We were approached by Douglass/Day to make their fury, wide-eyed vision a CGI reality for Cineworld’s gift-card advert.
In a brief that’s right up our street, we were asked to produce a cute, furry creature named Gus, who’s adorable saucer-eyes reflect the drama of cinema unfolding in front of him. The trailers roll to reveal the ultimate movie-goers gift, the Cineworld gift card, which is enough excitement to knock Gus off his seat.
Behind the scenes
We had a lot of fun creating Gus, but designing an imaginary creature with recognisable features and traits doesn't come without it's challenges! Especially when combining it with a realistic backdrop, whilst maintaining the stylised look from the earlier concepts. Once animation was in progress we needed to revisit how we'd set up some parts of his body, like his big fluffy mane, as we spotted some issues with the way his fur would react to certain poses.
Lighting and compositing was also slightly more restricted than usual, as the colour choice and lighting of the character had to match the live footage - which was especially dark being in a cinema! We took some creative licence to make the character stand out as much as possible, which took some back and forth with the groom and shading to make it work.
"Working on Cineworld and being a part of the team that developed Gus was a challenging but very rewarding experience. The tight turnaround, creative needs for the character and final quality gave us the chance to test some of our new pipeline tools using Xgen and it has been great fun visualising this fantastical little beast, taking reference from all manner of animals known to mankind."
Negar Bagheri, Lighting and Comp Supervisor, Blue Zoo Animation
The advert, sitting alongside films such as The Avengers and The Last Jedi, will run in Cineworld’s UK cinemas and on social media from October until Christmas. We also produced the accompanying poster that will appear in Cineworld foyers across the UK.
"From the moment we saw the brief we really fell in love with Douglass/Day's concept, and as an animation studio, it was totally up our street in terms of character style and humour. We're really proud of how well the little furry fella turned out and can't wait to see him on the big screen!"
Tom Box, Co-Founder, Blue Zoo Animation
Big thanks to the team who worked on the project
Animation Studio: Blue Zoo
Creative Director: Damian Hook
Executive Producer: Tom Box
Production Manager: Chantal Baldwin
Design: Chris Rais
Additional Concept Art: Izzy Burton
Modelling: Pietro Licini
Rigging: Anthony Delliste
Animators: Ben Steer, Dane Winn
Look Dev/Rendering/Comp: Gherardo Zurla, Arthur Tibbett, Negar Bagheri , Elaine Thomas, George Quelch.
Cineworld Head of Marketing: Casey Cohen
Agency Creatives: Dan Douglass and Andrew Day
Production and Post: Nice Biscuits
Head of Production: Lesley Queen
Sound Design: Tim Lofts
Offline: John Layton