American Airlines flies to 250 cities in 50 countries around the world, but its latest destinations - under the ocean and into your living room - required some help from the post experts at Absolute. The studio's Lead VFX/Flame Artist Dirk Greene once again teamed up with Believe Media Director Gerard de Thame in order to kick out this adventurous pair of spots for the airborne giant.
opens on a mother and daughter discussing the youngster's role in the school play as they sit cross-legged in their living room. But something's a bit off kilter - as the camera swings around the room, a pair of airline seats, which had been casual living room chairs in the previous shot, appear; then the soft glowing lights of a fasten-seatbelt sign blink on along the wall; and, very faintly, a droning voice states, "This is your captain speaking," in the background. When the camera makes one final swing from daughter to mother and pans out, the elder is not in the living room with her daughter at all, but in the cabin of an American Airlines jet, engaged in the conversation via instant message on her laptop.
follows a couple scuba diving through the rays of light, schools of fish and sea turtles off a sprawling reef. The first indications that this is not your standard reef appear in the form of a "Priority Access" sign lodged into the plant life, followed by a bank of screens showing the status of departing flights, which is just one example-in addition to text notifications and mobile boarding passes-of how American Airline passengers receive a streamlined, mobile boarding experience. As a school of fish darts in front of the camera, blurring the panorama, the water evaporates and the couple comes out in an airport terminal. "Fly without putting yourself on pause," a narrator intones. "Be yourself, nonstop."
This latest project from Greene and de Thame follows joint work on big-name clients Verizon, Allstate and CSX. "One of the reasons why Absolute can consistently create very high level VFX is because we establish production partners that demand excellence," noted Absolute EP Sally Heath. "In the case of Dirk and Gerard, they've developed a special chemistry that manifests itself in everything they do. We're proud of this partnership and look forward to teaming up with Believe Media in the very near future."
Client: American Airlines
Scuba, After School
Air Date: October 2011
Agency: TM Advertising
CD: Bernard Park
AD: Brian Wood
Director of Broadcast Production: Hal Dantzler
Producer: Stephanie Murdoch
Prod Co: Believe Media
Director: Gerard de Thame
DP: Mick Coulter
EP: Michael McQuhae
Producer: Fabyan Daw
Editorial Co: Charlie Uniform Tango
Editor(s): Jack Waldrip, Artie Pena
EP: Mary Alice
Post/Effects Co: Absolute
Lead VFX/Flame Artist: Dirk Greene
VFX Artist(s): Warren Paleos, Krissy Nordella, Alex Gabucci
Designer/Animator(s): Ed Manning, Jim Vidal
EP: Sally Heath
Producer: Melissa Stephano
Telecine Co: Smoke & Mirrors - NY
Colorist: Ben Eagleton
Managing Director: Jo Morgan
Producer: Lauren Shawe
Audio Post Co: Charlie Uniform Tango
Audio Engineer: Jake Kluge
Shoot Location: Nassau, Bahamas (
); LA, California (
Founded in 2004 by David Smith, one of the world's leading Flame artists, Absolute is a high-end VFX studio working within the commercial, emerging media, music video, and film communities. With offices in New York and London, Absolute over the years has collected numerous industry accolades including two BTAA awards, a D&AD pencil, a Cannes Lion, an APA Collection Diamond, three Andy wins and an MTV video statue. The New York office opened in 2007, helmed by CD Dirk Greene, to further facilitate Absolute's international client roster with a growing Flame and CG service.
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