Jordan ad


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Making of a high-tech commercial

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Jordan ad

  1. 1. "Technology has blown open the doors in terms of [Super Bowl ads] because the budgets are so enormous." A blitz of super commercials TV: Super Bowl adver- tising is a ii!:Ji-ii i li art form unto itself. Wit- ness the new spot pit- ting Micharl .Jordan at 23 against MJ at 39. : U ANDREW RATHER One of ihe most accom- plished directors of television commercials ever, Joe Pytka would rarely seem al a loss for how U> make one. He has created thousands Aa Image from a new Gatoradc ad tbowB the current of TV ads, from Pepsi and Michael Jordan playing against a younger version of himself. McDonald's spots to the famed This Is Your Brain on plcllng Michael Jordan how to do It convincingly.* Dnifrs" series. His portfolio playing basketball against a said Pytka, In & telephone In- Includes more than 30 Super younger version of himself — tervtew from bis home near Bowl commercials and the to air during Super Bowl Los Angeles. "I contacted 1996 Warner Bros, cartoon XXXVII on Sunday — fytka places all over the world" movte Spare Jean, His fee Is was uncertain he could pull It He found his answer up the S15.MO a day o-T block. But when presented last •It was almost like an 1m- A short walk from his stu- spring with a concept Tor a posslble project. The Idea was dlo near 'Muscle Beach* In
  2. 2. Page 4A: Friday. Jan. 24,2003 : The Sun Get ready for rush of high-tech spots (M*. from Page IA Co. and Discreet, both of Can- stun Now when 1 shoot same- ada, have enabled small shops thing, especially with a celebrity. Pytka visited Dlgtlal Domain, to produce effects that only the I know if something goes wrong •n eCtecU studio founded by Ti- biggest could once afford. Also, on the set. I can fall back on tanic director James Cameron. high-speed Internet communi- technology to make It belter* Digital showed Pytka a com- cations have shaved Ume: Some said Pytka. who recalled his dis- puter animation technique that Super Bowl ads now are com- appointment yean ago when a .1 used to Insert actor Vln Diesel pleted and transmitted the day laser-disc cut of the classic •j stunts for the action Him. before the game. Western Shane revealed that a XXX As Tor the new Jordan com- siunlman replaced Alan Ladd In "I saw the Vln Diesel stuff, mercial, the professionals who a climactic barroom scene. and It completely changed my made It and others who have It was heartbreaking because mind. You can take another hu- seen it consider It another 1 always Ihoughl that film was breakthrough. beautifully done. It destroyed Two Ulchael Jordana square off In a Super Bowl ad titled "23 va. 39." Wort on the ad, created Pyikn sold His commercial or Jon Flnnncry and Geoff Ed- the film for me.' he said. 'But through computer manipulation of digital Images, ttntcBed from August to last month, Jordan at age 23 playing Jordan wards, creative directors for a what they did here Is breathtak- at 39 will be shown on ABC dur- Chicago agency called Element ing* .nc the first quarter of the Na- ~" Partners, last spring con- The Jordan commercial's path One-on-onc with himself tional Football League title cocted a photo montage or Jor- to the Super Bowl was unusual AnwGatorafccontnercaifeaur^acurrOTWcftaeJJoroan ptayrg aganstrrrtsdfnhtsClicagoBulspn game between the Oakland dan facing a younger version of Gatorade hadn't reserved air- wi be shown dumg Super Bowl XXXVB, Here is how Digital Dorn»ofVence.Catf,crealBdtwoHcnaefc: Raiders and Tampa Bay Buecn- himself as the genesis for on ad time during the game and didn't OMOL, for Gatorade. PepsiCo Inc. ac- Intend to. The product doesn't His work Is the latest example quired the brand with Quaker sell much until April, when 130 canwratWtMrtklc i dancers In a c**tti| cal H. ftmeo PUW wrists reotwDaieyVwe win of bow technology has quietly Oals for $13.4 billion in 2001. much of the United Stales be- Xny maowie. Jontan ts also oeuiy one on one w» Jordan after a a dcftal veraon resenWng ine transformed the making of tele- The agency and the beverage gins thawing out and outdoor