The Mill Reaches “Tipping Point” for Guinness

?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Good things come to those who wait’s is the Guinness slogan, and that certainly been the case for the Mill team who between them spent eight months perfecting ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Tipping Point’s, the brand latest commercial ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬®its most spectacular yet.

The team, led by Neil Davies, Jordi Bares and Paul Harrison, worked with agency AMV BBDO to ensure that not only was the ad’s ‘domino effect’ absolutely seamless, but also that it all looked suitably atmospheric, dusty and moodily picturesque. Their work involved using the software Houdini which has never been used for a Mill job before.

Filmed in the hillsides of Argentina, the 90-second spot shows a whole village waiting with eager anticipation as a carefully placed domino is ceremonially flipped, tipping over not only a roomful of other dominos but also furniture, suitcases, legs of meat, cars … even the local fire crew join in, contributing burning bales of straw.

Down the steep narrow streets it all goes, in an increasingly ingenious and bizarre cavalcade, until finally reaching a tower of books whose pages flick over like an oversized destination board to reveal – to the cheers of the locals – a giant glass of Guiness.

Flame was used to enhance the cinematic feel of the opening shot, to age the texture of buildings and to add in extra villagers and all the small details ?Äì mice, graffiti, birds ?Äì that help to make the film so rich. Perhaps the biggest acheviment in Flame was compositing the four end pint shots into the rest of the film so seamlessly.

Telecine artist Paul Harrison was then brought in to create a washed-out ‘s70s look. ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§It was a difficult job as there were five cameras used to film the commercial over five days,’s he says. ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§So there were many different light levels in the shots used. That all needed to be balanced out, indoors and out. We also wanted to accentuate the colour of the village and the people in it, so we spent time on their faces and the on the landscape.’s

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Mill was the ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§pack shot’s ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® the first time ever that Guinness hasn’st shown a real pint glass at the end of one of its commercials. The initial aim had been to build a set in Argentina ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® but the difficulties of the location 4,000ft elevation put a stop to that, and the CG pint glass was instead created at the Mill in London.

Avoiding traditional 3D techniques, and after much research and testing to find out just how fast the pages of the books should turn and how many were needed, the decision was made to use the Houdini software ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® a first for the Mill. ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§It was one of the most difficult jobs I have ever worked on,’s comments Jordi Bares. ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§But it turned out to be a big success and I am very proud of it.’s

To view ‘Tipping Point’ click here.

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