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SURREAL WORLD
Surreal World is a visual effects and animation studio based in Melbourne, Australia. Founded as the creative studio of award-winning Melbourne artist, composer, animator, and filmmaker, John Francis. From beginnings creating animated short films, work for clients followed with music clips, TV commercials, TV series and feature films. The studio has been the sole vendor and creator of visual effects and animation for many highly successful and award-winning feature films and TV series.

The studio sets out to create the most cinematic and exceptional imagery possible while still remaining affordable, offering a full range of services from on-set supervision, 3D creature animation, environment creation, digital matte painting, and set extensions.

Surreal World operates both a visual effects services facility for the movie, television, and advertising industries, and an entertainment production studio developing a range of entertainment projects.



DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER COMMENTS

The complex Visual Effects required for Nowhere Boys made it an incredibly ambitious television series to produce. VFX sequences were demanded often to tight deadlines and with numerous changes. John Francis turned an arduous process into a meticulously executed workflow that produced results far exceeding our hopes (and budget!). John created the VFX and creature animation across all 4 seasons and the movie Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows. Each series contained between 350 to 700 visual effects shots with the last season (season 4) requiring a colossal 1800 plus visual effects shots. Through his VFX shop, Surreal World, John worked to create the whole gamut of VFX ranging from rampaging tornados and supernatural weather conditions, serpentine-like particle formations, magical elements and portals leading into alternate worlds, possessed animals and insect swarms, and an assortment of otherworldly creatures. John has a rare combination of exceptional skill and creative understanding, his dedication is well beyond the call of duty, and the technical quality of John's work is impeccable.
TONY AYRES
Executive Producer - Tony Ayres Productions



ODDBALL & RIDE LIKE A GIRL are both in the Top 30 all time highest grossing Oz Box Office films. Both had an extremely complex VFX component, which John Francis delivered brilliantly. John’s creativity is unquestioned and he is revered in the Oz Film & TV industry. Over many years he has provided incredible creative work on a range of projects we have done together. But ODDBALL & RIDE LIKE A GIRL had unique issues. Most of Oddball’s penguins were live action (John created our underwater penguins) but due to wildlife restrictions I had to build the penguins’ island in a studio and green screen about 400 shots. It was the home of the movie. Every piece of drama we shot on the film, which of course seems to dominate the shoot, was redundant if our island didn’t work. What John did to create a unique world on that island was brilliant, and a huge relief to me as Producer.

On RIDE LIKE A GIRL I was flying blind. The simplest job was face replacement to put our lead actress in numerous dangerous race conditions. That was risky in itself but John’s work was flawless. Worse though, I had constructed a horse racing shoot more ambitious than any movie previously. Key scenes had to be integrated into archival at four race tracks but the racetracks we needed to film at wouldn’t allow us on their track. So all our key scenes are shot on one track. John had to match light condition and locations. Imagine doing that through 26 horses’ legs moving at 60kmh. In both the above films, John and I collaborated on a huge number of pivotal scenes, that told a story and kept the audience in the story, not in the technology. He is highly intelligent and there is no challenge he can’t deliver. He is a story-teller first with a gentle nature. He is a nutty professor; is too reasonable and I love working with him.
RICHARD KEDDIE
Producer/Director



John Francis and Surreal World brought a wonderful creative eye and production rigour to the huge scale of VFX work on PAPER PLANES. The VFX exceeded all my expectations of what was possible, bringing alive sequences of the film with playful and inventive imagery that dove tailed perfectly into the film as a whole. I look forward to working with John again in the future!
ROBERT CONNELLY
Director/Producer - Paper Planes, Gallipoli (Mini series), The Turning, Balibo, Underground: The Julian Assange Story.



Surreal World provided outstanding VFX for High Ground - we absolutely loved working with John Francis who poured his creativity and technical excellence into the work to exceptional results.
MAGGIE MILES
Producer (Savage Films)



John Francis has worked on all six series of "A Place to Call Home". He's created many VFX of varying complexity, including removal of period references, digital creature creation, 3D matte painting and much more. John is a true collaborator, someone who can share your vision and then realise it accurately and realistically on screen. His work was consistently excellent and he was always willing to do whatever it took to make sure we were satisfied. No matter how difficult the request, how many times we changed our mind, or how tight the deadline, John always delivered the highest quality images with a minimum of fuss. I can recommend John and Surreal World unconditionally.
CHRIS MARTIN-JONES
Series Producer - A Place to Call Home



John Francis worked on the Visual FX's for my film "The Cup" which completed post production in January 2011. John was able to create a variety of seamless Visual FX's which have enriched the tapestry of the film. From straightforward production design enhancements to the reproduction of the key element, a spectacular horse fall that took the life of jockey Jason Oliver and everything in between, John did not fail to deliver on any of my requests. I would recommend anyone who reads this to have John show them the vast array of Visual FX's he created for "The Cup". Further they should take a look at his impressive 3D and animated demo reels. These speak for themselves and the creative talents of John.

I would not hesitate recommending John to anyone looking for a good Digital Matte Artist and Visual FX's supremo. I certainly plan on using John again on future projects.

SIMON WINCER
Director - Lighthorsemen, Free Willy, Young Indiana Jones, The Cup.


