Lipton 'Be More Tea'

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Making its television debut during the Oscars, here's Lipton's great new Muppet-infused commercial by adam&eveDDB and Biscuit Filmworks director Noam Murro, which sees Kermit on his way to meet Miss Piggy in a New York City teeming with Animals.

It was Framestore's job to turn just seven Animals into hundreds, plus plenty of set extensions and unseen finishing touches, delivering both the 60 and 90 second versions in just over three weeks.

VFX Supervisor Ben Cronin attended the shoot at the NYC Lot at Universal Studios with our New York Head of 3D, David Mellor. "We had the amazing Muppet team from Disney," said Ben. "Bill Barretta was the team captain and had great advice on how to make the best of each scene. The team of puppeteers absolutely blew me away with their instant humour, timing and patience.

"The Muppets themselves were always in character. "Kermit tried to eat the disto laser every time the focus puller was getting distance and Animal would take notes from the 1st AD in character without a moment's hesitation. They made it a very entertaining shoot, along with hilarious, lengthy, improvised takes that had the whole crew in stitches. After the shootwe set about populating the shots with hundreds of Animals, multiplying him differently depending on the shot.“

Some needed large CG crowd simulations, while others just had small out-of-focus CG crowds filling the background. Most of the shots involved multiple layers shot on blue screen on the NYC lot along with a background. Some sequences were shot with repeated camera moves, while others were shot with the Muppets locked off and walking on the spot such as in the Midnight Cowboy shots at the beginning.

"We filled out the shots with CG animals for the background and mid-level characters," says CG Supervisor Charlie Bayliss. "We had one initial asset with various costume changes and props, from Tourist Animal to Businessman Animal to Policeman Animal. We also added extra New York cabs and Animal drivers into the cars."

Overall it was a great team effort from Framestore and it was brilliant working with adam&eveDDB and Biscuit, as well as Kermit and co!


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