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Mercedes Lion

Production Company

Rattling Stick


Daniel Kleinman


Johnnie Frankel



VFX Supervisor

Simon French

Asylum Supervisor

Simon Allen

Asylum fabricated the lion mask worn by actor Craig Russell, as a placeholder for CGI compositing in post-production.We worked closely with VFX company Framestore to fix the head in exactly the position wanted by the director. As much as the rig doesn’t appear in the advert, the visual information helped lighters and compositors to create a realistic interaction with the CG head.

We initially 3d scanned the actor and then digitally built the rig around the accurately sized data. Producing plans for the metal work and trimming Framestore’s 3D lion, we then proceeded to create the frame for the lion shell to attach to. The face could be removed so the camera could capture Craig’s subtle performance and be translated into the final animation. In order for extras to find the correct eye-line when interacting with the lion, eyes would be popped into the frame.

The chest fur had to be especially treated to transfer onto a lycra vest. This would ensure that when the neck turned, the fur would naturally stretch and not fold like clothing.

After a day of testing the set-up, we trimmed the hair and airbrushed black into the back for the finishing touches.