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The Show Must Go On: Ballet Dancer Shines in PRETTYBIRD and Lucky Generals Amazon Christmas Spot

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Award winning director Melina Matsoukas takes the helm for the uplifting spot starring French Ballerina Taïs Vinolo
The Show Must Go On: Ballet Dancer Shines in PRETTYBIRD and Lucky Generals Amazon Christmas Spot

Award-winning director Melina Matsoukas gives French Ballerina Taïs Vinolo the spotlight in an uplifting Christmas campaign for Amazon.  The timely ad demonstrates the determination of a highly trained dancer in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and sends a message of hope for the arts whilst capturing the community spirit which is guiding the world through this crisis.

Amazon’s global Christmas TV ad campaign follows a talented young ballet dancer as she prepares for the role of a lifetime. This being 2020, things don’t go to plan, but with the support of friends and family, and her own tenacity and optimism, she delivers a spectacular performance for her awestruck neighbours.  Amazon’s 2020 Christmas campaign launched on TV on the 2nd November with the 60 second advert. The full 120 second advert will air today, 3 November, during the first ad break of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.  

Simon Morris, VP global creative at Amazon, said: “Our TV ad is inspired by, and pays tribute to, the unbeatable human spirit and the power of community that we have witnessed so often this year.” 

The TV advert, created by Lucky Generals for Amazon, shot on 35mm film by Cinematographer Rina Yang and presented in 3:2, the format of 35mm SLR imagery, is helmed by French ballet dancer, Taïs Vinolo, in the starring role after a global casting search by Kharmel Cochrane. The Production design was created by Jahmin Assa (mid 90’s and Seberg).

We follow her powerful story as her dreams of dancing a lead role are jeopardised due to the Covid-19 crisis. As her ballet school closes, she continues to train regardless, in and around her neighbourhood. However, later in the year, her hopes are dashed, as the end of year performance is cancelled. Devastated, she loses hope. However, her sister and the community around her secretly pull together to give her a stage and an audience after all, in an emotional finale.

The film features custom costumes designed and created specifically by Matthew Joseph and Ed Marler, and was edited by Andrew Morrow  (Black is King).

PRETTYBIRD UK co-founder and executive producer Juliette Larthe commented: “The set was fully inclusive, and the crew matched the cast in terms of representation, which was very important to fulfil for comfort and performances required by the on screen talent. The commercial production also had the client agree to pay for the trainees to attend and learn on the shoot. PRETTYBIRD worked with Lucky Generals and Amazon to include five trainees, three of whom came from ELAM the Arts and Film Academy in East London.”

Taïs Vinolo, ballerina and star of the Amazon Christmas 2020 advert, said: “When I was growing up in the French countryside, there were no young black girls studying ballet with hair like mine, or even on TV, meaning I had no one to identify myself with. Being on this shoot helped so much with this, enabling me to own who I really am, who I want to be and what I represent. I am so proud to have been part of this project since the message of it means a lot to me and even more so in this very difficult time that the world is going through.”

The dance for Taïs was created by Artist, Dancer and Choreographer MJ HARPER, who worked closely with Melina Matsoukas and Juliette Larthe on the casting and choreography. The film features a unique arrangement of the song 'The Show Must Go On' by Queen.  The Amazon Christmas film is titled ‘The Show Must Go On’ and was shot by award-winning director Melina Matsoukas, whose feature film ‘Queen & Slim’ was released in 2019 to critical acclaim. 

Matsoukas’s previous directing credits include music videos for Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ in 2011, which was inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and  led to Matsoukas being the first director to be awarded the Music Grand Prix at Cannes Lions. Matsoukas also received great acclaim for directing the Rihanna ‘We Found Love’ music video, becoming the first solo female director to win an MTV award in the Best Video category and also win a Grammy for best long-format video. The Amazon spot was Lead Produced by Juliette Larthe. Larthe was also Producer on Matsoukas’s ‘We Found Love’ for which she also picked up a Grammy Award. 

There will be four versions of the brand advert airing from 2nd November until 14th December: the 120 second full-length advert which airs on 3rd November; shorter 60 and 30 second versions, alongside a 20 second version for online.

It’s easy for customers to support a good cause this Christmas on Amazon.co.uk. While shopping for gifts for family and friends, customers can support one of more than 30,000 participating UK charities by starting at smile.amazon.co.uk on a web browser, or by activating AmazonSmile in the Amazon app on iPhones and Android phones under ‘Programs and Features’ (after selecting a charity via smile.amazon.co.uk).

AmazonSmile has the same low prices and convenient shopping experience customers have come to expect from Amazon, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to a charity of your choice. AmazonSmile has donated more than £4.6 million to UK charities and more than $215 million globally to hundreds of thousands of charitable organisations.