fbOofwhea hundreds of lines. matav mist apples tor lo mate ?J ytaroto Jordan. vision commercials — especially maker liked the Idea - -Shake- recreation begins anew. Gator- Datoy resentti a ya**r Jordaa the big-budget creations shown spearean.' someone called it — ade hadnt aired a Super Bowl during the Super BowL but were uncertain how to exe- commercial in Its 30 years de- Technology has blown open cute IL spile the fact that the winning the doors In terms of television coach Is often doused with a vat commercials for the Super Bowl of It at the end of the game because the budgets are so One director, who didn't win Galorade planned to show the enormous.' said Andy Dumalne. the Job. suggested splicing old commercial during the New partner and creative director of footage with current film or Jor- Years college bowl games, which the Campbell Group Inc.. a Bal- dan. But Pytka, who used ani- It did. but was so Impressed timore advertising agency. The mation effects to mingle Jordan with the result that It bought line between reality and fantasy with cartoon characters In time for Sunday, spokeswoman Is getting thinner by the day. In Space Jam, said such an ap- JU1 Rlnney said. tour yean, you wont be able to proach would look stale and un- .ell the difference between a real convincing. Apple led tho way actor and a virtual one* Nor could Jordan be made up Elevation of the Super Bowl as hlmseir 16 years younger be- commercial as a showcase unto Time In monoy eauw he Is heavier now. Also, Itself dales lo 158-1. 17 years after The NFL's annual champion- applying prosthetic makeup Ihe first Super Bowl, Director dios In Los Angeles. New York But what technology grvelh. — not whiz-bang effect- — lypl ihip has become the Academy could take up to eight hours a Ridley Scotl made an epic com- and London The top thinkers In technology also zappeth away. cally score highest at the housi Awards for the advertising in- day. much more Ume than the mercial for Apple Computer Inc. Hollywood and Silicon Valley — Digital video recorders devel- parties and packed taverns 01 dustry About one In 10 viewers director would have with the lo Introduce the Macintosh ma- Including George Lueas and oped by TiYo and Sonicblue Inc. Super Sunday. uy they watch the event solely star. chine. At the lime, one In 10 Steven Jobs — formed compa- have expanded the couch pota- for the ads. according to surveys But when Pytka visited Digi- households owned a personal 'Sometimes while walchlni nies Just lo cook effects for com- to's arsenal lo override commer- the Super Bowl, I swear I'm at i done for Eisner Communica- tal Domain In May to see its compuler. mercials. cials, tions Inc.. a Baltimore ad work for XXX. be Instantly be- Although the commercial pro- convention showing off new in agency- lieved he'd found his time ma- claimed a breakthrough piece of Agencies began w i n n i n g Robert M Greenberg. founder novallve technologies,* salt For this year's game, 30 sec- chine. personal technology. It em- awards for Super Bowl ads that of R/GA Digital Studios and one Robert Thompson, a media ex onds of national alrUme cost an In August. Digital Domain ployed scant new technology In enlmaled animals and objects. of the first effects specialists in pert who heads the Center fo estimated $2,1 million. Produc- carted equipment to Chicago to Its making. Scenes or oppressed Beer bottles played football. advertising In the 1970s, envi- Ihe Sludy of Popular Televisloi tion expenses equal that •acquire data' on Jordan. As he masses liberated by a hammer- Progs talked. Bears danced. sions a future when households at Syracuse University. Then sat on a stool, a revolving three- throwing woman were mostly a The new mastery wasn't al- receive only certain Super Bowl was one brilliant commercial i •Every year, the stakes seem dimensional camera 'cyber- feat of screenplay and directing. ways appreciated, A 1997 series commercials. TVs. like Internet few years ago showing cowboy lo gel higher and higher, and scanned" him. He was then digi- Less than a decade later, the of commercials In which Dirt services today, will track their herding cuu. but for Ihe life o what was acceptable last year Is tally photographed hundreds of revolution that the commercial Devil digitally Inserted Its vacu- interests and align commercials me I can't tell you want that w& now passe.' said Johnnie Se- limes portended had arrived. Faster, with buying patlems. for. Yet I can still remember. 