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Moving Picture Co. Buzzes With Guinness Moth Spot

Academy and The Moving Picture Co. team on new Guinness MOTH spot for AMV BBDO. With the Academy producing the commercial, The Moving Picture Co. handled post-production and 3D computer animation.

The ad begins with three people in a taxi who are lost in a forest and are distracted by a single moth flying erratically against the window. One of the group realizes that moths travel towards light and will therefore lead them to where they want to go. With his friends following, they are led deep into the woods until a cloud of moths form the image of a pint of Guinness. Finally with the trio arriving at a bar, the ad cuts to the end line: Out of Darkness Comes Light.

Inferno artist Alex Lovejoy attended the shoot in Brazil to advise shooting for CG and also to film reference material of moths. Live-action moths were shot on a "Phantom" camera, a disc based recording system, which can record at thousands of frames a second. Shooting at such high speeds meant that every minute detail of the moths' movement was captured. This was then subsequently composited onto background shots.

Greg Massie, cg supervisor, produced a previsualisation from storyboard enabling director Walter Stern to see how the shots would look work, in addition to giving the CG animation team reference when deciding which tools to use. It also allowed for animation tests to be carried out prior to shooting. Specific R&D was carried out for the project, with the development of a proprietary flocking system to emulate the way moths fly. Five different types of moths were modeled in Maya. Each insect was then given its own flight path.

Credits include:Director: Walter SternProduction company: AcademyAcademy producer: Mark Whittow-WilliamsDoP: Dan LandinEditor: Matt Wood at The WhitehouseAgency: Abbott Mead VickersAgency producer: Carol Powell

Post-production company: The Moving Picture CompanyPost producer: Graham BirdInferno & combustion artists: Alex Lovejoy Nicola Cotta, Dan Saunders, Daniel KellyTelecine: Jean-Clement Soret3D animators: Greg Massie, Richard Nelson, Russell Appleford

Based in Soho, London, Moving Picture Co. ( is one of the leading post-production facilities in the industry. It creates high-end digital vfx and computer animation for the advertising, music, television and feature film industries.

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