Happy 50th Birthday Bagpuss!

Happy 50th Birthday Bagpuss!

12 Feb

Bagpuss, the most magical, saggy, old, cloth cat in the whole wide world, is 50

The eternal favourite children's show first aired on 12 February 1974.

The stop motion animations were made by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate in Peter's barn in Blean, just outside Canterbury, Kent. Bagpuss lived in a shop that was a home for lost property. (Trivia: the shop window was also Peter's home, and Emily his real life daughter - Emily!

Together with Gabriel the Toad, Professor Yaffel the Woodpecker Bookend and Madeleine the Rag Doll (and not forgetting the Organ Mice) they inspected whatever item Emily had left them.

Today, Bagpuss is on show at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury.

Go Big, Go Hot Wheels!

Go Big, Go Hot Wheels!

15 Dec

Go Big, Go Hot Wheels!

Building monster trucks, setting-up terrain and then making the trucks perform stunts and crashes - a tough shoot ;)

Bladez Toys have designed more of their innovative construction kit Hot Wheels toys. We have had some fun with these in the past, racing these along a track but this time it wasn't about speed, it's all about power and size!

Working to a modest budget, we shot a series of four different product videos in our small on-site studio in Clifton, Bristol. Here we designed and set-up a variety of stunt pieces, then let our young talent loose to start constructing their trucks and get them revved-up and crashing over (and through!) the set.

Cooking with Blomberg is a piece of cake...

Cooking with Blomberg is a piece of cake...

06 Nov

Kitchen Chaos

We recently had a lot of fun producing a follow-up commercial to our successful Blomberg washing machine ad, this time we introduced the kitchen range.

As always, the journey of creating a commercial starts with a concept. We collaborated with James from Creative Sauce to brainstorm ideas that resonate with the target audience. The goal is to bring the script to life in a way that captivates and engages viewers. Once the concept was finalised, and a script crafted, Dan set about storyboarding the commercial to give everyone involved a visual idea of how the concept could play out.

Blomberg had an ideal location at their headquarters in Watford, in their kitchen showroom. Casting the actors was easy as our father/daughter duo returned from the previous production.
Once props and wardrobe and makeup were meticulously organised, James had the unenviable task of making the cake. And hats-off to him, as after a long night in the kitchen he made a Bake-Off worthy creation that would have earned him a handshake from Paul Hollywood!
Working with children in film and television has it own particular set of working practice rules that are designed to keep our young talent from being overworked. The shoot schedule was designed to accommodate this, and so it was great to have Blomberg set a room set aside for the crew to allow our young actor to rest between her time on set.

Indeed, the folks at Blomberg helped make everything on the two shooting days very easy for the crew; they were readily on-hand sourcing extra props, or with a dishcloth - to help us clean down the cake baking devastation between takes.

Live Action Barbie Movie

Live Action Barbie Movie

10 Jul

Live Action Barbie Movie

As rave reviews for Greta Gerwig's live action Barbie Movie (portrayed by Margot Robbie) hit the internet this week, we were reminded of our own experiences with the live action version of Mattel's famous doll. When Barbie celebrated 50 years on the toy shelves, we worked with Mattel and design agency Oakwood to bring Barbie to life on the streets of London - specifically Regent Street's Hamley's Toy store. We created multi screen animations along the store's window fronts, using the kaleidoscopic colour palette of Barbie's brand (yes, there was a lot of pink tones) keyed into silhouettes of our live action Barbie model shot in a chromakey studio as she makes a multitude of costume changes to reflect her many, many career choices over the 50 years.

We're 20 years-old this year!

We're 20 years-old this year!

15 Jun

Celebrating our 20th year making video and graphics

We are thrilled and humbled to mark a remarkable milestone in our journey as Olaus Roe celebrates its 20th anniversary. Today, we take great pleasure in reflecting upon two decades of creating all manner of graphics, filming across continents and providing creative content.

