Alt.vfx has helped bring Tile’s stunning new campaign for the US to life, as a toy panda sets off on an epic adventure in search of his owner.
The spot, for Tile, the Bluetooth tracker that makes it easy to find everything that matters, was directed by Mark Molloy and sees Ernie the Panda travel across landscapes far and wide in a quest to return to his best friend, Lucy.
In collaboration with agency Deutsch & Smuggler, Alt’s talented team brought the panda to life in CG in a seamless production between Alt’s new studio in Los Angeles and their existing Australian studios in Brisbane and Sydney.
The stunning film was shot on various locations across Europe. Colin Renshaw, Founder and VFX Supervisor for Alt, worked closely with Director Molloy and Smuggler to combine practical and digital to realize this piece of emotionally charged storytelling.
Colin said: “We loved collaborating with the director, agency and production on this awesome spot from the outset, and were able to offer advice on how to make Mark’s vision possible. Working with on-set techs and a practical stuffed panda, we closely studied the movements so that the CG panda inherited all the physical characteristics. Using CG, we were able to add all of the right emotional cues and movements that brought Ernie the panda to life.”
In addition to the CG animated lead character, all of the locations were enhanced with detailed digital matte paintings to give the landscapes a spectacular feel for Ernie’s epic journey home.
Alt Executive Producer Chris Fieldhouse, said: “This is one of the first jobs to be produced out of our new LA studio in Culver City, and what a special way to introduce our talented teams. This is a special project that combines Alt’s creature capabilities and creativity with Mark’s story-telling vision to great effect. To have that trust between our teams at Alt, Smuggler and Deutsch really shows in the end result onscreen.”
Deutsch Executive Creative Director, Guto Araki, said: “We didn’t just fix this film in post, we made it in post. Alt.vfx took a little stuffed panda and gave him a soul. Collaborating with them was fantastic and we couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. And we’re incredibly grateful for everyone’s hard work, long hours and talent. We can’t wait to work Alt again.”
Dan Kaplan, Executive Producer at Deutsch said: “When it comes to CG and VFX, we place a lot of responsibility and trust on our post production vendors. We count on their vision being the same as ours, but all we can do is wait for the renders to come through. Alt beyond surpassed our expectations. This project had a super challenging budget and very demanding timeline, with VFX, CG, and color happening simultaneously across two continents. Undaunted, Alt did a remarkable job. They went above and beyond and made our spot truly magical.”