Cannes Lions


CIRKUS, Auckland / AIRBNB / 2015

Case Film






Crafted by a team of dedicated model makers and designers, this spot for Airbnb takes the viewer on a train ride through a 852 sq. ft. miniature world to show that when using Airbnb's services, travellers make the world a little bit smaller for themselves.


Over five weeks a team of 30 model-makers and artists hand crafted an 852 sq. ft. miniature world around a model train track with 60 hand-made houses inspired by real listings and 96 figurines.

Our camera was mounted onto a custom built model train and everything was shot in-camera without any computer-generated imagery in a single, 60- second take playing against the scripted voice over.

We thought it’d be cool for the environments to change in scale; traveling from a miniature landscape into a bigger scale interior, and at times these different scales even overlap. The frame is naturally split by the railway track, creating a symmetrical aesthetic.

The hand/home made approach utilises out of the box mechanical transitions to take the viewer from one environment into the next.

All transitions were hand operated and had to be incredibly coordinated. We had nine different people doing several jobs at once, running around trying to get ahead of the train and fold things speed up, tilt things over or rotate scenery.

Set building, derailment fixing, station training, speed management and filming were constantly perfected with all parties finally agreeing on Take 42.

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