We extend our deepest gratitude to our valued customers and esteemed colleagues for your unwavering support and partnership. Without which, our journey would not have been possible. Our 20th anniversary is a testament to the strength of these relationships and our shared commitment to excellence. We are excited to see what the future years bring us, embracing new challenges, seizing opportunities, and continuing to explore new video and graphics technology.

Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. Here's to celebrating our past achievements and embracing a future filled with exciting new possibilities.

With heartfelt appreciation, the Olaus Roe team.

Britain's Most Expensive Houses

Britain's Most Expensive Houses

18 Apr

Channel 4: “With exclusive access to UK Sotheby's International Realty, we peek behind the doors of some of the most incredible homes, as brokers set about selling jaw-dropping houses”

Olaus Roe were privileged to be out filming in some stunning locations for Channel 4 for this series looking at the most luxurious mansions and houses in the country. This included both aerial camera work with our CAA approved drone and handheld documentary style content shot on our own Sony FX6.

If this particular house takes your fancy, it is available for guests to stay at only £30,000 per night!

Let the evening be gin

Let the evening be gin

14 Apr

Shooting on the South Bank in the World's Best Cocktail Bar

We were happy to see Karen David-Green in front of our camera, having worked with her at Weatherford in Texas in her role as Senior Vice President. Karen is now Chief Communications, Stakeholder and Sustainability Officer at Expro and we were working with her to shoot several pieces to camera.

An added bonus was the location for the shoot on the London South Bank inside the Lyaness Cocktail bar - the flagship bar from the award-winning Mr Lyan and his team, set within the iconic Sea Containers London. Awarded World’s Best Bar & Best International Hotel Bar at the Tales of Cocktail Spirited Awards. Rebecca from Oakwood having brilliantly arranged to use the premises for the whole day before they opened for the evening, the bar providing an ideal location to shoot Karen framed with a perfect view of the Thames and St Pauls Cathedral behind.


"This is the way..."  Star Wars The Mandalorian in Miniature

"This is the way..." Star Wars The Mandalorian in Miniature

19 Feb

Virtually Star Wars in miniature

Spurred-on by our recent successes in developing our macro virtual production system, we have big plans for using it with our toy clients. And what better place to test the concept than recreating scenes from the Disney's Star Wars Mandalorian series - the show that pioneered the use of virtual video production on screen.

Utilising toys from Hasbro's line of Star Wars Vintage Collection, including Haslab's extraordinary crowd-funded recreation of the Razorcrest spaceship, we placed them into a simple sand set on an mdf board, shot against an Unreal Engine environment that Andy built by referencing some of the iconic desert scenes from the Mandalorian's first series.

Take a look at the results

Love is in the air...

Love is in the air...

14 Feb

Valentine's Day - from the heart facts about Romance Movies

With Valentine’s day coming up in the calendar, we thought we’d share some unusual cinematic facts about some of the greatest romance movies. Here are some interesting 'did-you-know's' to whisper in the the ear of your Valentine...

Titanic's most famous line was improvised -

When Leonardo DiCaprio climbed onto the bow of the ship in Titanic, he improvised the line, “I'm the king of the world!” Director James Cameron liked the line so much that he kept it in the movie. It became the #100 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movie quotes.

Cameron Diaz worried that the "hair gel scene" in There’s Something About Mary could ruin her acting career -

she feared that the audience would be too disgusted to laugh. With those concerns in mind, another version of the scene was shot without anything in her hair. Once the viewers at a test screening laughed loudly at the scene with Ted’s product in Mary’s hair, Diaz was okay with it.

The fight scene between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’s Diary was not choreographed -

“No stunt coordinators. No elaborate choreography,” writer Denise Martin recalled. “Just a perfectly realised wimp brawl between two upper-middle-class Englishmen coming to awkward fisticuffs in front of a Greek restaurant.”

