We are very proud to have teamed up with Jordan Brand and AKQA Shanghai to deliver an epic naked-eye 3D billboard experience featuring Jordan basketball athlete Guo Ailun as part of their new Beyond campaign, which is intended to fuel the self-belief of the new generation of athletes and encourage them to take their own leap of faith.
In the 30sec spot, directed by our own Barry Greaves, we worked closely with the Jordan team and AKQA to tell Guo’s own BEYOND story. In this film, the volatility of social media, the pressures of defeating your own demons, as well as your on-court opponents are showcased as bold, dark and scary manifestations that appear as both physical and mental barriers.
The tone of the visuals were designed to add a fear factor to the challenges Guo faces. A lack of self-belief can allow our inner doubts and demons to manifest into something fearful. During the film we witness how Guo’s inner drive enables him to rise above each challenge, one by one.
Naked-eye 3D billboards are something of a phenomenon. They are visually immersive sociable and engaging. The viewing perspective also provides a unique and personal viewing experience. With the full collaborative support of AKQA and Jordan we always wanted to create something large in scope that fit the story we wanted to tell. Something that was not limited to a predetermined, confined space as many 3D billboards are.
“The idea of creating a 3D naked-eye billboard was very exciting from the start, especially considering this story doesn't follow normal convention. Whilst most billboards have static cameras with all angles matched to the perspective of the viewer, they can become predictable. With this film we wanted to set a new precedent by breaking these rules and making something that is truly unique.
At the inception of this project, our ambition at AKQA was to transcend the common expressions of naked-eye 3D experience. While many focus on the visual spectacle, our distinction is rooted in the narrative depth. True innovation springs in finding partners who not only understand our vision but amplify it. A heartfelt thanks to the Mill for their relentless commitment, fusing art with science, to bring our shared vision to life,” Jon Ip, Executive Creative Director & Managing Director of AKQA Shanghai.
We were excited to work with a brand which is always pushing the boundaries,” said Kat Tan, Creative Lead & Head of Art of AKQA Shanghai. “From the day we received the brief, we knew it will be challenging. We wanted to create a unique action-packed 3D billboard experience that hasn’t been done before.”
Barry Greaves, Director
This approach, however, did pose some technical challenges as our VFX supervisor and head of compositing Yan Dai mentions.
“This film is different from ordinary naked-eye 3D projects, as the focus is on ensuring the integrity of the storytelling while maintaining the effectiveness of the 3D effect. Prior to the shoot we crafted a previz that enabled us to understand what the key 3D moments would be. These viewing angles were replicated carefully during the shoot, selecting the most suitable lenses for each shot to ensure maximum impact. During shot production the VFX process remained fairly traditional, but we combined Unreal Engine, Cinema 4D, Maya and Houdini to ensure we were as nimble and flexible as possible. ”
-Yan Dai, VFX Supervisor and Head of Compositing
The film was screened in Chengdu, Shenyang, Beijing and Shanghai.
Agency: AKQA SH
Production Company: The Mill SH/Mill+
Director: Barry Greaves
VFX: The Mill
VFX Supervisor: Yan Dai, John Svensson
EP: Jamie Loudon
Producer: Violet Shao
Colour: The Mill
Colourist: Nicola Gasparri