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Your Shot: The Amazing Baby & Me 2


BETC Paris ECD Filip Nilsson on a ‘Marvel-ous’ twist on Evian’s Live Young campaign

Your Shot: The Amazing Baby & Me 2

The Amazing Spider-Man just got more amazing. BETC Paris’ latest instalment of Evian’s long-running ‘Live Young’ campaign features Peter Parker coming face-to-face with a knitted uniform clad baby version of himself. They have the cutest of boogies and it's oodles of fun. LBB’s Addison Capper spoke with BETC Paris ECD Filip Nilsson to find out more. 

LBB> What kind of brief did Evian approach you with regarding Spider-Man? What were your thoughts when you first saw it?

FN> We’re working very closely with Evian so it wasn’t really a brief that came in the mailbox. It’s an on-going discussion. Evian was approached by Sony in this case, because of the launch of the new Spider-Man movie. We discussed it together and rapidly came to the conclusion that this was a really good opportunity.

LBB> Why did you choose to extend last year’s Baby & Me campaign?

FN> The last campaign was a huge success and we just felt that there was more to that idea. It’s the same mechanics as when you do a very successful feature film - you create a fan base of people who really like the overall idea. Then you do a follow-up and it’s not always very successful, but this time I think the follow-up is maybe even more spectacular than the first one.

LBB> What kind of research did you have to do around the baby and its movement and physique? How did you differentiate baby’s movement to Spider-Man’s?

FN> For Agnes and Valerie, the creative team, and I, that was really the biggest challenge this time. Quite rapidly we understood that this process would be completely different compared to the first one where we used footage of babies and footage of adults and put it all together in post-production. This time the little guy is completely generated in 3D and really hasn’t got a face. A lot of the charm in the first film comes out of the expressions on the babies and their faces. It’s just a human thing – you love to watch babies. And this time we had to do without that so a lot of our creative focus was on how to create the body language of baby Spider-Man to make it equally expressive. I think the words we used the most in the creative process were ‘cute’ and ‘charming’.  We worked with two choreographers in L.A. from a framework we had created beforehand and then we shot a really good dancer on set. It was a two-day shoot with two days of preparation. The stunt guy was the same that plays Spider-Man in the film, but he’s not at all a dancer, just one of the world’s best stunt men. To see how quickly he advanced when he was working with a professional choreographer was just amazing. Everything we see in the film is the stuff that he learned in a couple of hours the day before. A professional dancer also did the dance moves and the body popping and we shot that as a reference. 

It’s impossible to imagine what it would look like if a baby did that. So when we came back to Paris we shot a couple of nine-month-old babies for a day with two cameras from all angles, and tried to imitate it with an adult behind them, holding them. All that went into the animation process as a reference for the animators. Then together with the animators we spent seven weeks working on everything; every move, discussing the smallest of details. The animation team at Mikros was just amazing - definitely the best team I’ve ever worked within post- production.  

LBB> How did the relationship between the Spider-Man movie and Evian come about in the first place and why do you think they fit together well?

FN> I think from the beginning Sony saw the ‘Live Young” campaign as something that really fit with Spider-Man and the tonality of the new movie. I haven’t seen the film but I have the impression that they wanted to do it slightly lighter, slightly more fun. And we thought the same about Spider-Man. In the whole world of superheroes, he’s the most entertaining guy, the funniest guy, and the most charming guy. Some other heroes would have felt like complete strangers in the Live Young campaign.

LBB> Evian is a brand that’s open to different and fun ideas - what was this campaign like to work on?

FN> I used to work in Sweden and I’ve only been at the agency for months, so I was coming in fresh from the outside. Joining the Live Young campaign makes you humble. Evian has built a huge fan base and expectations are high.

And another thing is, if you like film, and I love film, to step in and work together with Sony to shoot Spider-Man in Hollywood... it doesn’t get any better. 

And also, for me personally, working with Swedish director Tomas Skoging, who is an old friend of mine, was a lot of fun as well. 

LBB> And what were the trickiest components during its creation? How did you overcome them?

FN> So much is in 3D today and most of it feels kind of unreal and synthetic. Even if the effects are amazing, it doesn’t really touch you in a way; it’s too artificial.  The objective was to do something that is genuinely charming and to make it feel as real as possible, as natural as possible. The whole idea is totally far out.

Also, putting Sony, a big Hollywood production company, together with ACNE, a Swedish production company with a Swedish director, a French agency, and a French post-production company, made for a very complex structure. In the beginning it scared me a little bit. But it actually turned out to be one of the smoothest productions I’ve ever worked on.

LBB> Are there any more aspects to the evian / Spider-Man campaign that we can look forward to?

FN> I think I’ve never worked on a brand where there’s such a devoted fan base and what we learned from the previous campaigns is that there is a big demand for content. We try to deliver content in every channel we can possibly imagine. For example, there will be an entertaining ‘making of’ coming out in two weeks, there will be stuff on Instagram and a print campaign starring Spider-Man. 

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Genres: Comedy, Visual VFX, Animation

Categories: Water, Soft Drinks

BETC Paris, Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:04:15 GMT