The cat is out of the bag, we can finally give you a sneak peek of what we have been getting up to the past few months. We just wrapped up on a quirky CGI/live action comedy pilot titled ‘Imaginary Mary’ for Sony and ABC. Imaginary Mary is based on an idea from successful writing duo Adam F. Goldberg (Breaking In, The Goldbergs) and David Guarascio (Community), and was directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum). It centres on Alice (Jenna Elfman), a confirmed bachelorette, who has her life turned Upside down when she finally meets the love of her life – a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when Mary, the slightly unhinged “imaginary friend” that Alice created as a child suddenly reappears in her life to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family.
With the Egg team on location in Vancouver in March, the footage was brought back to our studio in Dublin where all animation and vfx was produced. We worked very closely with Patrick Osbourne (Feast, Pearl) the creative force behind the project to bring Mary from paper to screen. What started out as little more than a sketch developed over 2 months into a fully rigged, furry CG creature. Our talented artists led by Liam Neville (The Avengers), John Huikku (Lord of the Rings, Wreck It Ralph), Federico Radero (Underdogs), John Roberts-Cox (Avatar, Harry Potter) and Glen Southern (Penny Dreadful, Sky UK) developed Osborne’s original character into a sassy, foul mouthed sidekick. Together with an international crew of over 40 artists they went into overdrive on shot production with over 110 shots, complete with dynamic fur and at UHD resolution, in just 8 weeks.
With the extremely tight TV pilot schedule, we knew we needed to adapt a new innovative workflow to be able to deliver in time. Investing heavily on expanding our infrastructure, on top of our existing CPU render system, we assembled a new pipeline that utilised GPU rendering. Doing this allowed us to increase our rendering power by 5 times. This in turn allowed faster iterations while maintaining quality and delivering beautifully rendered shots for our clients. We are extremely proud of our work on this project. With a series scheduled for Autumn on ABC we can’t wait to see what she get’s up to next.