'M; merad. creative director of the Then came the critical part, cheaper computers spawned But ad creators occasionally baloney has a first name. If QuletMan visual effects firm In Pytka thought. Jordan played dozens of post-production stu- forget that humor and simplicity O-S-C-A-R.1" New York. His work Includes an two noun of basketball for three award-winning Super Bowl com- straight days against Kevin Da- mercial Tor Pepsi in 1996 that ley, a semi-pro player discovered reatured a com outer-animated Bib. Tremendous gains In comput- ing power have 'democratized* In a casting audition. Daley's 6-foot-S frame and agility re- minded the ad makers of a younger Jordan. (Make-up art- DeLay's hard-charging style faces test •.he industry during the past ists, however, had U> apply hair decade. Software developed by to Daley, who Is bald like the companies such as Softimage present-day Jordan.! (Delay, from Page IA DeLay has built alliances with spent six years there before win The one-on-one play at Chica- business groups and trade asso- nlng election lo Congress. go's United Center healed the needs those votes lo gel key leg- ciations and has helped deliver In Washington, DeLay wear THESUN competitive Juices in Jordan. making the commercial believa- islation through,* said James A. Thurber, director of the Center on some of their highest priori- ties, such as free-trade Initia- proudly. He opposes abortloi ble and — not to be overlooked for Congressional and Presiden- tives and tax cuts. rights. He has fought bllterl; — suited to the sponsor's mes- tial Studies at American Univer- In return, he has Insisted that against government regulation sage, 'Is It in you?* Arena work- sity. they lobby lawmakers, donate once branding the Envtronmen ers gaped at the dimly lighted He *ls leaning over backwards money and even employ Repub- tal Protection Agency 'the Ge scene on the hardwood below, to that coalition and lo Tom De- licans, (The House Ethics Com- slapo.' A bom-agaln Christian seemingly, of Jordan crossing mittee admonished DeLay In DeLay Is famous for his publl Jordan. that, he's going lo have a prob- 1999 for threatening to punish a excoriation of former Presldcn At the end of the commercial, lem with the more moderate lobbying group that hired a for- Bill Clinton, whose impeach the two Jordans are challenged Senate * Thurber said mer Democrat as Its president) ment DeLay relentlessly an< by an even younger clone. wear- At the same time, DeLay By all accounts. DeLay's tal- successfully championed. Ing Jordan's University of North seeks U> centralize power In Uie ent has been as a behind-the- Colleagues and aides say hi. Carolina uniform. fractious House by granting new scenes tactician and enforcer, notoriety for twisting arms is ex authority to leaders and com- and not as a unifying force in his aggerated. but they acknowl Tho real deal' mittee chairs and by rewarding party. Now that he's majority edge that he has been a polariz *I can't tell you how many loyalists. The strategy Is similar Because of his reputation for leader, allies say his role will be ing figure — partly because I wonderful moments there were * to one Democrats used during fierce conwrvaUxm, Rep. Tom lo help sketch a vision for the works to his advantage. said Fred Ralmondl. visual ef- their 40-year control of the DeLay (above) may harm Presi- party's agenda. •He's cultivated It lo some ex fects supervisor for Digital Do- House that ended In IKM. dent Bush, analysts My. "He's been an inside guy. and tenU' said former Rep Robert S main They were talking trash Dol,ay has built up a reservoir now bell have lo be out there, Walker of Pennsylvania, whon to each other. It was all we could of fealty throughout his parly's Congress Foundation. scheduling and passing the DeLay defeated for the post o do to keep from dying. It was House leadership ranks, which But contrary lo his