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FRIEND Directing Duo Zhang+Knight Drive into the World of Commercials with Maserati

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The filmmakers flirt with a future magic that takes the viewer on a silky-smooth journey of precision, opulence and creative ingenuity

FRIEND Directing Duo Zhang+Knight Drive into the World of Commercials with Maserati

Directing duo Zhang+Knight’s has released a debut commercial for Maserati, challenging the luxury automotive market with an original and uncompromising aesthetic. The filmmakers flirt with a future magic that takes the viewer on a silky-smooth journey of precision, opulence and creative ingenuity.

Zhang+Knight are the latest prodigious protegees to emerge from, FRIEND. The London production company has built a reputation for developing the brightest new creative talent in the industry, and this directing partnership - with a music video background - are continuing this tradition.

The breakthrough Maserati spot, shot in Italy as a co-production with Section80, was created by Soursop in Amsterdam and is appropriately entitled ‘The First of Its Kind’.

The team at Zhang + Knight commented: “This was with the dream brief: to create a series of worlds which captured the essence of Maserati’s first supercar in 20 years - the MC20. Soursop and the Maserati were radical in their creative approach - this was to be a new vision of a supercar commercial - and entrusted us with the freedom to conceptualise these worlds through a ‘Zhang + Knight’ lens. To be believed in was freeing, and the process became like play. We sought to build our worlds from materials which embodied the car: mercurial metallic fabric was perfect for an MC20-inspired ocean. Meanwhile it felt right that dawn in this universe should be a graphic line cutting across an abstract plane of light. Everything was shot for real in Italy with Section80; seeing our designs brought to life with such nuance gave us tingles."

"It was a real privilege to bring this film into the world." they continued. "We are so grateful to Ravi, Val, Max and Soursop, as well as Phil and Maserati for having faith in us - and also to our collaborators for their artistry and passion; Friend (literally) moved mountains to make it happen!”

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Client: Maserati

Chief Marketing Officer: Paolo Tubito

Head of Brand Creative: Philip Jacobsen

Brand Creative Manager: Anna Cavaallieri

Driver: Andrea Bertolini


Director: Zhang + Knight

Production Company: FRIEND

Co-Production Company: Section80

Executive Producers: Luke Jacobs, Chris Abitbol, Luke Tierney and Marco Orlando

Cinematographer: Patrick Duroux

Producer: Sarah Tognazzi

Line Producer: Caterina Colombo

Executive Asst.: Lorenz Casey

Production Designer: Joseph Bennett

Production Designer Italy: Fabrizio Moschini

Car Coordinator: Alistair Clark


Editorial: The Assembly Rooms

Editor: Jack Williams

Executive Producer: Daniel Breheny

Sound and Music

Sound Design and Mix: Nick Smith

Sound Studio: Stainless

Music: Warp Records

Composer: Lorenzo Senni

Creative Licensing Manager: Lucy James

VFX and Post

VFX/Post: Analog

Executive Producer: Matt Shannon

Producer: Rose Nicholson

VFX Lead: Mike Merron

2D Lead: Fabio Zaveti

2D Artists: Heather Costa, Valentina Bartiromo, André Dias, Alessandro Melillo, Giuseppina Cataldo, Hernan Barros, Safiya Gili, Nelson de Sousa

3D Artists: Simon Reeves, Darío Muñoz

Additional VFX: Ling Ling

Colouring House: A52

Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson

Producer: Jenny Bright

Colourist: Daniel De Vue

Production Manager: Rocco Marcandino

Unit Manager: Marco Agnesi

Production Coordinators: Carlo Venerus and Natalia Troni

PA: Samuel Lai


Driver: Andrea Campanella and Federico Borghi

Covid Manager: Guido Ingenito

1AD: Daniele Fagone

2AD: Paolo Sponzilli

2AD: Alessandro Bonsignori

Focus Puller: Paolo Gobbi

Camera Assistants: Luce Bertani and Carlo Febbraro

VTR: Aura Caldarini

VTR: Stefano Capobianco

DIT: Andrea Brolpito

Scorpion Arm Pilot: David Ambrosi

Scorpion Arm arm's Operator: Guido Leonarduzzi Scorpion Arm flight head technician - Cristiano Sergioli ScorpionArm Truck Driver

Production Designer Assistant: Andrea Pitet

Prop Master: Simone Ciceri

Props Master: Mario Scarzella

Ass. Prop Master: Franco Verrecchia

Ass. Prop Master: Davide Minella

Ass. Prop Master: Mario Bugnano

Ass. Prop Master: Luca Mellano

Gaffer: Modena Felice Guzzi

Best Boy: Marco Merlini

Sound engineering: Manuel Paradiso

Boom Operator: Paolo Benvenuti

Production Runner: Modena Vittorio Scalzotto Genny Operator Andrea Giarola


Agency: Soursop

Executive Creative Director: Ravi Amaratunga Hitchcock

Creative Directors: Max Spencer, Valerio Oliveri Agency Producer - James Scally

Post Producer: Doireann de Buitear

Managing Director: Lucy Hitchcock

Project Director: Sam Koch

Project Manager: Kaela LaRosa

Genres: Luxury

Categories: Automotive, Cars

FRIEND, Wed, 20 Jan 2021 13:26:44 GMT