5 July 2021


Bringing the story of Regenerate Australia to TV screens was a true team effort. Come behind the scenes with us on set as we worked to bring WWF–Australia’s biggest campaign yet to life with the help of our partners and some innovative CGI.

Working with animals…and children

“They always say never work with animals or children, but sometimes they’re the best!” says Regenerate Australia TVC director Will Horne (Airbag). “We've got both in this commercial.” For WWF-Australia’s Conservation Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist-turned-actor Victoria Pilbeam, working on set with the talented youngsters taking part was a unique experience. “Working with kids made the shoot a lot of fun! They were laser focused actors when the cameras were on but in between takes, they were just excited to be out in the bush.”

Victoria Pilbeam with young talent at Regenerate Australia TV ad filming
Victoria Pilbeam with young talent at Regenerate Australia TV ad filming © WWF-Australia / Vanessa Barnett


When shooting the ‘wombat regeneration’ scene Victoria features in, the only animals on set were there long before the cameras were rolling. “What you won’t see in the ad, is that we spotted a mob of kangaroos, and we found and named heaps of different bugs and spiders,” Victoria laughs.

Most of the animals seen on screen were actually filmed on location at Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary in Barwon Heads, Victoria. “I think it was a pretty chill day for them because they're used to having people around,” says Jirrahlinga carer Casey Visintin of Beau the koala, Willywinx the wallaby and Lucky the wombat’s star turn. The animals were digitally transported into their scenes through the magic of CGI.

“Where the kid looks into the wombat burrow, that burrow is going to be completely CGI,” Airbag producer Martin Box revealed on set. “Obviously we can't get a camera in an actual burrow, and we can't build a burrow in this landscape cause it's, um, being regenerated itself”.

Recreating the heartbreaking 2019-20 Australian bushfires with CGI

To bring the viewers back to the tragic events that set Regenerate Australia into action, the post-production team at Airbag used the power of Visual FX. “The opening scene through that burrow, you'll see the fire that has gone through the forest. That will also be CGI”, Martin explains.

Regenerate Australia TV ad CGI
© WWF-Australia / Vanessa Barnett


“We all saw what those images of firefighters, stuck in those positions where they abandoned their vehicles and the fire came through,” Will says. “The ferocity of that would be very difficult to recreate practically. So using VFX, we can kind of really push it and get it to a point where it feels as terrifying as those images”.

Coming together to deliver a message with impact

For WWF-Australia’s Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes Darren Grover, Freshwater Creek farmer Matt Freeman and Victoria, the mission of Regenerate Australia is why they're proud to be real-life faces of the campaign.

Victoria Pilbeam= Matt Freeman and Darren Grover at Regenerate Australia TV ad filming at Freshwater Creek Farm
© WWF-Australia / Vanessa Barnett


“To me, Regenerate Australia is pulling together all these different strands of conservation work to help communities, wildlife, and landscapes to heal and to come back better from the fires,” Victoria says.

Regenerative farmer Matt believes regenerating Australia is about understanding the work ahead to achieve true conservation goals. “Australia has one of the worst rates of wiping out our native animals,” Matt says. “Regenerative farming is probably different to a lot of people, but to us it's about protecting the animals. It all makes a difference.”

“We've launched Regenerate Australia to raise awareness and really highlight the threats that our wildlife and our wild places are facing,” Darren explains. For Victoria, the ultimate goal is creating a greener, brighter future for Australian nature. “We want a future where more people get to experience the amazing places and wildlife that Australia has to offer.”

WWF-Australia's mission is to restore and regenerate areas of Sky, Country and Saltwater in ways that will allow nature to heal. Donate and join the community helping to regenerate nature by 2030.