JOHN FRANCIS - VISUAL STORYTELLER:
The work of John Francis and Surreal World really speaks for itself. However it may help to know a little about the person behind this outstanding body of work. Based in Melbourne, Australia, award-winning animator, filmmaker, artist and composer John Francis, established Surreal World in 1995 creating animated short films and music clips. Since then, John has put his considerable skill and unique expertise to work, writing and developing feature film and TV projects. His work includes visual effects and animation for hundreds of projects including television commercials for global clients such as Coca Cola, Kelloggs, Duracell and Hewlett Packard to name just a few. John's work has also featured in numerous Australian feature films. Although John's work is out of this world, his approach to his work and his prices are very down to earth.

Whether it's for film, television, publishing, print, online or any medium, John constantly surprises and delights his clients with outstanding work they could never have imagined and never thought they could afford.

RON MATHER
CREATIVE DIRECTOR - IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS
(Twice Australian Creative Director of the year)




CREDITS
FEATURE FILM - TELEVISION


Blueback (2022)
- Feature Film

Rock Island Mysteries (2022)
- TV Series

Blacklight (2022)
- Feature Film

Love Me (2022)
- TV Series

La Brea (2021)
- TV Series

High Ground (2020)
- Feature Film

Between Two Worlds (2019)
- TV Series

I Met A Girl (2019)
- Feature Film

The Dust Walker (2019)
- Feature Film

Ride Like A Girl (2019) - Feature Film
- Feature Film

Nowhere Boys - Series 4 (2018)
- TV Series

At Last (2018)
- Feature Film

Wentworth - Series 7 (2018)
- TV Series

A Place To Call Home - Series 6 (2018)
- TV Series

Homecoming Queens (2018)
- TV Mini Series

Wentworth - Series 6 (2017)
- TV Series

A Place To Call Home - Series 5 (2017)
- TV Series

Home And Away (2017)
- TV Series

Lost Gully Road (2017)
- Feature Film

Nowhere Boys - Series 3 (2017)
- TV Series

Home And Away (2016)
- TV Series

A Place To Call Home - Series 4 (2016)
- TV Series

Barracuda (2016)
- TV Mini Series

Wentworth - Series 4 (2016)
- TV Series

Nowhere Boys Movie - The Book Of Shadows (2016)
- TV Series

Home And Away (2015)
- TV Series

A Place To Call Home - Series 3 (2015)
- TV Series

Oddball (2015)
- Feature Film

Nowhere Boys - Series 2 (2015)
- TV Series

Winter (2014)
- TV Series

Paper Planes (2014)
- Feature Film

Wentworth - Series 3 (2014)
- TV Series

The Killing Field (2014)
- TV Mini Series

Maximum Choppage (2014)
- TV Series

The Menkoff Method (2014)
- Feature Film

Wentworth - Series 2 (2014)
- TV Series

The Worst Year Of My Life Again (2014)
- TV Series

Nowhere Boys (2013)
- TV Series

The Turning (2013)
- Feature Film

Fatal Honeymoon (2012)
- Feature Film

Gallipoli From Above (2012)
- TV Documentary

Kath and Kimderella (2012)
- Feature Film

The 25th Reich (2012)
- Feature Film

6 Plots (2012)
- Feature Film

The Cup (2011)
- Feature Film

You And Your Stupid Mate (2005)
- Feature Film

Take Away (2003)
- Feature Film

Let's Get Skase (2001)
- Feature Film


SHORT FILMS:

Baby Elephants Day Out (1998)
(AEAF Award Nomination)

Tug Wilson (1997)
(AEAF Award Winner)

Caged Animals (aka - Flight Of The Birdcages) (1996)
(AEAF Award Nomination)

MUSIC CLIPS:

Don't Believe - Colin Hay (1998)
(AEAF Award Nomination)

Apple Eyes - Swoop (1996)
(ARIA Award Nomination)

Bohemian Rebel - Tall Poppies (1996)
(AEAF Award winner)

Imagination - Deni Hines (1996)


TV COMMERCIALS:

Banks Aren't Super TVC (2017)

2010 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show TVC

Series of TV commercials for the Port of Melbourne 2008-2009

2U TV Commercial

Bega Stringers - Animated TV Commercials
Out Of The Box TVC (Directed and Animated by John Francis)
Battering Sam TVC (Directed and Animated by John Francis)
Strung Out TVC (Directed and Animated by John Francis)
Agency: BBDO Clemenger Melbourne

4 Legs TV Commercial
(Directed and Animated by John Francis)
Agency: Cummins and Partners

PRINT CAMPAIGN:
Hewlett Packard Space Campaign
All modelling, design, and finished art by John Francis
Agency: DDB Singapore

Animation and visual effects spots for TV and cinema commercials and corporate special projects for global brands such as:
Aerogard, Airwick, Aleve, Band Aid, Coke Fridgemate, Chux, Devondale, Domaine Chandon, Dynamo, Electrasol, Finish, 4 Legs, Friskies, Fruity Bits, Gaviscon, GE Money, Handee Wipes, Handi Ultra, Harpic, Herron, Hippo, Honey Puffs, Lites Cookies, Milo, Mortein, NAB Shop, Napisan, Nurofen, Nurolasts, Ovaltine, Panadol, PhysiCAL, PineOCleen, Polyglaze, Radient, Reach, Red Bull, Reflect, Rexona, Rices, Soylife, Sprayfresh, Strepsils, Toilet Duck, Vitagold, Weetbix, Weis Bars, Yakult, Yo Plus, Zero Dark.