Gatorade | Dwyane Wade: “3 is the Magic Number”

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill

Gatorade celebrates Dwyane Wade’s career with this found footage tribute spot, featuring music by John Legend. Inspiration is drawn from School House Rock, for those old enough to remember. Lots of clean-up and creative problem solving, thanks to legal.


Nike Basketball: “Bring Your Game”

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: Wieden+Kennedy (Portland)
DIRECTOR: Rick Famuyiwa

Nike loves their long-form commercials, which tend to play like short-films. I’m never quite sure how to classify them, because they’re a little of both.

Anyway, Nike’s “Bring Your Game” is an all-star celebration of basketball’s greatest players, as four kids travel across the country in search of their favorite player. This lends itself to all manner of self-mockery and humorous parody, as each player exaggerates their quirks and perceived eccentricities.

At five minutes in length, there’s quite a few shots that required various forms of clean-up and augmentation, all invisible to the average person, exempting perhaps, the holographic Anthony Davis.

There’s too many shots to list individually. But a few stand-outs come to mind. I tackled the KD dunk sequence, with removal of windows, furniture and wall fixtures, as well as a poster image replacement that the kid with glasses receives. Both the front image and the back color needed to be swapped, proving for some tricky tracking and re-integration.

There were a few day time shots that needed to be switched to night, due to continuity issues. The most challenging was the sequence with the kids boarding a bus on a busy afternoon street. Everything needed to be roto’d and color corrected, and in some instances, replaced.

And then there were a number of LeBron James courtside shots that required crowd greeking. In other words, if it wasn’t LeBron or the kids, then none of the audience could be recognizable. This was handled through face replacements, focal tricks, or median blurring, depending on what worked best for the shot.

I also managed the conform, which was a bit more challenging than usual, due to its length, and the constantly revolving editorial revisions.

Full Credits

Nike: “KD”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor

This Nike spot for Kevin Durant’s 2013 branded athletic shoe is more of a mograph advert than anything else, relying on stylized motion, integrated graphics, and abstracted backgrounds. But the one aspect I was immediately drawn to was the shoe being filmed practically.

The shoe itself is positioned on a turntable, shot at high speed from multiple angles and using choreographed camera moves. Much of it was storyboarded. But room was left for improvisation, both on set and in post. And that’s the part that appealed to me most.

Editorial took the tempo to a certain degree, leaving the Flame to finesse the kinetic flow of the edit. Once that was in place, the CG team could start on the abstracted bending basketball court background, animated to reflect the versatility of the shoe’s enhancing performance.

Compositing required rig removal, roto, and the integration of CG backgrounds. Occasionally, on a selected take, the shoe went out of frame, necessitating a 2D rebuild of the missing parts.

2D text layers were tracked to the shoe’s movement.