BBC Radio 6 Music: how its latest ad campaign was made

You'll know doubt have seen the latest ad for BBC Radio 6 Music on the TV by now. Called "Where Extraordinary Music Plays," it shows off the rich variety of musical output available on the alternative station by using a magical musical animated tree which shows video clips of classic tunes past and present

The 40-second Where Extraordinary Music Plays ad is the work of Yves Geleyn of Blinkink / Hornet, Inc. - an animation director whose tactile worlds are created using an endless variety of animation techniques. Here, he talks to Computer Arts about the ad, his future plans and more...

Computer Arts [CA]: How did you get the gig to create the ad for the BBC? i.e. was it based on your past work? The studio's work?

Yves Geleyn [YG]: "The agency Karmarama approached my production company Blinkink who are partners with my NYC production company Hornet who co-produced this.

"Karmarama saw the film that I did for La Gat Lyrique. They felt I could offer something to this campaign so they asked me to pitch on this."

BBC Radio 6 Music promo by director Yves Geleyn

BBC Radio 6 Music promo by director Yves Geleyn

CA: What was your brief? And how did you come up with the idea that appeared in the final advertisement?

YG: "It started with this idea from the agency about a tree with different musical universes and a listener who climbs it to discover each universe. In the early stages, the spot was supposed to have just one projection on a flat surface.

"I thought it would be interesting to use this technique but apply it to 3D surfaces instead of on something flat and have this type of projection present throughout the whole journey but create for each universe a different mood.

"Beyond that, it was all about creating this atmospheric type of setting. The project was done in CG, but it’s really the lighting and projections that take center stage.

CA: Can you describe the process, how long it took, what you used to achieve it?

YG: "The first step was to look through BBC archives and get footage that would fit the different universes we came up with. It was actually pretty fun looking through all of the iconic show footage of band performances and behind the scenes type videos.

"Basically, we had to find footage that worked with the universe in mind, fit well with the objects we wanted to create in CG, and transitioned nicely from projection to projection. It then turned into a question of how to make all of these projections readable. Lighting design was the answer here.

CA: What were the most challenging parts of the project? How did you overcome them?

YG: "With all of the projections, the 3D animations, etc. There is a lot going on in this spot. Making the entire piece feel cohesive required some thought. It all had to be planned out meticulously. "Even though each universe had a different mood, the performance clips from BBC’s archives had to be carefully selected so that everything made sense when seen as a whole."

CA: What are you working on now? And what do you have coming up in the future?

YG: "I’m working on finishing a spot for Ben & Jerry's. There’s also a short film of mine that I’ve been working on inbetween commercial work."

CA: Tell us something we don't know!

YG: "Well, when I was seven years old, I always wanted to be a wizard baker. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it :-)"

You can see some other examples of Yves Geleyn's work on the Blinkink website.


  • Director: Yves Geleyn
  • Production company: Blinkink & Hornet Inc
  • Executive Producer: Jan Stebbins and James Stevenson Bretton
  • Head of Production: Greg Bedard
  • Producer: Cathy Kwan
  • Editor: RJ Glass
  • Project Lead: Arman Matin
  • Storyboard Artist: Bill Moore
  • Modelers: Javier Leon, Erwin Riau, Marty Geren
  • Rigger: JinLin Chin
  • Pre-Viz: Sean Thorpe
  • CG Layout, Lighting, Rendering: Richard Kim, Erwin Riau
  • CG Animators: Bill Burg, Sean Thorpe, Andrew Ortiz, Ed Chichik
  • Visual Effects Animator: Stephen MacKenzie
  • Lead Compositor: Alison Kocar
  • Compositors: Chris Green, Andrew MacFarlane
  • Agency: Red Bee Media
  • Agency Producer: Deborah Stewart
  • Executive Creative Director: David Buonaguidi
  • Creative Agency: Karmarama
  • Copywriter: Paul Bailey
  • Art Director: Russell Hendrie
  • Audio Post-Production: Grand Central
  • Client: BBC 6 Music