“THERE IS NO GREATER DUTY FOR ANY NATION THAN PROTECTING OUR PEOPLE AND OUR PLANET,” - UK PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON. That’s what he said.
Imagine drowning in a plastic sea of our own making. Being unable to surface, to breathe, due to the sheer weight and volume of our trash. Wasteminster is exactly that- a unique depiction of what would happen if the plastic waste the UK exports each day was instead dumped on Downing Street.
Voiced by two of Britain’s best impressionists, Jon Culshaw and Matt Forde, the animation is intended to raise a smile at the impressions of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, and to place the politician’s dummy-personas in direct conflict with the invisible consequences of their own actions and raise awareness of the plastic pollution crisis the UK is creating overseas.
By taking critical big data about humanity's impact on our planet and creating a visual representation, we lift the veil of a reality thus far unseen.
With satellite imagery, MNM™️ created a digital twin of 10 Downing Street to serve as the location for the commercial. Over 60 unique mannequin models were created, with special attention given to the Boris and Gove mannequins.
Using our virtual camera rig, we were able to work closely with the directors at Studio Birthplace, allowing us to organically find the best angles to portray each scene and retain that immediate natural creativity you find on traditional film sets. Using 67.7 million digital pieces of plastic, we choreographed and directed the plastic waste wave with the help of bespoke software and tools.
In total, the two minute film required roughly 14,600 hours of render time, or 20 months, to create the final shots. The CO2 emitted by our render farm was compensated for.
Residence of Downing Street
Gathering references of the political figures. Our artists sculpted versions of Boris Johnson, Micheal Gove all the way to Larry the cat mannequins in Zbrush followed by texturing in Substance Painter.
To achieve the instant recognizability, we had to find a balance between resemblance to the politicians and keeping the figures mannequin-like.
Over 80 unique mannequin models were created for this film in order to ensure there was a large crowd that did not look repetitive.
Downing Street, Wasteminster
We carefully studied references online to build an exact replica of Downing Street, especially # 12, 11 & 10 Downing buildings. We used Substance for most of the texture work except for the hero assets which required much higher resolution. For that, we approached it procedurally and traditionally, using good old curvature, AO & triplanners.
With 6 million views in five days, our “Wasteminster” concept gets the often social-media lauded tag of being “viral”. Vimeo’s Staff Pick, and shot’s Campaign and Ad of the week, The Greenpeace investigation spurred Turkey — where Great Britain sends 40% of its plastic waste export — to announce its ban on UK plastic waste imports.
BEHIND THE SCENE
Go ahead, take a peek at our wireframes. Avoid the plastic waste on the way out.
Thank you, to all whom we've crossed paths with on this magnificient work.
CG Production → Method N Madness™️
Executive Producer → Tan Wen Hao
Producer → Christian Fontaine
CG Director → Alex Scollay
Previs Artist → Kevin Chua
CG Artist → Abdul Rahman, Pilipino Reyes, Fabio Wasques, JiaJun Haw
Compositor → Simon ‘Duck’ Rafin
Concept & Production → Studio Birthplace
Directors → Sil van der Woerd, Jorik Dozy
Producer → Sean Lin
V.O. Boris Johnson → Matt Forde
V.O. Michael Gove → Jon Culshaw
Sound Design → Wavefarer Audio
Music → Onn San
Co-Production & Director Representation UK → Park Village
MD/Executive Producer → Tom Webb
Executive Producer → Adam Booth
Brand Partnership Consultant → Peter Myers
Recording Studio → GCRS London
V.O. Sound Engineer → Gary Turnbull