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February 23rd, 2016

Joint London enlisted the help of The Mill and Mill+ to design a new ident for Vue Cinemas in London. The first thing audiences would see before the movie starts, the work needed to be more than just an ident; it needed to be a powerful, immersive sensory experience.

We dug deeper into the work behind the project with Mill+ Director Andrew Proctor, 3D Lead Artist Felix Urquiza and 2D Lead Artist Martin Karlsson.

“We went for an epic, cinematic moment with a big ‘wow’-factor; a break from reality as you’re transitioned into the film world,” Andrew tells us. Martin adds, “The look we went for was ‘stylized reality’. We made sure not to keep it too polished and treated the full CG shots as if they were shot with a real camera.”

The ident was a true collaboration between all facets of The Mill. Instead of using storyboards, Senior Designer Helen Hsu designed style frames for each section of the film from which the 3D artists worked. Editor Victor Jory cut the piece, weaving together the abstract narrative to give each section its own identity without losing sight of the sequence they represent: refreshment, comfort, state-of-the-art sound and unparalleled picture projection.

Vue Refreshmentpre


“We decided against CG liquids. All the liquid you see was shot in camera,” Andrew says. The team worked with practical effects and spent a day in the studio shooting at 4K at 1,000 frames per second to capture a variety of splashes, bubbles, ice and overall effervescence. “The only reason to do CG liquids is to make it do something real liquids can’t do”, he adds.

Vue Thread


The wide shots of the details on the theater seating show real stitching. The threading was CG, however, providing a point of interest for the eye to follow.



Part of the brief was to feature Dolby Atmos audio technology, so Andrew and Producer Adrienne Scott-Kemp went to experience it themselves. Andrew describes, “It’s like three-dimensional sound. We were exposed to a huge array of speakers where you can actually track the audio.” Eventually, this helped inspire the idea to visually represent sound using chrome balls.

Vue Picture


The creative brief for the picture projection segment of the ident referenced the CERN Hadron Collider. The result was something that looks like the splitting of light and breaking up of an image into individual beams of light. Andrew comments, “This part needed to be quite intense; an overload.”

Check out a visual breakdown of the Vue Cinemas Sizzle Film below: