Red Urban's new campaign for the Hudson's Bay Company entitled "Country of Adventurers" puts the spotlight on Canada's Heritage. The first commercial in the series profiles John Rae, a Scottish doctor and Arctic explorer who learned from the Inuit how to survive in the harsh conditions of Canada's North. He worked for Hudson's Bay for more than two decades starting in 1833, exploring the Northwest Passage and, at one point, finding out about the fate of the Franklin expedition by speaking with Inuit hunters.

Mark Paiva of Saints Editorial, had the task of combining our Narrator, Les Stroud "Survivorman" who was shot in real time, with the story of John Rae which was shot in slow motion.

Directed by David Tennant, the footage was shot on top of the Delphine Glacier in British Columbia. One of the challenges was that the story called for blizzard conditions. This is hard to come by when shooting in the summer! Alter Ego took on the challenge of digitally creating the snow storm.

VFX supervisor Andres Kirejew approached the creation of the snow with 2 methods. First, alter ego shot live action snow elements in studio. Secondly, Andres digitally created snow in Houdini. The next challenge was that compositing white snow over light and snowy images is a delicate balance of getting the white levels just right. Senior Colourist Eric Whipp and VFX Supervisor Andres Kirejew decided to approach this project in a groundbreaking way. Instead of compositing in a VFX suite, all the snow was composited in the Baselight Colour Suite so that each layer could be controlled and graded in relation to the background image. This meant that each layer of snow could be manipulated interactively and the amount of snow for each shot could easily be decided on in relation to the shots around it.

AGENCY: Red Urban
PRODUCER: Anna Tricinci
ART DIRECTOR: Alicia Outschoorn
COPYWRITER: Peter Gardiner

PROD HOUSE: Untitled Films
DIRECTOR: David Tennant
DOP: John Houtman

EDITOR: Mark Paiva

COLOUR AND VFX: alter ego
VFX SUPERVISOR: Andres Kirejew
CG SUPERVISOR: Gene Dreitser
2D ARTIST: Andrew Thiessen
3D ARTIST: Andres Kirejew


Andres Kirejew | Visual Effects Artist
Toronto, Canada