London Symphony Orchestra - Found

London Symphony Orchestra

Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano

Live Action - Technical Direction - Post Production

Working in collaboration with Superunion, we created the visual campaign for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 2020/21 season, entitled ‘Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano’.

In his fourth year with the LSO, Sir Simon Rattle leads a two year exploration of music written in the first half of the 20th century. The title refers to a phrase used to describe the febrile atmosphere in Germany in the 1930s, as Europe lay on the cusp of profound social, cultural and political upheaval.

With such an emotive theme, Superunion wanted to create something unexpected, something that would reflect the tension and volatility of the new season. This meant shifting away from the CG approach of previous campaigns and embracing practical live-action effects to create a dramatic, explosive and tension-fuelled abstract film.

“Collaborating with Found Studio has seen us take our idea beyond our expectations”
Stuart Radford
ECD, Superunion

The Process

Motion capture | Fabric | Pyrotechnics


Conceived for both film and print, the resolution was of huge importance. We opted to shoot on the RED Helium camera at 5K so as to capture as much detail as possible.

Filmed against black, from a dramatic top shot, we worked with dancer Ella Robson Guilfoyle, to interpret the motion capture data of Sir Simon Rattle’s baton into an expressive dance sequence. Costume designer Karen Avenell was commissioned to create a custom-made silk dress to further accentuate Ella’s movements.

The sequence would have been impossible to perform in real-time, so we broke it down into 19 individual ‘bite-size’ movements. These were then edited together again in post-production and re-timed to precisely match the motion capture data. This ‘base’ layer of fabric was then processed with a bespoke echo trail, to create a fiery flame-like effect.

In addition, we filmed an array of pyrotechnics and practical effects at high speed which were later composited into the sequence to enhance the volcano effect, culminating in an epic final shot.





London Symphony Orchestra



Produced and directed by


Creative Studio


Creative Director

Mike Sharpe

Art Director/Lead Motion Designer

Ryan Locke




Stuart Radford

Account Director

Mairi Murdoch

Senior Motion Designer

Richard Pizey

Senior Designer

Sam Ratcliffe

Senior Designer

Erik Brattested


Thomas English


Ella Robson Guilfoyle


Olivia Culotta

Costume Designer

Karen Avenell

Colour Grade

Caroline Morin (The Wash)