As the client loved the concept and the characters, Joseph got the green light to start pre-production almost directly after winning the job and began to assemble his team. “I've been making commercials for five years now, you slowly build up a group of people that you in enjoy working with and that you get on with,” says Joseph. Each art director then puts together their own crew, and the DOP does the same. “It tends to fall together quite naturally and quickly.” Because he wanted to go down the avenue of minimal set design and a theatrical route, he also appointed fellow Blink artist and friend, set designer Kyle Bean, Joseph work as a production designer and expert puppeteers from War Horse were brought on to the project.
Because of the huge number of sets and puppets that needed to be created, the build (including testing materials, sculpting clay models, casting, painting, and adding and testing mechanisms) happened at the same time as the script and storyboards were being fleshed out. During this part of the project Joseph’s roll was to jump between the production team, which was headed up by an art director and included the puppet-makers (tailors, welders and sculptors) and production designer, the film crew and the client. Joseph recorded every step of the process – from character designs and the puppet mechanisms to how they would walk and jump – using photography and film and presented them to the client. He created 16 documents in total, five of which he presented to the client in person. “Good communication is such a big part of a client relationship,” says Joseph. "As soon as a client doesn't feel like they're involved then they start digging their heels in and rightly so – they are the ones spending all the money.”