Best of Stash 2023: VFX!

The art and craft of VFX never really gets the recognition it deserves. First, because the work is often meant to be undetectable and second, many still believe “it’s all done by computers.” Hopefully, this compilation helps right those wrongs.

Special shout out to The Mill and its teams in London, New York, Paris, and Bangalore for dominating this category in 2023 by supplying the post and VFX magic for three of the seven projects.

All these films were published in The Stash Permanent Collection during 2023 and are listed here in chronological order by the issue of publication.

Issue: STASH 159

French directing collective Megaforce and London VFX masters Electric Theatre Collective set a new bar for product demos with this witty VFX fantasy showcasing the 2x Active Noise Cancellation feature of Apple’s 2nd generation AirPods Pro.

Produced by Iconoclast thru TBWA\Media Arts Lab, the spot features a cover of “Where is My Mind” (off the Pixies’ 1988 debut album Surfer Rosa) by Zimbabwean-Australian singer-songwriter Tkay Maidza.

Issue: STASH 160

Italian director Alessandro Pacciani and the Platige Image VFX in Warsaw team unleash two minutes of fury and flash inspired by the new Lamborghini Revuelto and its 1015-horsepower hybrid V12 engine.

From the team at Platige Image: “We crafted 130 VFX shots for this spot, with dozens of them created entirely from scratch in CGI. Nearly 200 talented individuals collaborated to bring the project to fruition.”

Issue: STASH 160

With a wink to Pixar’s groundbreaking 1986 short film “Luxo Jr.”, the VFX team at The Mill in Paris and Bangalore create a curious CCTV camera character for this Peugeot E-308 spot directed by Mark Jenkinson at Movie Magic.

Michael Girod, CG supervisor at The Mill: “Our mission was to tell a love story between the camera and the new Peugeot. We treated it like a short animated film with a sympathetic story including 32 shots to rig and a unique and endearing character to create from scratch. A pleasure for a CG enthusiast!”

Issue: STASH 161

Airborne choreography’s moment in the spotlight continues with this charismatic piece of soaring surreality for French multinational teleco Orange by director Seb Edwards with The Mill providing the weightless VFX.

Produced by Academy Films and Wanda thru agency Publicis Conseil, the spot was shot by DOP Justin Brown in Slovenia and Carrera, Italy, and features UK dancer/actor Chiara Corbetta underscored by Lee Hazlewood’s 1966 ballad “Your Sweet Love”.


Issue: STASH 161

Following up on their fabulously coiffed bovine-riding-a-motorcyle spot from 2022, London’s Untold Studios delivers another VFX masterclass in CG grooming with this hang-gliding goat.

David Masterman, Deputy ECD at agency VCCP London: “Picking up from where our Highland Cow left off, we wanted to dramatize the unstoppable power of Virgin Media’s broadband with the story of a goat who leaves his stumbling herd behind to take to the skies in a hang glider.”

Issue: STASH 161

Combining Houdini and onset wire work, VFX boutique Artjail helps Anonymous Content director Patrick Daughters achieve an atmosphere “somewhere between Kafka and Pixar” in this ambitious spot for US healthcare provider Village Medical.

JD Yepes, partner/VFX lead at Artjail in LA: “During the concept phase, we examined and researched a wide range of factory settings and films. These included 1936 car assembly lines, airport luggage conveyor belts, distribution centers, and Amazon warehouses. However, the most pivotal references turned out to be the movies Monsters Inc. and Playtime by Jacques Tati”.

Issue: STASH 162

The Mill gathers a massive team of VFX artists to replace 418 live-action heads with CG golf gloves in this swinging party helmed by Riff Raff Films’ directing duo The Sacred Egg for Topgolf and their electronic driving range game venues.

From the team at The Mill: “This project was particularly challenging due to the number of head and hand replacements we had to do. In the end, we created 15 unique glove designs that we could change the color of according to the cast’s wardrobe.”
Watch all the Best of Stash 2023 Collections.