Director Carl Addy explores sporting emotion in striking production that had to be adapted due to lockdown rules
EA SPORTS has launched an new adrenaline fuelled brand film in collaboration with The Mill. It explores the powerful feelings evoked by football - from the emotional charge of 60,000 fans singing your name, to those heart-pounding seconds at the penalty spot. Premiering at EA Play - a live streamed event that allows fans to engage with their favourite games - 'Feel Next Level', directed by The Mill’s Carl Addy, showcases EA SPORTS intentions for the next generation of gaming and encompasses both the FIFA and Madden franchises.
Carl Addy says: "Rather than start over, we adapted the spoken narration into a connected visual edit utilising existing footage I had directed, alongside archival imagery, hand-illustrated and animated sequences, 3D and concept matte painted environments, comped with live-action and even home studio shot footage. In fact, there is a shot in there that features some footage I shot in the Gobi Desert in December 2019. The film took the form of a stream of consciousness visual association, a multimedia assault all seamlessly transitioning and match cutting together. Juxtaposed against the narration it feels like we witness the fan’s inner visions that punctuate their gameplay experiences. This kind of visual shorthand is my favourite kind of maximalist eye abuse."
Creatively developed in partnership with EA SPORTS and produced entirely under Covid-19 restrictions, the film draws on a broad spectrum of archive and purpose-built media, from gameplay cutaways and intimate fan footage to bespoke CGI and design elements. These contrasting components are blended together in a bold film designed to bring fans into the world of EA SPORTS.
In light of the emerging pandemic, Mill creative director Tom Dibb and director Carl Addy completely reworked the original creative idea, which was intended to be a large-scale live-action piece. Tom Dibb comments: "When the Covid pandemic erupted, I was really worried about this project. It was a super-important launch for EA and we had been collaborating on the creative development for months. Then, in a single moment, all of that became unworkable. But we did what The Mill does and we got really creative, really quickly, inventing fresh ways of doing things and new combinations of artists and specialists to make something really powerful."
Tom Dibb continues: "The film was built over several weeks and harnessed the kind of creative firepower you can only find at The Mill. Using 3D specialists, motion wizards, world-class compositors and killer colourists (to name just a few) we built something relentless and incredibly high-energy, designed to grab the attention of a young audience on social media. This unconventional mix of processes and people quickly became the films strength - pushing us towards bolder and more unexpected visual combinations. The end result is pretty audacious, evoking the emotion and atmosphere of football in a visceral way."