A combination of post production trickery and a deceptively simple in-camera effect has helped Realise to convert city streets into a running track for Reebok’s latest commercial. The film, written by Alan Watt and Jonathan Coleman at London agency Everyone Associates celebrates the thirty-year anniversary of the Reebok Classic, with white lines transforming a moody cityscape into an urban athletics track. Three groups of kids follow the lines, taking them in a dramatic race through the streets as they compete to reach a nightclub.
When Director Jack Laurance, co-founder of production company Armoury, approached Realise with this exciting script there were some obvious challenges. How to create track lanes that look absolutely convincing but also give the director the freedom to improvise and get the most out of the actors and their movement?
Jordi Bares, Deputy Creative Director at Realise, who led the post on the project: “With environmental restrictions and miserable London December weather, painting the lines for real was not an option and we initially explored creating them entirely in post.”
He continues: “Although reasonably simple to execute, we worked out a post-only approach would be restrictive for the director and the agency, complicating the set-ups and limiting the amount of shots we’d be able to get in the can on a tight schedule.”
In the end Jordi came up with a simple yet elegant solution. Use camera tape to create the lines in-camera. It took some experimentation, but Jordi and his team worked out that they could lay the white lines quickly and accurately, and saving potentially, crucial time on the shoot and in post.
Jordi Bares: “This simple technique was really efficient. We got through hundreds of feet of tape but the speed and flexibility of the approach meant that the director and the team were able to shoot twice as many set-ups as the initial planning had suggested.”
Back in the studio, Jordi and his team enhanced the material in 2-D, adding lines and effects to around 20 per cent of the final cut. The result is an energetic, atmospheric film, beautifully shot by DoP Sam Goldie with perfect white lines underscoring the athletic heritage of Reebok’s legendary urban classic.
Title ‘Classics 30-Year Anniversary’
Agency Everyone Associates: Jonathan Coleman, Alan Watt
Production Co Armoury
Director Jack Laurance
Producer Claire Gibson
DoP Sam Goldie
Post Production Realise
VFX Supervision Jordi Bares @ Realise
Compositing Andy Quinn @ Realise
Allar Kaasik @ Realise
Editor Tor Kristoffersen @ Armoury
Grading George Kyriacou @ MPC