The Mill Crowds Reel 2020
“The Mill has a rich and decorated history of working with CGI crowds, from the Oscar winning VFX work for Gladiator to Frank Budgen’s iconic PlayStation Mountain, to the spectacle of Nike ‘Write the Future’, through to more recent campaigns for Adidas, Under Armour, Sky Sports, and the latest promo for Run the Jewels. We were the first to use the Massive crowd system on a commercial and have continued to refine, improve and produce the best crowd work out there ever since.
With sports arenas in lockdown, we have been in conversation with broadcasters around the world in regard to how CGI can complement their output by combining a real-time CGI solution with the broadcast cameras to enhance the viewing experience. The technology exists – it’s a virtual studio but on a massive scale.
We have to be mindful though, of what message using CGI crowds sends out. Are we saying major sports can do without the real fans? To be clear, and speaking as a Wolves fan with a season ticket, the fans are the bedrock of all major sports. It’s what makes spectator sport so exciting. For many, sports stadiums are our modern day churches, a coming together of communities who sing their hymns and go away stronger from having witnessed an event together. So any solution should respect the current situation we find ourselves in and look to enhance the occasion, not just try to replicate what we are now missing.
With that in mind, we have already seen some innovative ways in which clubs and leagues have attempted to engage with fans. Expect this to develop further: be it through avatars, virtual fan hangouts or fan controlled crowd noise.”
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