A Halloween look at our haunted past in visual effects
At Halloween we are reminded of the scary (and often gruesome) effects our clients have challenged us with in the past. These have included eerie floating spirit balls illuminating caves as they make their ghostly way through the passages. Dimensional rifts tearing gateways into the afterlife, peeks at burning scenes of hell, ghosts, vengeful zombies, demons and demonic door knockers, death by various sharp implements and the accompanying blood. Oh the blood...
We enjoy working with the film producers in the challenge of making these scenes believable within what is quite often a modest budget, and they are always a lot of fun to make if you're not too squeamish about the outcome. It's also always great to later see these vfx shots in context in the finished film, when they really make their proper impact within the final edit complete with the popcorn-dropping jump-scare sound effects added in!
Mr Bond, we've been expecting you...
This year sees a multitude of events, tv programmes and products celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 1st James Bond film Dr No.
Back in 2010 we were helping EON films celebrate an earlier anniversary with their release of a series of hardback books. We produced a short animated promo that was rather appropriately 007 seconds long.
CGI Trucking with Goodyear
We have enjoyed filming OTR (off the road) vehicles for Goodyear in the past, including the huge haul trucks that run Goodyear tyres. Haul trucks are gigantic off-road, rigid dump trucks specifically engineered for use in high-production mining and heavy-duty construction environments. In the past we have filmed these in their natural environment in a quarry, each loaded with 100 tonnes of limestone. With giant trucks and rocks the size of cars on the move, this dangerous environment is a no-go zone for pedestrians, and so our drone cameras, go-pros and telephoto lens were ideal tools here.
This time around, the kit wouldn't need a deep cleaning from quarry dust afterwards, as we were asked to help out from the comfort of our studio with some CGI modelling. Tyres for these trucks are very, very expensive and are constantly monitored remotely using special Goodyear technology inside the truck to keep each truck running at maximum efficiency. Each hour a truck is down during maintenance is money lost in the quarry, and so monitoring can head-off potentially expensive problems. Fitting this kit to different types of OTR vehicle for use in such a hazardous environment needs to very secure, and so we worked with the Otrovez Agency in Bristol to supply intricate yet clear CGI instructional imagery to help engineers fit this monitoring equipment. An interesting CGI challenge for us, and having now been through the intricate technical side of producing these images, could probably confidently fit these sytems to the real truck ourselves!
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - 1926 - 2022
It is with deep sorrow that Olaus Roe joins the country in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On this occasion, we thought we might share some photos of when Queen Elizabeth herself was also behind the camera lens…
As well as her Majesty’s love for taking photos with various Leica cameras, she would often use a 16mm cine film camera to capture some moments of her travels.
Top right : Here her Majesty uses her 16mm Bell & Howell camera in Nepal in 1953 while King Mahendra offers shade with an umbrella!
Bottom left: Filming the arrival of the escort ship HMNZS Black Prince with a Kodak 16mm camera, while in the South Pacific en route to Fiji, aboard the SS Gothic, December 1953
Bottom right: Queen Elizabeth II with another 16mm Bell & Howell camera attending the Three Day British Horse Society Trials at Badminton, 9th April 1965
A short walk from our Clifton studio, one of the world's oldest zoos closes after 186 years.
Bristol Zoo Gardens, run by the Bristol Zoological Charity, opened in 1836 and the fifth oldest zoo in the world, closed for the final time on Saturday. Having welcomed 90 million visitors since it opened and its conservation programmes helping save many species from extinction, we feel privileged to have a small part in that long history when we filmed their television commercial back in 2006. The zoo offered six degree courses and had nearly 400 students studying alongside the zoo, having links to both Bristol University and the University of the West of England. And although the zoo is closing, students will continue to receive their education with the team, because in 2024 the Clifton site's sister site - The Wild Place Project, is to be opened and expanded as it takes on many of the Clifton animals. The Wild Place is a conservation park in South Gloucestershire featuring better access, much larger energy efficient buildings and with space for the animals to roam more freely.
With the rapid rise in fuel prices being a serious consideration in travelling to meetings now, the continued value of virtual meetings that began during the lockdowns has been noted by many companies and we have continued to help to add some polish and editing to full length lectures in the medical field organised by Bright Event Management, which can be quickly distributed to global meetings or watched at a later date.
It’s a familiar story though, as globally a sea change has highlighted that whilst it was a necessity during lockdowns, remote working and video conferencing can be a highly beneficial to businesses. There are some amazing stats floating around lately that really bring home how much of an impact this change in working has had.
With the easing off of COVID-19 travel and work restrictions, we were itching to get out shooting on location. Recent work filming for the BBC with the new DJI Mavic 3 aerial drone has meant we could do just that - despite storm Eunice making an appearance on the shoot day meaning we had to postpone one of the aerial shoots.
The Mavic 3 has a number of new innovations, including shooting in 5.1K Apple Pro res format through its 4/3 Hasselbrad camera and omnidirectional obstacle sensing, which our qualified drone pilot Andy reviewed as “Almost boring to fly’ as it is so stable when using!
Working with the BBC and Shackleton Films, Olaus Roe helped to produce a short film on the exciting new multi-storey F51 Skatepark in Folkestone. Presented by Matt Willis from Busted and featuring Olympic pro-skater Jordan Thackeray, aired on BBC One at 7pm on the 21 March, this short film celebrates this amazing facility and everything it will contribute to the local community.
Specialist camera and amazing Mavic 3 drone work from Olaus Roe. Directed & Produced by John Shackleton
A large part of 2022 for us so far has been working on visual effects and graphics for an exciting 3-part Natural History TV series on insects. Termites, Dung Beetles, Emperor Moths and more - it’s been a fascinating time, learning something new about the natural world with every shot we work on. There will be more on this once the programme goes out…
The new 4k projector arrives. Very exciting, what shall we watch first?