January 29, 2024
Hot-Shot Pilot Inspires Blue-Eyed Girl in ‘Starfield’
Game trailer directed by Merman’s Nicole Ackermann, VFX by The Mill.

For the live-action trailer for Bethesda Softworks' space-adventure game, Starfield, advertising agency AKQA collaborated with Merman director Nicole Ackermann, who is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and The Mill's world-class VFX team to create an otherworldly piece.

In the trailer, a young girl runs to see a pilot before he takes off to fulfill a mission. As she gazes at him in wonder and admiration, he gives her a patch to remember him by. When he returns after blasting his way through asteroid fields and visiting other planets, she's still there, hoping and waiting for his return.

“On the VFX side, we really strived to make sure that our work was grounded in reality and that we focused on using VFX to support Nicole's story ideas of exploration and hope and the relationship between the captain and young girl characters,” said Jimmy Bullard, creative director, The Mill.

The trailer is backed by an orchestral cover of Elton John's “Rocket Man.”

Bethesda Softworks' Starfield was released in September.



Client: Bethesda Softworks

Agency: AKQA

Production: Merman

Director: Nicole Ackermann

VFX: The Mill

Creative Director: Jimmy Bullard

Executive Producer: Chris Connolly

Producer: Katherine Miccio

Associate Producers: Stephen Dierks, Claire Stiefel

2D Lead: Ruairi Twohig

3D Lead: Ajit Menon, Karim Moussa

2D Team: Vi Nguyen, Varshini Kumar, Renato Carone, Yashvardhan Jain, David Forcada, Felipe Passarini, Ankit Mishra, Shaik Abdul Adil, Camilo Gutierrez, Ben Morse

Asset Artists: James Chan, Jemmy Molero, Quinn Thompson

Rigging Artist: Daishi Takishima

Animators: John Wilson, Sam Crees, Arsen Arzumanyan

Associate Production Manager (Mill India): Anjalika Jain

Animation Lead (Mill India): Aniruddhya Chang

Animation Supervisor (Mill India): Sukanta Chakraborty

Animation Artist (Mill India): Badireddy Sri Charan

FX/Sim Artists: Dave Barosin, Chris Wachter

FX Supervisor (Mill India): Biswajit Tarafder

FX Artists (Mill India): Kamaljeet Singh, M Kannan

Lighting: Arman Matin, Natasha Saenko, Mohammed Sinbaway

Matte Painting: Charles Lee

Matte Painting (Mill India): Gowri Sankar Velusamy D, Winnie Sharma, Mohan Rao, Paresh Kumar Swain

DFX Supervisor (Mill India): Sachin S Kadbane

Project Lead (Mill India): Redin Kumar M K

CG Asset Lead (Mill India): Nishant Kumar

CG Asset Artists (Mill India): Anchal Lahri, Brijul Venugopalan Nair, Dinesh Kanakaraj, Guntur Kamal Kepha, Jagdish Singh Yadav, Joydip Sarkar, Madhusudan Patel, Manukuru Manikanteswara, Prakhar Kulshreshtha, Pritika Sethi, Raj Sandeep Kadam, Ravishankar N, Ritika Das, Sandeep Kumar Yadav, Sandip Dhole, Sarjana Datta, Shahid Hussain, Sudalai Muthu Ramesh Pillai, Surendhar Stalin, Thiyagarajan, Guntur Kamal Kepha, Ram Yogeshwaran, Harsh Chaturvedi, Dinesh Kumar Lakshminarayan, Samir Solomon

Rigging Lead (Mill India): Garlapati Yeswanth

Rigging Artists (Mill India): Vivekkumar Shobhnath Pal

DMP Supervisor (Mill India): Gowri Sankar Velusamy D

DMP Artists (Mill India): Winnie Sharma, Mohan Rao, Paresh Kumar Swain

Compositing Lead (Mill India): Shaik Abdul Adil

Compositing Artist (Mill India): Ankit Mishra

Roto Leads (Mill India): Vikas Vikram, Kiran Jondhale

Roto Supervisor (Mill India): Kunal Bendke

Roto Jr. Supervisor (Mill India): Rohit Charde

Roto Artists (Mill India): Amit Chavan, Dayanand Sinha, Deepak Gupta, Harshad Rane, Imrojul Khan, Hrushikesh Tarade, Kamlesh Chauhan, Jegadeesan Velayutham, Pratik Prakash Sawant, Radha Kumari, Reddy Battula Durgarajesh Reddy, Sagar Adivarekar, Shaik Ravoof Basha, Shamim Zamir Khan, Shashi Sundarraj, Suhas Sitaram Jadhav, Tushar Suresh Bhat

Prep Leads (Mill India): Devappa Hadpad, Guthikonda Venkateswara Rao

Prep Supervisor (Mill India): Sugumar Selvaraj

Prep Artists (Mill India): Alex Johnsundaram, Anand Balvant Khawaskhane, Baljinder Singh, Dixit Kumar, Ritesh Patil, Prajakta Rajendra Nagarkar, Sagar Paswan, Tushar Tulsidas Burse, Shubham Pawar, Laxman Janardhan Pawar

Matchmove Leads (Mill India): Elangovan Ganeshan, Smijumon Viswanathan, Manoj Ravi

Matchmove Artists (Mill India): Asif Mohammad, Avaneetharan Karuppasamy, Bhushan Ghurade, Chetan Balasaheb Kadam, Dongili Varaprasad, Mubin Munaf Qureshi, Nallur Suhas Bhat, Nirgun Gawade, Paras Pareshkumar Shah, Sushant Lavhande, Tirupati Bhavani Shankar Derangula, Upasana Choudhary, Vedant Jagdish Mutrak, Verru Ramesh, Vijay Bapu Chavan, Vivek Yogesh Kamble, Vurukuti Siva Sarweswar

Music: Elton John “Rocket Man”

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