Creative in association withGear Seven
MPC & 4Creative Team Up for Black Mirror
Post Production
London, UK
Second series of Charlie Brooker’s satirical mini-series


True to their long-standing creative relationship with Channel 4, MPC were involved right from the outset of this project. They worked closely with director Neil Gorringe and producer Shananne Lane from pre-production to help mould the overall feel of the films. The ads are promos for the second series of Charlie Brooker’s satirical mini-series Black Mirror, exploring the dark side of modern society. 
The shoot took place in South Africa, with the long and complex script executed in a short amount of time and only a week to carry out the VFX. The most challenging VFX scenes included the dream sequence, the repetitive factory setting and the huge dust cloud that sweeps through the street at the ad’s climatic end.
This spot required a unique approach on the VFX team’s part. The challenge was to work with the director to tie the stories together, whilst keeping a deliberate uncomfortable disconnect, reflecting the confrontational nature of the program. MPC VFX Supervisor Michael Gregory explained that this was a fun new challenge for the team, he went on to say “It’s not everyday you get to mess things up!”
VFX detail….
The team was lead by Michael Gregory, who has a long-standing relationship with Neil and 4Creative. Michael, who was the VFX Supervisor on shoot in South Africa, said, “It was great to work with 4Creative again after the success of series one. It was another awesome script – with a lot of different VFX required as ever and we had a lot of room to be creative, contributing our ideas to Neil.”
“One of my favourite parts was the dream sequence”, Michael explains. This is the scene where a woman’s face breaks up into puzzle-like ‘glyphs’ – an important symbol used subtly throughout the program. The MPC FX Studio designed the motion graphics and the film was then completed in 2D.
The factory scene was created from footage of people shot on green screen. This was composited together to create the mirrored, staid production-line effect and the background was created with matte painting.
One of the largest areas of the project was the huge dust cloud that engulfs the street and the people in it. Michael said, “This was created in CG and it was the most complex and time consuming part of the VFX. We shot this footage before Christmas so that we had maximum time to work on this scene. The crowd replication was composited and we then worked on the reflections and shadows of the cloud. The team made use of technology developed for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, worked on by MPC Film.”
The ads are to be aired on Channel 4 and in cinemas from Wednesday 22nd January.
Production Company: 4Creative
Director: Neil Gorringe
Producer: Shananne Lane
VFX Producer: Pedro Pinto
VFX Supervisor: Michael Gregory
VFX Team: Alex Cernogorods, Vivekananthan R, Johan Decker and Bernat Amengual
Grade: MPC
Colourist: Jean-Clement Soret
Edit House: Final Cut
Editor: James Rosen