reputa- president's agenda and. In doing Republican whip In 139-1 the real deal* Is peopled with his loyalists. In- tion. DeLay Is not all arm-twist- so. massaging It throughout the Among Republican leaden Ralmondt worked 20 yean cluding Speaker Dennis Hasten ing and Intimidation. To secure process so that It ts successful," Walker said, •there was a desln ago on the TV character Max of Illinois and Rep. Roy Blunt of a wavering lawmaker's vote, be said Daniel J. Maltoon. a Re- to have somebody who was i Headroom, an actor altered to Missouri. DeLay's successor in might secure a project for his or publican lobbyist and ally. hard-nosed guy who was no look virtual This was the oppo- the No. 3 slot of whip. her district or a campaign ap- Massaging Is not known as only respected but also feared site feat and more difficult, he pearance by a top Republican. DeLay's strong suit. It protected some of the olhe tor w Kjta* To rtytUr lor U± *n wot™, n said: making a digital creation 'Tho Hammor 1 •He's done a bazilllon favors 'His style Is pretty confronta- members of the leadership whi iretMnrdindrant rf look and sound truly human, In demanding loyally from for people * says former Rep. BUI tional — I don't think he tries to didn't want to come out a: l nliTTll ii nf It-i --M and not Just any human but one colleagues, aides and lobbyists, Faxon of New York, who Is close be a dlplumu'.,' said Rep. Steny strongly on certain Issues.' of the most recognizable In the DeLay keeps a close watch on to DeLay. -People respect him H. Hoyer of Southern Maryland. world. (Jordan, Incidentally, also them. As whip, he amazed and are willing to bend over the House Democratic whip. Poor communicator appears on a second commercial friends and Toes with his ability backwards to get him the vote, iVl ;... SS. whose neat dark Dcljiy rejects the notion tha during Sunday's game with ac- to deliver victories on conten- because he has done the heavy hair and Intense eyes match his be Is a divisive figure. tor Jackie Chan for Hanes T- tious Issues with tight vote mar- lifting and the lough jobs and domineering style, says his ap- 'Some people think that whei shirts.) gins, such as beating back a bid the dirty work.* proach won't change. you're aggressive, you're mean After the Chicago shoot, art- U> federally* the entire aviation Few favors are too small De- "I'm organized and disci- spirited — that's Just not me* !.< ists at Digital Domain and an- security work force. Lay Is known for serving pizza plined, and I am aggressive In said. The mispcrceptlon come other Los Angeles studio. Rock He has done so with threats and barbecue In his Capitol of- trying lo do what I think the partly, he adds, from his poo Paper Scissors, morphed Jor- and ultimatums — earning him fice when the House Is In session American people want us to do.' communication skills. dan's features onlo Daley's body. the nickname The Hammer* — at dinnertime. He has arranged he said. 'I have a newrole,but 1 DeLay set a severe tone fo making sure the muscle reflexes, but also with the kind of sweet for private cars and flights lo have the same goals I won't his tenure as majority leade shading and light kecked as real talk, bargains and treats, legis- help lawmakers make Important change,* early on In the new Congress as possible. Their work lative and otherwise, that grease voles or party events. In the early 1970s, DeLay ran He Joined with Haslert to pus] stretched from September to the wheels on Capitol Hill. He Is equally devoted to — a pest extermination business In through rules this month allow December. "He's tough when it comes to and demanding of — the web of East Texas. Upset by environ- ing top Republican leaders u 'After working on this. It some of these waffling mem- lobbyists. Interest groups and mental rules affecting the busi- dominate the chamber mon opened up a doorway to me to a bers* said Paul Weyrich, presi- fund-raising operatives that in- ness. DeLay ran successfully for thoroughly than In the past new way of thinking about this dent of the conservative Free fluences Congress and elections. a seat In the Texas House He They also eased the gift bai that had prevented lobbyist