Psyop directors Marie Hyon and Marco Spier on the spot:
Hu Jia is one of our favorite spots of the Adidas Beijing Olympics campaign because it was a rare opportunity to create a sport ad that has such a poetic story.
Diving is a very quiet sport. Very precise. The actual jump happens within a split second. The meditative moment before the jump seems to determine everything. Success and failure are closer together than in any other discipline. Meeting Hu Jia in person, seeing him practice his art, was one of the most inspiring moments in our career. We have never experienced that kind of control and perfection. It makes one humble. There is this artistry and concentration in his performance and his personal story of will, dedication and drive, that gave us the perfect platform to create a poetic visual journey. We were hoping to capture some of this inner beauty and dedication in our 60 second piece.
We wanted to evoke dream-like situations with some of the scenarios. We've all been there and experienced those frustrations in our dreams. You are trying to reach for something or fight someone, but can«t quite do it because you feel restrained in some way, limited. We wanted to bring this sensibility across as a metaphor for his struggle to climb to win Olympic gold.
The pace of the spot was very important to us. This piece had to flow and not be rushed, so we chose to tell his story simply. We created a journey that is languid and surreal. The underwater world functions as a portal to his memories in the seconds after his pivotal jump .
Technically this was one of the more challenging commercials for us. We had to be very considerate of Hu Jia«s time and any risks involved. Even though he does hundreds of jumps a day, the jump featured in the spot has an extremely high level of difficulty. Only a few people in the world can even execute this jump, and Hu Jia limits himself to only one of those per practice session. As you can imagine, that put a lot of pressure on our team. We shot this jump with 4 cameras at a time, all in high speed. One camera was underwater, with a team that we flew in from Australia.
Hu Jia was such a perfectionist that he ended up executing the jump an unprecedented 2nd time, that we captured from a 5th camera angle. The day was incredibly memorable.
It was an amazing process for us, and we learned a lot. Working with TBWA China, we were given the opportunity to make an Olympic ad unlike any other. We all wanted to create the most awesome spot ever. We hope it shows.
Product: Adidas Olympics 2008
Title: "Hu Jia"
Creative Directors: Yang Yeo, John Merrifield
CD/Copywriter: Sarawut Hengsawad
CD/Art Director: Elvis Chau
Associate Creative Director: Lesley Zhou
Art Directors: Nie Lang, Xia Zheng, Susie Sun, Amani Qian
Copywriter: Lesley Zhou, Nicky Zhang, Michelle Wu
Production Company: Stink/Psyop
Directors: Marie Hyon and Marco Spier, Psyop
Executive Producers: Justin Booth-Clibborn, Psyop and Daniel Bergman, Stink
Producers: Lucia Grillo, Psyop and Mungo Maclagan, Stink
DOP: Alex Melman
Associate Producer: Nathan Jew, Psyop
Assistant Producer: Kay Chen, Psyop
Lead TD: Pakorn Bupphavesa
Designers: Kim Dulaney, Marie Hyon, Joshua Harvey
TD: Alvin Bae, Bashir Hamid, Chris Bach, Damon Ciarelli, Ted Kofsatis, Tony Barbieri
VFX supervisor: Theo Maniatis
Modeling/ Rigging: Lee Wolland, Kitty Lin, Anthony Patti, Rie Ito, Jaye Kim
Animators: Ian Brauner, Justin Burton, Nicholas Johnnides, Gerald Ding, Eddy Estevez, Chris Santoianni, Jae Ham, Jed Mitchell, Melanie Tonkin
CG: Mike Papagni, Rich Magan, Pete Hamilton, Helen Choi, Anthony Patti, Tatchapon Letwirojkul, Andreas Berner, Pat Porter
Massive: Joerg Liebold and Dave Barosin
Compositors: Matt Hanson, Bee Jin Tan, Elliot Blanchard, Borja Pena, Eric Concepcion, Makoto Sato, Theo Maniatis, Aska Otake,
Tracking: Hyunjeen Lee and Seung Hyung Lee
Lead Roto Artists: Leslie Chung, Joshua Bush
Roto Artists: Joseph Oberle, David Marte, Carlos Rosario, Tiffany Chung, Will Frazier, Max Kornev, Rich Pernice, Jelena Vukosav, Alejandro Monzon, Kristian Mercado, Stefania Gallico, Jess Mireau
Editor: Cass Vanini
Assistant Editor: Brett Goldberg
Cell Animation: Boolab
Audio Post: Sound Lounge
Music Production: Q Department