Framestore Brings Kevin Bacon’s Dreams to Life for EE and Apple’s Newest Campaign


EE and Apple have partnered with Saatchi & Saatchi and Framestore to deliver their latest campaign, Dream Big, starring Kevin Bacon.

Directed by the acclaimed Noam Murro, co-founder of Biscuit Films, the spot leverages Framestore’s VFX capabilities and the specialized grading skills of Jean-Clément Soret of acclaimed sister company Company 3 to showcase the new iPhone 14.

The spot shows Kevin Bacon living out three of his wildest dreams: headlining a rock festival, drifting in space and speaking at a presidential rally. Either way, Kevin’s surroundings are larger than life, whether surrounded by a seemingly endless cheering crowd or the unbounded expanse of empty space. No matter where he is, it’s the new iPhone 14 that grabs Kevin’s attention and takes center stage regardless of his dream.

Saatchi & Saatchi have teamed up with Framestore to bring this joint project between EE and Apple to life. Having worked on several Kevin Bacon campaigns in the past – including the stunning “A Close Yet Far Shave” – ​​the studio was excited by the narrative and the ability to create more complex scenes for this latest iteration, which features the studio Commissioned for development is a trio of sprawling worlds that explore the inner workings of Kevin’s mind in a magical dream sequence.

Framestore’s team was led by Matthew Thomas and Ed Mykolaitis, who led the 2D team and CG team, respectively.

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“We did CG and effects in Houdini, created assets in Maya, composited in Nuke, graded in Baselight, and used Flame for the final mastering,” says Matthew Thomas. “Being involved early on in the project allowed us to streamline the process, coming up with concepts before production had even started, determining the look and scale of each shot, figuring out what was possible, and communicating it all to the production crew. “

One element of the campaign that required special craft was the audience during the festival and rally scene, which had to represent 20,000 people – a big jump from the 50 extras on set. Matthew Thomas explains, “We took individual sprites filmed by the actors into a Nuke Particle System before creating a geometry that we could repopulate the crowd on and finally stitching the panels together. To avoid repetition, we filmed each actor for 30 seconds while they performed different moves, from cheering to clapping, using different clips for variety.”

Ed Mykolaitis comments on the space sequence: “Kevin Bacon was originally shot on set in a space suit, sitting in a swinging podium chair; However, we wanted more control over each element, so we replicated the shot with VFX and ended up doing everything in CG except for Kevin’s face.”

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He adds, “Framestore has a wealth of experience in cinema, particularly in space, that we were able to draw on to create a sequence worthy of the big screen. To accentuate the feeling of space, we manipulated the lighting to reflect the harshness of the sun, while adding light movement to enhance the sense of weightlessness and complement the scene’s dreamlike quality.”

To make the iPhone 14 shine, Framestore conducted a technical stills shoot with the participation of a creative director from Apple. Matthew Thomas explains, “We wanted the phone to look its best in the campaign, so we worked with Apple’s creative director to precisely match the lighting to the conditions used in their stills shoot and paying attention to every little detail to ensure we fulfill its potential.”

Due to the partnership with the Post, the project required clear communication between Framestore and the production team. Matthew Thomas comments, “It was amazing to work with so many collaborative people – Saatchi & Saatchi and the creatives were amazing. Our director, Noam Murro, had worked on several Apple projects and was able to convey exactly what the brand wanted. We also worked closely with DOP Fabian Wagner [House of the Dragon] from the beginning to have enough time to prepare the concepts for such a large-scale vision.”

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Ed Mykolaitis adds, “We really appreciated the incredible footage we received from Noam and the production team – it allowed us to truly show our craft at its best. Kevin Bacon is a star too – it’s not an easy task not to be pretending and feel like you’re being cheered on by thousands of spectators!”

The campaign will run across TVC, online and socials.

FRAME MEMORY

LEADING PRODUCER: Alexia Paterson

VFX SUPERVISOR: Matthew Thomas

CG LEADER: Ed Mykolaitis

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Kamen Markov

VFX SUPERVISOR: Jules Janaud

VFX PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Chloe Dunn

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Conor Garnet

FLAME: Andrew Salter

ASSET-LOOKDEV/MODELING/TEXTURING: William Fiorentini. Patrick Paguio, Jonathan Watkins

RIGGING: Jack Beynon, Nathan Clark

TRACKING & LAYOUT: Oliver Cordwell, Zoe Woods

ANIMATION: Jessica Kersey-Preston

CFX: Jack Hubbard

DMP: Cedric Profit

PAINT & ROTO: Joe Forder

COMPARISON: Jyoti Tiwari, Giso Spijkerman, Sam Meisels, Michael Baker, and Mark Yfantidis

VFX EDITORS: Micah McLeod, Humberto Reynaga

US SCREENER: Sean Dollin

COLOR: Jean-Clement Soret, Company 3



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