Premiering during the Oscars, “The Box” was an action-packed story imagined by a little girl and set in a futuristic world. The film was one of three shorts from Walmart that were all directed by women; Nancy Meyers and Melissa McCarthy also directed Oscar spots for the brand. All three films were part of Walmart’s partnership with Women in Film; an initiative that supports up-and-coming female filmmakers who receive funding to create, produce, and distribute short films.
“The Box” revolves around the brand’s signature blue shipping box and explores the events after a Walmart delivery arrives at a young family’s house. Taking place in a fictional world in the child’s imagination, characters include an alien monster and a spaceship captain - Mary J Blige even makes a star appearance as the Evil Commander. All the environments are created from inside the box, with the young girl herself playing all of the characters.
The film is associated with an enormous amount of talent. Director Ree Dees is nominated for an incredible four Academy Awards this year, with Mary J Blige nominated for two, Production Designer Hannah Beachler nominated for one, and Costume Designer Colleen Atwood having four awards under her belt already. DP Rachel Morrison has also made history by becoming the first woman nominated for cinematography at the Oscars.
MPC worked closely with Anonymous Content’s Dee Rees to realize her vision of creating an epic sci-fi world. Vadim Turchin, VFX Supervisor at MPC, said: “It was great working with Dee and we all had absolute trust in her concept. We had an amazing opportunity to use our talents to create a whole new world and a new character – the monster – turning it into something emotional and action-packed.”
Grae Revell, Lead Animator at MPC, added: “Being able to create creatures like the giant alien monster with tentacles is why we work in VFX; it allows us to channel our inner child. Creating new worlds entirely from scratch also enabled us to be really creative, giving life to new environments such as outer space and inside the hive.”
The creation of “The Box” spanned across multiple MPC studios, and MPC graded the film. Matthew Loranger, Executive Producer at MPC’s New York studio, said: “The project was a global one and what we accomplished was amazing. We partnered with our London studio and leveraged our Global resources. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
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