Julia Roberts turned down the lead in several big romance movies -

Following her success in the starring role of’ Pretty Woman' Julia Roberts could have cornered the romantic comedy market all by herself, but she turned down roles in 'Sleepless in Seattle', 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'While You Were Sleeping'.

Love Actually's airport opening and closing was shot with hidden cameras -

The footage of passengers being welcomed and embraced by loved ones at Heathrow Airport that opens and closes Love Actually was shot on location with hidden cameras for a week. Writer-director Richard Curtis explained that when something special was caught on camera, a crew member would race out to have people sign a waiver so the moment might be included in the film.
Curtis said that watching the love expressed at the arrival gate of LAX is what inspired him to write the romance in the first place.

Ghost made Demi Moore the highest-paid actress at the time -

She also went on to became a pioneer for other actresses by being the first female lead to demand the same salary, benefits and billing as her male counterparts. After the $200 million domestic gross of Ghost, Demi Moore hit box office gold with a trio of other massive film hits: 1992’s A Few Good Men ($141,340,178), 1993’s Indecent Proposal ($106,614,059), and 1994’s Disclosure ($83,015,089). If you add up all of Demi’s film grosses, it comes out to more than $1 billion. In 1995, she was paid an unprecedented $12.5 million to take her clothes off in the critically scorned Striptease.

The blue door in Notting Hill belonged to writer Richard Curtis

The exterior of Hugh Grant’s apartment in the film was once owned by screenwriter Richard Curtis. The home’s owners painted it black after the movie came out because they were tired of movie tourists, but the current residents have restored it to blue.

Affairs of the heart

We at Olaus Roe have had our own fair share of film and video relating to topics of the heart, albeit of the medical kind rather than the emotional! We have made several animations not just for broadcast but for surgical professionals.

In the a decade ago our camera crew travelled across France as they documented a charity London to Paris bicycle ride organised by Action Medical, many of the riders having raised sponsorship for life-saving heart organisations.

In the latter part of 2023 we filmed with the British Society for Haematology (BSH) and CSL Vifor organised by Bright Event Management. This was a discussion between healthcare professionals hosted by Cardiologist Professor John Cleland.

In this video a an old gentleman recalls how his dental check-up helped him avoid a heart attack.

And here some of our heart and blood pressure graphics produced for a C4 TV programme can be seen along with some of our other science and technology graphics And not just the heart, we can produce animation for any part of the human body in realistic detail or in a graphic style for those of of a queasy disposition!

Planet Insect - the testing circumstances of Natural History production during the COVID-19 pandemic

Planet Insect - the testing circumstances of Natural History production during the COVID-19 pandemic

02 Feb

After two years working alongside Steve Nicholl's fantastic production team, we are all justly proud of the 3-part natural history series that was the end result. Especially when considering the testing circumstances of such a production during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are insects everywhere right around the globe - all manner of exciting and exotic locations to visit, but just as the production kicked off, so did a global pandemic. Time for a change of plan. We'd always planned some sequences in our dedicated macro studio, but now to keep the production schedule on track we need it to scale up big-time. If we can't go to the rainforest, the rainforest will just have to come to us…"

Steve Nicholls, Producer Planet Insect

The team built some ingenious sets on which insect wranglers gathered their six-legged talent to perform in front of state-of-the-art camera technology, capturing some unique and innovative scenarios never seen before in a natural history programme. At Olaus Roe we enjoyed helping make many of these scenes come to life through our CGI modelling and shot compositing. The finished series is available to view on Curiosity Stream and has been rather appropriately narrated by Star Trek's Kate Mulgrew, revealing some jaw-dropping facts about the Earth being inhabited by alien worlds right under our nose - insects.

"A busy schedule of studio shoots planned and executed with feature film precision kept the show on the road.
Between ingenious studio setups and intrepid scientists, we managed to stick to our production schedule despite the very worst that the pandemic could throw at us."

Steve Nicholls, Producer Planet Insect

View the trailer for Planet Insect here