Search form

MPC Does the ‘Hustle’

Ron Scalpello of BBC Broadcast has directed a series of trailers (1 x 60 secs, 1 x 40 secs and 3 x 20 secs and 3 x 5 secs) for Abbott Mead Vickers promoting the new BBC One drama HUSTLE. Visual effects and postproduction were carried out at Moving Picture Co. (MPC).

The series concentrates on a group of charismatic confidence tricksters in the business of making money. The trailers themselves introduce the five main characters: Albert, Stacie, Ash and Danny, with each persons particular traits being described by Mickey, their colleague, during the :60 trailer.

The main challenge for MPC was the interaction of frozen graphics with moving elements for the main sequence. This shot includes static people, motionless champagne spray and a suspended cloud of 50-pound notes. A moving Mickey interacts with his frozen counterparts and the champagne cork, which is depicted in slow motion, shoots across the table. As introduction, Mickey presents each of the frozen characters, fixing the rose in Alberts lapel, putting his arm around Stacie, taking the cigarette from Ash and moving the cork to hit Dannys head.

The time slice shots show 90-degree 3D camera moves around the frozen elements. These were shot by Tim McMillan of Time-slice films using proprietary techniques. The time slice is 2K resolution with the live action as PAL.

The frozen cast was then composited onto the penthouses background by MPC lead inferno artist, Simon Trafford. Similarly, the cork and suspended money were shot in front of a bluescreen and subsequently composited in around the cast. The actors were then overlain and finessed in order to cover any movement. An animated trail was added to the moving cork in order to reflect its journey across the table. The project was digitally graded by Mark Horrobin on Spirit Datacine.

The HUSTLE teaser campaign starts airing Feb. 4.

Other Moving Picture credits include:*Post Producer: Simon Gosling*Inferno Artist: Paul OShea*Telecine: Mark Gethin*Combustion: Darren Christie, Dan Kelly

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.

Bill Desowitz's picture

Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.