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How Do We Keep Telling Stories If We Can’t Shoot?



INFLUENCER: Alt.vfx and T&DA's Tyrone Estephan on replacing live action with CG during the pandemic

How Do We Keep Telling Stories If We Can’t Shoot?

We're at a space in time where the realities of life are hitting us hard, in every industry. Of course, in the world of advertising, many live action shoots are not possible in the current Covid-19 environment. 

But with an audience currently at home and spending a lot of time in front of televisions or computers, any brand marketer worth their salt must see an opportunity to keep a whole lot of eyes on their product. But how, if shoots aren’t currently possible?

In order to keep creating, we can come together and utilise the different possibilities to keep the world turning. In our world of CG and creative design, we can help ease the strain on our agency and production partners, and work together to provide a solution that fits for any particular brand. 

In the VFX world, we’re used to working with agencies, directors and production companies to create full CG shots. Even now, we’re having discussions about pivoting existing creative to have a more design led approach, and we’re always here to have those conversations with any partner looking to explore the possibilities. 

Across our group of companies, we have many cool show reels covering different facets of this kind of work. Here at Alt we find that the old adage of ‘show, don’t tell’ always works best, so I’ve put together a whole host of references to give LBB readers an idea of what might be possible in the time of Covid-19. All these images are inspiring and wonderful, and offer clues on how our partnerships can keep connecting.

CGI Characters

In some cases, it’s not always possible to capture elements in live action - and that’s where CG can do the heavy lifting. It could be a character, an environment, or indeed a whole scene - in CG, anything is possible. CG characters can often be more attention grabbing / visually interesting for a script, and provide a scalable and flexible solution over a live action puppet or model. 


Motion Capture Technology

Motion capture technology can be used to assist in directing animated characters, making the process more familiar and less daunting for clients new to CG or clients who would still like to utilise a traditional live action director. Of course, we can also offer up animation directors from our in-house talent pool. Artists can also animate without using this technology, but often using it to form the base can speed up the process. 

Good Examples of Full CG Work

If a live action component is no longer possible, we can help find a creative solution to the brief using CG instead.

Motion Design

Motion design has always been a cost effective way to get a message across in advertising, we have a group of amazing designers at Alt.vfx and our sister company New Holland Creative. New Holland Creative has created some of the best design in motion coming out of Australia in recent years. See the work below.

Creating When You Can’t Shoot: Commbank - Protectors

To bring the work of CommBank’s security teams to life, Alt.vfx built a microchip city where rogue fraudsters are taken down in-between giant processors and glowing data streams, on behalf of M&C Saatchi and Collider director Daniel Askill. Built almost entirely in CG, this atmospheric spot was released in 2019. 

Watch the spot and the VFX breakdown for insight on how it all came together.

Creating When You Can’t Shoot - Kosciuszko

On a more modest budget, this fun spot for Kosciuszko Beer showcases how simple motion design can provide a brand with an entertaining and memorable new brand positioning. 

Creating When You Can’t Shoot - Emerging Tech

When a large audience is on mobile, brands sometimes have to think of new ways to reach and engage. T&DA - our emerging technology arm - can design and create experiences using new and emerging technology, from traditional AR filters to interactive games, and much more. As Facebook / Instagram creative partners, the filters we have created have gathered over 60 million impressions and counting – highlighting a potentially huge global reach for any brand, and for a minimal investment compared to a traditional live action TVC. 


As the list above shows, despite the current limitations we all face, there are still a world of possibilities open to us in the creative industry. Feeling inspired yet?

Tyrone Estephan is executive producer at Alt.vfx + T&DA
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Alt.vfx, Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:09:56 GMT