When we were approached by Anglepoise late last year to produce an advert for the launch of their lifelong guarantee, our faces lit up. Having the opportunity to work for such a distinguished British institution was something we were all excited about.

The brief, titled ‘Abandon Darkness’, was to bring to life the brand’s manifesto whilst showcasing Anglepoise’s incredible portfolio of lamps from all eras. We knew early on that we would need to work differently for this production, building a full-sized set in our Margate studio, something we had never done before.

The whole process began with Julien, our in-house designer and 2D animator, who was given the task of designing the set for the workshop where the commercial would be animated. In order to capture the scale, a 3D render of an empty workshop was created. Julien then began to design the layout of the room with the various lamps and furniture, giving the design it’s character and authentic aesthetic. This final concept then became the blueprint for the set build.

With the approved design in hand, it was then time for the set builders to make the concept a reality. A three-walled room was assembled complete with window, a (polystyrene) brick wall and even ‘outdoor foliage’ all within our studio.

Now that the workshop was built, it was time to dress it. With the help of a stylist, the small details that were created in the concept art were brought to life. Old tools, model cars and lots of springs were among the props that were brought in. Many of these props were lent to us by Anglepoise themselves with one of the most exciting of these being the original blueprints of some of the first lamps they EVER produced, dating back to the late 1930s. Truly incredible.

Arguably one of the most important aspects of the advert was the lighting. We called on the experience of our highly skilled lighting director for the coordinated illumination of a hefty twenty-seven lamps. Almost every lamp you see throughout the animation needed to be wired up to a lighting control rig in order to allow each of them to be dimmed and brightened individually as needed. The full effect of all of this hard work can be seen in the final shot, the only shot to have every lamp illuminated at the same time.

Shots were planned out in advance via a storyboard, with the most complicated of these being the opening shot. The ‘track-in’ that was planned had one technical hitch. Due to the position of the camera during the shot, the track itself was visible for the entire camera movement. The solution to this problem? Build a fake table over the track. This ‘table’ was artfully comprised of a selection of classic blueprints from Anglepoise which perfectly covered the motion control rig track. Nifty huh?

The final step was the animation itself. Due to the intricate design of Anglepoise lamps, they were fairly easy to animate. They were able to hold their positions with almost no rigging. Great care was taken to give each type of lamp its own individual personality. The most attention was placed upon animating our ‘hero lamp’ which appears on the central desk. This was the only lamp that had to be synched up to the voice recording, so slight bobs in his moment were added in order to truly sell the idea that he was speaking to the audience.

The end result of all this amazing work is a fantastic commercial that we at A+C are extremely proud of and feel perfectly conveys the class and sophistication of Anglepoise.

The final film. Abandon Darkness.