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Agency 

AGENCY: LUCKY GENERALS

HEAD OF FILM: JOE BAGNALL

ASSISTANT PRODUCER: CAMILLA HEMPLEMAN

FOUNDER: DANNY BROOKE-TAYLOR

BUSINESS DIRECTOR: MINNIE VAUGHAN

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: LEE SMITH

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: NICK BIRD

CREATIVE: GEORGE ALLEN

Production

PRODUCTION COMPANY: PRETTYBIRD UK

DIRECTOR: MELINA MATSOUKAS

EXEC PROD/LEAD PRODUCER: JULIETTE LARTHE

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: TED THORNTON

HEAD OF NEW BUSINESS: MIA POWELL 

LINE PRODUCER: MARIAN MIKHAIL

PRODUCTION MANAGER:   BENJI LANDMAN

PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR: JESS GLAUS

DIRECTORS ASSISTANT: YAZZ ANDERSON-MOORE

1ST AD: TINA FRATNIK

Creative

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: RINA YANG

PRODUCTION DESIGNER: JAHMIN ASSA

ART DIRECTOR: BARBARA AYOZIE FU SAFIRA

COSTUME STYLIST: MATTHEW JOSEPHS

COSTUME DESIGNER: ED MARLER

SEAMSTRESS: ROW SEWARD

STYLIST ASSISTANT: OLIVIA KAIAFA

POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR: NEIL CUNNINGHAM

3RD ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: KITTY RAJAKULASINGAM

MAKE UP ARTIST: MATA MUMVADI

MAKEUP ASSISTANT: MARIE REITNER

MANICURIST: LOUI-MARIE EBANKS

HAIR DESIGNER: ISAAC POLEON

HAIR ASSISTANT: HARRIET BEIDLEMAN

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR: MJ HARPER

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR ASSISTANT: BRITTANY YOUNG

CAMERA TRAINEE: YSSIS MCKEN

TRAINEE: VICTORIA LAWAL

TRAINEE: LUCIA RITUCCI

ART DEPT TRAINEE: BERHAN MEDHAEN

Casting

CASTING: KHARMEL COCHRANE

Cast

STARRING: TAIS VINOLO, TAMSI, YASMINE HOLNESS-DOVE, ANTHONY ARIS ASOLA, DAVID ANTHONY, PARIS KELLY, MJ HARPER

Client 

CLIENT: AMAZON

VP GLOBAL CREATIVE: SIMON MORRIS

WW EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: JO SHOESMITH

GM EU INTEGRATED MARKETING: ED SMITH

SENIOR CAMPAIGN MANAGER: JENNIFER FINCH

CREATIVE PROGRAM MANAGER, GLOBAL: JENNIFER ORRESTAD

SENIOR CREATIVE PROGRAM MANAGER, GLOBAL: KARA YORK 

SENIOR CAMPAIGN MANAGER, GLOBAL: KELLY MCFARREN

Service Company 

SERVICE COMPANY: DIVISION

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: ROK BURKOVEC

LINE PRODUCER: BENJAMIN BEGOVIC

PRODUCTION MANAGER: ALENKA PROTIC

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: IDA URAN

LOCATION MANAGER: DRAGAN MLADENVIC

1ST AD: TINA FRATNIK

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: ALEŠ PAJNIC

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: JAN MILIC

PA/DRIVER: SEBASTIAN LOGAR

PA/DRIVER: LUKA SLAK

1ST AC: NIKA DRAKULIC

KEY GRIP: KRISTJAN POGACAR

GAFFER: JERNEJ PREBIL

ART DIRECTOR: NATAŠA ROGELJ

STYLIST: VALTER KOBAL

TRANSPORTATION CAPTAIN: MARJAN POLJNER

MEDIC: VITA MEDIC

CASTING COORDINATOR: ANA URBANCIC

Editing

EDITOR: ANDREW MORROW

EDITOR 30”: REBECCA LUFF

EDIT ASSISTANT: DAVID BELIZARIO

Post Production

POST-PRODUCTION: ETC

Audio Post 

AUDIO POST PRODUCTION: 750MPH

SOUND: SAM ASHWELL

MUSIC COMPOSITION: PETER MAUDER

Colour

COLOUR: COMPANY 3

COLOURIST: TOM POOLE

COLOURIST PRODUCER: ALEXANDRA LUBRANO 

Lab 

LAB: FOCUSFOX

Genres: People, Storytelling

Categories: Online retailers, Retail and Restaurants

PRETTYBIRD UK, Tue, 03 Nov 2020 17:59:03 GMT