Brand film

Cutting edge and cruelty-free – charity brand film calls out animal cruelty with CGI

Press release

Global charity, World Animal Protection wants people to question the many ways we exploit and profit from animal cruelty every day without a second thought, as it launches an emotive 60 second film this World Animal Day (4 October).

Big names in the film making business have collaborated with World Animal Protection, as it launches its ambitious new film which forms part of a global brand campaign. Visual effects and content creation studio, The Mill use cutting edge technology to create computer generated animals, including photo-real performing elephants and a lion caught by trophy hunters – unbeknown to the untrained eye. With the advances in CGI this film demonstrates that there is no need to exploit animals in the film industry.

The film takes the viewer on a journey showing how animals are used for sources of entertainment, for ‘sport’ or commodities exploited for profit. It begs the question: ‘does the life of an animal means nothing at all?’ How have the lives of animals e become increasingly devalued?

The film involves a host of renowned industry leaders who all share a passion for the cause. Those involved were:   

Filming and concept: All Mighty Pictures – winners of the prestigious, The Drum Design Awards Grand Prix for WWF’s ‘The Eye’

Editor: Sam Rice-Edwards, known for his work with John Lewis

Music: Accomplished composer, producer and celebrated performer, Nils Frahm

Post-Production: Award-winning creative content studio, The Mill.

The 60 second film will be shown on screens, including TV and cinema across the UK, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Georgie Bradbury, Global Head of Marketing at World Animal Protection said:

“This film sends shivers down my spine and makes me unbelievably proud to be working for World Animal Protection at such a crucial time for animal welfare.

“People around the world are really beginning to wake up to the suffering that we, as humans, are inflicting. This film captures the essence of that exploitation, and I hope it will spur many to join us to speak out against animal cruelty and end it once and for all. Animals deserve a life worth living.”

Mark Harbour, Creative Director at All Mighty Pictures said:

It is a sad reality that animal cruelty is always a result of human actions - we felt we should turn the camera on ourselves and really question how we as a race can act so appallingly to other creatures.

“I’m thrilled with the film and really proud of the team who brought it all together with such passion and dedication.

Mike Chapman, at The Mill said:

“It was really inspiring seeing the teams we were working with and their passion for animal welfare. We worked closely with All Mighty Films and World Animal Protection to ensure we captured the reality of the cruelty, using real life references (that were often hard to watch) we created a fully CG elephant with photo-realistic muscle system and animation to perform a handstand, and vignettes showing distress and panic.

“It proves CGI can be used to alleviate the need to use real animals in front of the camera. We are really proud to be part of the team that has created this film and helped tell these stories.”

Anthony Dickenson, Director at All Mighty Pictures said:

“There are some things in life that are simply unfathomable. Animal cruelty is one of them. The more I researched, the more saddened I became about what we are capable of doing, but also more determined to make a film that could make a difference. I think lack of awareness is one of the greatest challenges. I hope the film will go some way to addressing this.” 

Filmed on location in South Africa with actors who worked with representations of the CGI animals featured, using a variety of techniques to create the reality:

  • The lion was filmed using a large soft stuffed toy, then the CGI version was added afterwards
  • The elephant was constructed entirely by CGI, using a clown to gain authentic reactions from the crowd
  • The dog fighting scene is the only scene that features live animals. The dogs are professionally trained and were filmed individually, with the footage layered to recreate the effect of dog fighting. An independent animal welfare expert remained on set.

Over the past 10 years, VFX techniques and technology have advanced considerably. The Mill has been at the forefront of these developments, with multi award-winning productions such as the SSE advert which featured a photo-real 100% CG orangutan. This wealth of their experience meant that all the CGI animals look authentic.   

The film launches worldwide on World Animal Day, 4th October, as part of a wider campaign to ensure that animal welfare is no longer niche but is instead recognised as a fundamental global issue.

To find out more, visit:


Notes to the editor:  

Further quotes

James Bamford, Colourist at The Mill said:

“The overall look for grade needed to feel gritty and real, to further convey WAP’s powerful message. A filmic grain was added to enhance textures and I paid particular attention to the animals, ensuring they were front and centre of each environment.”

Sam Rice-Edwards, at The Assembly Rooms said:

“Moving people to feel something in such a short space of time can be a challenge, but with such an emotive subject in this project, we knew it would be doable. The plight of animals is a message that needs to be shared, and I am so grateful that I could be part of a production that helps give animals a voice."

About World Animal Protection 

From our offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, UK and USA, we move the world to protect animals. During 2018 we gave more than 3 billion animals better lives through our campaigns that focus on animals in the wild; animals in disasters, animals in communities and animals in farming.

About All Mighty Pictures

All Mighty Pictures is an award-winning production company that creates stories and films to help give voice to charities and organisations that work to protect our environment and the animals that live within it.

About The Mill

The Mill is a visual effects and content creation studio collaborating on VFX, digital and design projects from the advertising, games and music industries. We partner with the world’s best agencies, ground-breaking directors, creative firms and visionary brands.

With almost 30 years of insight, we pride ourselves on forming partnerships built on creative excellence and cutting-edge technologies.

Georgie Bradbury, Global Head of Marketing at World Animal Protection said: “This film sends shivers down my spine and makes me unbelievably proud to be working for World Animal Protection at such a crucial time for animal welfare.

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