Meet Ben Smith, Executive Creative Director at The Mill in New York and Mill+ director.
Ben started his journey at The Mill as a 3D artist and VFX supervisor back in 2002 and has since creatively spearheaded some of The Mill’s most recognizable work, such as Sony Playstation ‘Mountain’, Norfolk Southern’s ‘City of Possibilities’ and Coca Cola’s ‘It’s Mine’, which was named Spot of the Decade by Adweek.
Using his rich knowledge of VFX, Ben has carved a niche out of directing rich visual work that uses a combination of animation techniques and live action footage.
Ben’s latest creative endeavors have seen him travel from the Red Carpet to the Super Bowl 50th Anniversary with a range of projects that span traditional advertising, title sequence and short film format.
Here are some of Ben’s latest and greatest projects:
Ben’s title sequence and prologue for the new parody film Pride & Prejudice & Zombies uses an authentic visual narrative to present the film’s alternate universe, filled with a mixture of fictional and historical events.
In keeping with the Regency era in which the film is set, the prologue unfolds through a tunnel book, providing a theatrical stage for the fictional narrative to take place. Working with satirical newspaper cartoonist Martin Rowson, Ben and team transformed hand drawn illustrations into 3D animations, intricately rendered and paced to the prologue’s voice over narration.
For this year’s momentous Super Bowl 50, wherein nowadays the commercials are just as important as the game, Ben led a team of VFX artists to immerse themselves in the world of robotic design for Schick.
Reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster, with the added comic touch of a mundane bathroom setting, this epic dual of razors was brought to life using a range of visual techniques, with Ben and team working to craft a robot that reflected the slick and sleek features of the Hydro Razor.
Take a look behind the scenes of how the epic CG battle of razors was created:
‘You Just Wait’ is a celebration of 100 years of Boeing spearheading innovation and aviation, which chronicles a handful of the technological advancements Boeing has brought to the world since its founding in 1916.
“We wanted to invoke the feeling of human connection in a futuristic world — It’s that twinkle in a child's eye, a future engineer, a future inventor, a future guardian of some new technology that will make the world an even better place….And we end the film with that same twinkle, a child’s hope and aspiration for the future with the help of Boeing.” Comments Ben.
The futuristic spot imagines the possibilities brought about by another hundred years of innovation. The overarching message of the spot conveys a reassuring feeling that Boeing is looking after your future, growing talent and developing ideas that will help forthcoming generations...if you think that's amazing, then you just wait!
Ben’s most recent venture has led him into the world of short film, with the creation of Product Recall; an exploration of what happens when the real and imaginary collide, with the potential of tragic consequences.
The existential film, inspired by the longing of humans to answer profound questions about the origins and fabric of our universe, follows the story of a genius but flawed protagonist, whose mind deteriorates in search for the ‘God Particle’.
More information on the film can be found on the Product Recall Website, where you can keep up to date with the film’s latest news, award wins and online features.
Keep up to date with Ben's latest work here on his website.