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One Strange Rock

Visual Effects

Moonraker were commissioned as lead creative partner to collaborate with Framestore’s Television Department on the intricate and thrilling CG sequences for this ten part series for National Geographic.

Produced by Nutopia, with Executive Producer Darren Aronofsky, the series takes the viewer on a journey exploring the wonder and awe-inspiring stories that make up the unique and fragile planet Earth.

The series was hosted by Will Smith and guided by an elite group of astronauts who have a unique perspective on earth.

Moonraker were also commissioned to develop the overall series style, creating a brand guide for the series covering off all areas of VFX. We combined a palette of magical, organic, spectacular and sci-fi effects which operated across our 4-key worlds to reveal the planet’s interconnected life-support systems in all their strangeness.

The key challenge was to develop a style to visualise both micro and macro elements of life that cannot be seen with the naked eye, for example in the episode ‘Gasp’ we helped to explain the process of transpiration, depicting water’s journey from the rain forest floor, through the trees and into the clouds. In the ‘Shield’ episode we created views inside and outside our planet, revealing how life on Earth is protected. Our numerous VFX sequences illustrated the deadly radiation given off by the sun, the atmosphere, weather systems and planetary core.

From the magnetosphere surrounding earth to the inside of a coil of DNA, we created a look that felt as though it could have been captured in camera. We achieved this by using a combination of CG elements with real purposefully shot FX elements by specialist Chris Parks to create a very organic and optical feel to the visual storytelling.

”It was a fantastic project to work on and to collaborate with Framestore, Nutopia and Darren Aronofsky. The visuals across the whole series are stunning and we are proud that Moonraker has played such a part in that” – Simon Clarke, Creative Director.

Key Credits

Broadcaster: National Geographic
Production Company: Nutopia
Executive Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Jane Root
Series Producers: Nigel Walk, Arif Nurmohamed
Directors: Graham Booth, Nic Stacey, Oli Twinch, Nat Sharman, Chris Riley, Nick Jordan, Alice Jones
VFX Creative Director: Simon Clarke
VFX Creative Lead: Graham Stott
VFX Producers: Jon Grafton, Scott Metcalfe
3D Supervisor: Tom Downes