The Woolmark Company created this visually and emotionally captivating short film to show how wool clothes are made, and ultimately to help grow the profile of Merino wool amongst consumers.
The film follows the journey of some wool – from farm to fashion – through all the manufacturing processes that transform a Merino sheep fleece into a wool garment, educating consumers about the provenance of this fine fibre and the artisanal value of Merino wool products.
The Woolmark Company chose London-based creative studio NEON Pictures Ltd for the production of the film due to the company's strong visual style, photo-realism capabilities, exceptional camera angles and narrative.
Neon came up with the idea of introducing into the film some hero fibres, which become lost at the very beginning of the process, separated from the rest of the fleece. As we follow our hero on its journey, we see its fibres subject to a series of chance events which mirror the larger scale manufacturing processes we see in the background.
The lost fibres become the story's character, inanimate but charming; the manufacturing processing become the challenges and trials our hero must overcome to achieve its goal. There are close escapes for our hero and there are moments of the absurd.
The viewer is kept guessing what will happen next, watching to the end to see if our hero is finally reunited with its family – lost and found?
The story was crafted by NEON Pictures using a combination of photo-real animation and live action film.
The transition between the two is seamless enabling results that are photographic, yet optically impossible.
The camera focuses closely in on our hero as it travels in pursuit of its family through the mill; the main backgrounds are somewhat distant and obscured, intensifying the viewer's attention on the hero.
The incidents that happen to our hero directly reflect the larger scale processes that are happening in parallel to the rest of the wool.
And the visuals are sometimes abstract; the processes present but not completely explicit: the pins in a dressmaker's pin cushion become a fantastical forest, the tailor's chalk appears gigantic and threatening as it draws down across the fabric.
Take a look at the brief behind the scenes video produced by NEON Pictures that provides a quick breakdown of some of the techniques it used to create the film.
Epic music and sound design created by London-based Box of Toys Audio helps heighten the incredible visuals.
Although the film is somewhat dream-like, NEON Pictures filmed at historic mills in Huddersfield, England and Biella, Italy to ensure an authentic look and feel.
The shots of the Merino sheep were filmed in Australia – the country renowned for growing the finest, and most, of all wools in the world.