsley’s help, that the backgrounds and buildings would be shot in-camera as much as possible. Then a combination of crowd replication, set extension from a two story-set and CG work for the extreme wide shots would be added in post production back at The Mill.

Even though 500 extras per day were used on the set in Brazil the end result needed to be much busier so Mill 3D artist Jordi Bares used Massive Software to create thousands of digital characters climbing and running. The software, which only The Mill and Weta in New Zealand have a licence to use, gives each individual digital character a brain to determine how they react. In the biggest shot Jordi created 146,000 digital people that had unique vision, sound and touch-based artificial intelligence giving them realistic individual behaviour.

During the shoot 50 stuntmen and acrobats were filmed from a helicopter rolling and running up a 20ft cone that was fitted to the top of Brazil’s highest skyscraper. Barnsley then used this as a basis to extend down to create various shots, including the stunning end shot that looks like thousands of people forming a very tall building.

Sony Playstation -- Mountain
Director: Frank Budgen

Prod Company: Gorgeous
Producer - Gorgeous: Paul Rothwell

Agency: TBWA -- London
Creative Director - Trevor Beattie
Creatives: Tony Mctear and Paula Marcantonio
Agency Producer: Kate Hitchings

Editor: Rick Russell at Final Cut

The Mill
Producer: Liz Browne
3D: Jordi Bares, Ben Smith
Flame: Barnsley, Jeff Robins, Richard Betts, Daniel Morris
Telecine: Adam Scott

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