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April 11th, 2017
The Mill’s Windmill Street Studio has been transformed into a snapshot of the year’s sweetest seasonal advert, Netto's 'The Easter Surprise', for a four-day long install in the lead up to the long weekend.

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The installation brings to life the narrative and characters of Netto’s latest campaign, created by Jung von Matt and Mill+. The team took on a highly inspiring creative script to explore the origins of the Easter bunny, and this year's Windmill Street Studio Easter Installation takes inspiration directly from the spot.

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The building has been dressed akin to the woodland setting from the ad itself, with throws of green leaves and hedging adorning the windows, each lightly dressed with flowers, birds, and patterned eggs to weave an underlying air of magic among an enchanted woodland setting.

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Ensuring magic reaches every corner of Windmill Street,  a host of cleverly thought-out gifts, treats, and activities are being offered over the week. A pop-up from FINKS rustic-deli will take place on the Tuesday between 2pm and 6pm, while Master biscuiteers BKD will make a grand return on Thursday for a drop-in workshop between 1pm and 4pm.

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Seasonal Hot Cross Bun Stations will find their way to each floor mid-week, while baskets of mini-eggs will be replenished throughout the building for those inevitable afternoon chocolate cravings. Additionally, a ‘Spring-Greens Smoothie’ and an appropriately-named ‘Easter Surprise’ tipple will be on offer in The Loft over the four days.

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The Mill’s London Studio is more than just a nod towards this year's most prolific Easter ad, but rather an inspired spring-woodland setting which harbours the feeling that magic could happen at any moment.

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Netto's 'The Easter Surprise' tells the tale of a hen and rabbit who give birth to an adorable young rabbit, who inherits the unorthodox ability to lay colourful easter eggs. Working closely with highly skilled set designers, the Mill+ team created a custom-built forest set for a series of adorable hyper-real, animated creatures to inhabit. The characters were then seamlessly embedded into the enchanted world, and viewers taken on a journey through an enchanting and heart-warming story. It is this very narrative that has been used to inspire the London Studio's Easter decorations.

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Mill+ Director Jimmy Kiddell explains, ‘I have a love of old fairy tales and spent a lot of time watching animated features with my kids, so when so when Jung von Matt approached us with this quirky script I knew we could make something special.

We knew the characters would be created in CG but their location provided a different challenge. I have a fondness for puppetry and worlds with unusual scales so the thought of building the interiors and a forest in a studio was too hard to resist.

The dense and fast paced story provided a great opportunity to explore a full range of emotions in the animation performance and I couldn’t be happier with the delivery from the animation team.

The rendering and compositing is also superb and the level of detail and technical challenges were executed with a great sense of enthusiasm from all the people involved.

I'm very proud of the finished result and everyone's efforts to make it the charming curiosity that it is.’

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Dörte Spengler-Ahrens, Executive Director and Partner at Jung von Matt explains, 'The Mill understood where we were heading and co-operated with us in an inspiring way.

The strength of this story is that it touches on so many universal themes. That’s why we worked very hard to tell it in the most universal way; without dialogue and through the power of pictures.’

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And Jimmy Kiddell again, 'The plethora of characters, settings, and story points meant this project resembled the scope of a short film. Right from the beginning you could feel everybody got really excited. With just three days the shoot was insanely challenging, but the sets looked awesome and we had a few magic moments which meant everything pulled together in the end.'

Mill Head Colourist Seamus O’Kane explains, 'The intricate detail of the sets and the astoundingly subtle character animation are obviously crucial but designing the mood and atmosphere of this world and having that move sympathetically to the story was of paramount importance.

We were working on the colour design before the characters were present so the final result represents a refinement of ideas and processes and a sharpening of intent.

A wonderful project to be involved with.’

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#HappyEaster from The Mill.