The global Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging us all to adapt, to find new ways to connect with one another and to show up for our communities.
Earlier this year, DNEG Artist Managers Christopher Jaques and Lucy Salter created ‘Level Up!’, a program designed to help VFX artists to practice and improve their skills, and break out of isolation during lockdown. As part of the program people could work in groups on different projects they were passionate about – one of which was the ‘MonsterBox Project’.
Founded by James Munday during lockdown, MonsterBox is a fresh produce delivery service based in the Highlands of Scotland. MonsterBox was created to help those in Scotland most in need, supporting the local community of Inverness and beyond at a time when many were unable to leave the house, even to go food shopping. By establishing a network of fresh produce, meat and dairy farmers and creating a local-producer-to-table delivery service, MonsterBox was able to feed thousands of Scottish families during lockdown.
But where do visual effects fit into the MonsterBox Project?
When Christopher Jaques first heard about MonsterBox he was eager to spread the word. Teaming up with former DNEG Compositor, now Commercials Director, Edward Andrews, the pair started to work on a story to promote MonsterBox. From the company name, they created a concept that would both highlight the importance of community and provide a message of hope during the pandemic.
They quickly ran into several challenges to which they had to adapt, one being the international travel ban in place at the time. While Christopher was based relatively close-by, in London, Edward was on the other side of the Atlantic in Toronto, and unable to travel to Scotland for shooting. Thanks to the generosity of artists and industry professionals willing to give their time, they were able to form teams in both locations and split the work between Scotland and Canada.
A talented transatlantic volunteer crew was able to set up a shoot in Edinburgh and the Highland for all the exterior shots, and in Canada for all the interior shots. With the help of Outsider Editorial, they edited and married the shots together seamlessly.
Working entirely remotely and across different timezones, the VFX team played an integral role in the project from its conceptualization to the creation of the very lovable furry monster character, providing fantastic build, animation, lighting and compositing work.
Grayson Music and Factory UK provided the music and sound design that brought to life the magical atmosphere for the commercial, and the beautiful grade was ddelivered by Alter Ego.
Working together across continents and timezones, the team brought the vision, mission and soul of MonsterBox to spectacular life in the compelling promo film below:
MonsterBox had a lasting impact on both the people of Scotland and the talented and dedicated crew who donated their time and creativity for this campaign.
Production Company: Day 21
Executive Producer: Christopher Jaques
Producers: Roman Hul, Edward Andrews
Director: Edward Andrews
DOPs: Jordan Kennington, Gavin White
Writers: Edward Andrews
Creative consultant: Jonathan Guy
Production Designer: Rudin Causi
Wardrobe: Caprice Connors
Make/Up + Hair Styling: Cristina Rubiales and Tess Jobin
Onset Sound: Jadon J.B. Williams
Gaffer: Adrian Antonecchia
Key Grip: Hadrien Grass
Swing/ Package Truck: Mike Torelli
Production Coordinator: Brett Gartley
Set Dresser: Benjamin Harris
1st AC (Prep): Brad Cherry
1st AC (Shoot): Connor Jarvie
VFX – Brave VFX
VFX Supervisor: Christopher Jaques
Concept Design: Taran Fiddler
Creature TD: Nicolò Piccinini
Layout TD: Souvik Mitra
Storyboard Artist & Animator: Gabor Kiss
Groom & Lighting TD: Fah Anuntasomboon
Lighting TD: Roberto Sollazzo
DMP Artist: Hana Hirosaka
Compositor: Francesca Piergiovanni
Compositor: Carlos Niño
Casting – Jigsaw Casting
Casting Agent: Shasta Lutz
VO Casting: Real People
VO Casting Agent: Kirsty Bell
Editorial – Outsider Editorial
Editor: Alison Gordon
Editorial Producer: Kayan Choi
Editorial assistant: Cam Anderson
Colourist: Wade Odlum, Alter Ego
Motion Design: Matt Sheern
Aerial Footage: Aerial Frontiers, John Duncan Aerials
Music – Grayson Music
Composers: Jeff Milutinovic, Igor Correia
Sound Studio: Factory London
Sound Design & Mix: Jon Clarke and Josh Campbell
Audio Producer: Lou Allen
VO recording studio: Graeme MacKenzie Pacific Audio Post.
Gear: Affiliated Equipment – Ross McLean
Mom – Beth Hornby
Daughter – Harley Ruznisky
Son – Ben Davidson
Dog – Guinness Soochie Hul
VO – Jessica Hamilton
Special thanks to:
Skin And Bones Film