Mill Create Underwater World for Sigur Ros

The Mill have just finished working on a breathtakingly beautiful promo for Icelandic band Sigur Ros. Directed by the band, and co-directed by The Mill Telecine Producer Eva Maria Daniels, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Saeglopur’s, meaning sea wanderer, tells the sad story of a doomed young boy exploring an under water paradise and swimming amongst sea creatures.

The effects of the jelly fish ink and other underwater atmospheric liquid were created by The Mill team by experimenting with dropping Indian ink, cream, paint and other liquids into a fish tank full of water and filming the results.

Rob Petrie created the whole of the underwater world; the landscape, atmosphere and the sea creatures. The only live footage was the boy underwater. Rob devised a look for the video which he applied to a test shot, and once it had been established by Sigur Ross he laid the look across the whole film. Creating the under water world in 3D allowed the promo to be far more illustrative than just dropping the boy into a live action underwater plate.

The shot featuring the jelly fish tentacle wrapping itself around the boys’s leg was created using an ingenious technique Rob conjured up at 4am in the morning on the shoot. The shoot team shot a piece of rope wrapped around the boy leg, then the rope being unraveled. Rob then reversed the action and rotoscoped his animation over the top of the rope, creating the realistic tentacle.

Mill Flame artists, Adam Grint and Zoe Cassey worked on the film in Flame. There were approximately 56 shots that had to be composited in flame and shake. Adam and Zoe worked closely with Eva creating the underwater world and compositing the shots and different elements together. The main challenge for them was working with the 2d ink plates, specifically animating the ink moving and interacting around the boy in a stylized fashion.

They had to create a murky feel to the film but it was also important that the boy remained the focal point of all the shots so we used glows and grading techniques to bring him out of the footage which was originally fairly flat looking. They also added extra elements like seaweed and general sea bed debris.

The beautiful moody grade was created by Mill Colourists Paul Harrison and James Bamford. There is a murky, grainy and dark feel to the piece – a look that added to the foreboding and sad atmosphere of the promo. The biggest challenge for our Telecine team was achieving a ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§wet’s look and the perfect sea green.

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