NFL | Super Bowl LIV: “The Next 100”

NFL: “The Next 100: Super Bowl LIV”

NFL: “The Next 100: Super Bowl LIV Teaser: Hot Dog Cart”

NFL: “The Next 100: Super Bowl LIV Teaser: One Take”

NFL: “The Next 100: Super Bowl LIV Teaser: Aaron Donald and Joey Bosa”

NFL: “The Next 100: Super Bowl LIV Teaser: Jugs Machine”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: 72andSunny
DIRECTOR: Max Malkin

How do you top last years’ NFL Super Bowl entry “The 100 Year Game,” which featured just about every NFL star player your could think of?

You not only do the same, but you take it on the road, cross-country and coast-to-coast, in a game to end all games.

This year’s long-form NFL spot for Super Bowl LIV features a young boy, playing football in a rural town, who decides the field just isn’t big enough, and opts to keep running past the goal and beyond. Along his path, he encounters numerous NFL vets and pros, urging him to “Take it to the House Kid.”

When he finally arrives at the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, the filmed spot segues into a live broadcasted segment of the boy, and a crowd of young football fans, entering the stadium, delivering the ball for the game kick-off. The finished spot spliced in the live portion for subsequent broadcast.

“The Next 100” was a massive project, at 2.5 minutes in length, with upwards to 100 effects shots, 20+ unique social deliverables, and a little under a week and a half to finish it all. The team was large, lead by The Mill’s Adam Lambert, with numerous senior artists working as fast as possible to deliver the project early enough to allow rehearsals for the live televised segment. To top it all off, none of us was really quite sure if it was actually going to work.

As I did for the previous year’s “The 100 Year Game,” I primarily handled all the social deliverables for “The Next 100,” four of which are included above. These featured shots from the long-form spot, as well as unique takes, and additional or extended shots. Some of my shots ended up in the long-form. Some long-form shots ended up in the socials. And whenever I had downtime, I picked up additional work from the long-form.

It was a big, high-speed juggling act that required everyone to be in top-form from start to finish.

As is common with these NFL spots, clean-up was abundant, from unlicensed signage to t-shirt logo removal to all that subjective stuff that makes shots look better. There was a fair share of plate retiming, and the subsequent paint-work that comes with it, as well as greenscreen comps, split-screens, matte paintings, etc.

On my end, I also had the usual finishing tasks that come with social deliverables, including alternate edits, subtitling, supers, color corrections, shot repos, and pan-and-scan treatments for various aspect ratios, all specific to the given delivery formats.

Full Credits

Gatorade: “Moving the Game Forward”

ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
DIRECTOR: Max Malkin

Gatorade moves the game forward with this athletic showcase from all sports disciplines.

Although mostly invisible, this spot had a tremendous amount of work done on it, from CG stadiums and crowds, matte paintings of various worldwide locations, the addition of trophies, some of which weren’t allowed to be photographed, literal ring bling, and all around uniform clean-up. I don’t think there was a shot that wasn’t touched and retouched.

I contributed numerous odds and ends to this spot. But my two largest sequences were Lionel Massi and Elena Delle Donne.

The former required an entire rebuild of the shot, due to client dissatisfaction with the plate’s original photography, which was shot on greenscreen. This included a CG crowd and stadium, more photographers, camera flashes, confetti, the alteration of security uniforms, and a cleaner, shinier trophy.

The latter needed crowd replication, stolen from alternate takes, and multiple handheld face posters of Delle Donne to replace the practical ones shot on the day. Both tasks were tricky, thanks to the dynamic photography, the barrage of camera flashes, and the frantically waving posters, which all needed to be hand tracked.

I also did some crowd replacements for the football shot in the rain, as well as enhanced the ring bling, and tidied up the end shot uniforms.

Fiat 500 feat. J’Lo: “My World” | “Elegance”

Fiat 500: “My World”

Fiat 500 Gucci: “Elegance”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Big Block
AGENCY: Doner Michigan
DIRECTOR: Max Malkin

Fiat 500 made waves when they brought on Jennifer Lopez to be their spokesperson in 2011. It was kind of a coup. Back then, she went by the more streetwise abbreviated moniker of J’Lo, which works well for this particular campaign. Also, rumor has it, she got five of these things when she signed on. I wonder if she drove any of them.

Anyway, with this pair of spots, I can definitely confirm that she drives two, since technically the Gucci model is its own thing.

For starters, “My World” capitalizes on J’Lo’s Bronx origins, and the inspiration it provided to rise to the pinnacles of her immensely successful career.

A majority of the work involved sign clean-up (due to clearance issues), camera shadow and reflection removals, exterior car revisions, due to the EU car being used instead of the US, speedometer adjustments (i.e. a full gas tank, the proper speed limit), and of course, J’Lo’s beauty work, which was unsurprisingly nuanced and specific.

Also, an EU version of this spot was produced, via CG and 2D fixes to the car. Revisions included removal of wheel reflectors, white side mirrors instead of chrome, different license plates, and a white dash and steering wheel instead of a black one.

Thanks to the Gucci branding, the second spot, “Elegance,” moves uptown, with J’Lo again waxing narrative about the city’s lasting influence. Except, this time, the down-to-earth streetwise world gets swapped for the style-minded environs of high fashion and hip nightlife.

The spot is structured visually from afternoon to evening, with color grading to match. This includes adapting day-for-night Fiat running footage, accenting the afternoon sun with glints and flares across the environment’s buildings, and sexing up the night streets with bokeh flares from headlamps and street lights.

In addition, much like “My World,” there’s the typical clean-up and beauty work. This involved removal of camera reflections from the Fiat’s glossy black hood, street and storefront signage that didn’t receive clearance, and unwanted cones, cops, and people in the streets. And of course, there’s the obligatory J’Lo digital makeup and facial tucks.