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Christmas at the Ho HO2!

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Kristen brings us the lowdown on her recent project working with the O2's designer shopping outlet to create a Christmas video with a difference. Find out what she's been up to below.


Kristen said:

One of the most satisfying aspects about what we do at Nomadic is taking an initial idea, and then using our expertise and creativity to turn it into a reality. Back in September, we were approached with the unique and exciting challenge of wrapping the O2 Arena up with a bow for Christmas! The answer was: yes! But the question we were then wondering was: how do we do it?

There was a lot of preparation and planning that went in prior to the shoot as there was so much to achieve in such a short space of time. We only had one day to film and two weeks for post-production including editing and animation, so we were racing against the clock!

This was our 2nd shoot at the O2 Arena (and our third for the client), so we were familiar with both the space and the client, which meant that we had a good idea of what we needed to achieve. Our approach to the pre-production remained the same, we wanted to ensure that we were upholding the same level of quality, so we hired a Sony Venice 6K camera to give us a dynamic range of colour, incredible resolution and multiple options when it came to aspect ratios. We were also aiming to raise the bar in terms of what we could achieve with visual effects.

For the bow, we decided that using 3D animation and tracking software would be the most effective way to create and place a bow on top of the O2 Arena. This in turn meant that we had to film a range of drone shots of the O2 at exactly the right angle at the right time of day. It is very difficult to get permission for any kind of drone filming in London, but our drone specialist, Luke, knew exactly what to do and planned everything out to a tee.

Inside the arena, we were filming at a time of day when it’s typically not very busy, which meant that we had to re-create what the shopping centre looks like when it’s busy! This saw us hiring 40 extras and dotting them all the way around the O2’s shopping outlet, the Icon. We then coordinated their movements to fill the emptier areas, both in the main thoroughfares and inside the shops, so that we were able to create the illusion of filming the Icon on a typical shopping day.

We also had multiple shops to showcase within the ad. To ensure that we maintained a premium look throughout, we had a crew of seven meticulously staging every shot with models, detailed lighting and choreographed movements. Overall, the shoot was very fast-paced and full of problem-solving, but very successful. On to the next challenge, bringing it all together and tying it up in a bow (literally)!

The finishing touches were a true team effort, starting with the editor assembling all of the best shots and creating the narrative. Then, the 3D animator went to work creating multiple mockups of different bow styles and colours to see which combination would look best. We liaised with the Icon’s marketing team regularly to decide on all of the finishing touches. After the bow style was chosen, we 3D-tracked the arena and placed the bow on top, then adjusted the textures and lighting to make it look realistic in the shot. Finally our in-house animator, Vlada, created the Tinkerbell-inspired sparkles. They take the viewer on a journey through the O2’s shopping centre, adding another layer of Christmas magic to the ad.

The completed ad has already received a great reaction, and it has been so fulfilling seeing it all the way through from the initial idea to the finished product. Check out the final ad below:

Get it touch to find out how we can put a little Christmas sparkle into your next video project!

Check out our latest Instagram post to see what we are working on this week.

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