Magic Of Christmas B&Q Stopmotion Social Campaign

ANIMATION cinematographer

After a brief conversation with the marketing and social media team at B&Q it became apparent that we needed to get our skates on! Some budget had been freed up last minute. This meant I was tasked with generating a number of ideas to support the Christmas campaign. I proposed 5 but being such a fan of stop motion I pushed for that one. In the end, we compromised and cut down the brief a little as we only had one studio day for animation in the end. I would have a day to light and dress the set and a puppet to turn around in a few days!  This was certainly a very ambitious project with a short deadline and fast turnaround.

I was able to borrow a bay window set for this last-minute shoot as there was not really enough time to start from scratch. I think it actually worked out rather well. I place a few Christmas trees outside our fake window and dappled them with a blue Go-bo through a trusty Source4. Finishing off with a little fake snow from guys at Snow Business in Gloucester. The idea was to go a bit over the top on the colours for this shoot to aid with the idea of fantasy.

“Bring the magic to life”


I really wanted to incorporate a product called the “Shelter Fairy” that was in store at Christmas. Some of the profits were going to help the homeless charity Shelter. This was a stuffed toy, so far from ideal for animation, luckily I had my puppet maker on standby to do some surgery to our fairy.

Working with Tom who I had roped in as FX supervisor we put together a simple storyboard. We were limited to how many shots we could achieve and really wanted to maximise the time on set. I ran two sets side by side flitting between the two on the shoot day.

Stopmotion DOP
Stop motion animation

I need to be pretty mindful of time so really need to keep it simple. I had planned to light the set with practicals as much as possible to keep it simple. I also wanted to play off the cold and warm hues against each other as much as possible and see how far I could push this. I’m really like the way that a wooden floor (and water) can be backlit causing a cool reflection and I chased this on as many shots as possible. What was especially fun with this shoot was the fact that despite it being stop motion animation with a small puppet I had to actually work on a full-size set. So no need to break out the Altman micros this time, the smallest lamps I used were the four Dedolight DH4s this time.

Phil m Powell DOP

Client: B&Q
Agency: Mambo Media
DOP: Phil M Powell
Director: Phil M Powell
Storyboarding and VFX: TCM