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1stAveMachine directors Bob Partington and Mathery (directing duo Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli) worked with Deloitte’s award-winning and full-service creative agency, Heat, to deliver a sleek spot for Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services organization.
The video, entitled “Seeing Possible,” highlights how Deloitte can bring unique perspectives to help its clients unveil new opportunities and develop innovative solutions. Partington and Mathery fully embrace the brand’s message through optical illusions carried out in their atypical and inventive visual style. “Usually with perspective tricks, it is the ‘break’ that is the visual ‘wow’ we focus on, but that conceptually is not so constructive,” says Partington. “So, with this spot, we tried to make the illusions constructive, revealing solutions.”
Each scene is filled with vibrant color, characters walking on walls, mirror rooms, and impossible staircases, yet the team committed in the very beginning to a practical effects-driven approach. “We decided that we would do this for real— we wanted the feeling of a one-shot, so the edit was used only for timing,” explains Partington. He also notes that there is no green screen or VFX beyond wire removal and minor cleanup.
The greatest challenge was locking the final design of the structure and grounding the optical illusions in realism. The pre-visualization process was an indispensable piece of the puzzle. Everything was worked out in 3D, such as when and where to situate the camera, before a finger was lifted on the actual build. “The exciting thing for us was to create a flawless path for the camera—the set was designed following the illusion scheme and narrative to capture the feel of a long, uninterrupted take,” says Mathery.
The overall collaboration with the agency and client was both productive and communicative. Creative representatives from Heat and Deloitte joined the directors on set and everyone strategized early on in the shoot. After the structure was built to meet their storytelling needs, Partington and Mathery found themselves jumping right into the action and making a lot of directorial choices on the fly.
Partington and Mathery were eager to share their respective filmmaking styles and develop a unified vision. To Partington’s enjoyment, “This was our first team-up and it won’t be the last. People who follow our work might speculate, of course, who did what, but, overall, it was truly a bonding experience.” Mathery echoes this sentiment, saying, “Collaboration means making decisions together, but in this job, you also have to be quick. That’s why trust is important. We knew each other’s talents and split up different responsibilities of the project in a very natural way.”
Campaign: Only See Possible
Agency: Heat NY
General Manager: Leyland Streiff
Head of Strategy: Maggie Gross
Senior Strategist: Sam Glassoff
Group Creative Director: Tracey Smith
Senior Art Director: Dan Smith
Senior Copywriter: Josh Aiello
Senior Copywriter: Mike Raymond (BTS)
Executive Producer: Geoff Guinta
Business Director: Lauren Munilla
Business Supervisor: Marcella Astini
Business Executive: Atheina Hasbani
Head of Business Affairs: Ramin Mirshah
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Darren Majewski
Production Company: 1st Ave Machine
Service Production Company: Icon Films
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Studio: Buftea Studios
Directors: Bob Partington, Mathery (Erika Zorzi + Matteo Sangalli)
DoP: Matthew J Smith
Production Designer: Will Field
Partner/Executive Producer: Sam Penfield
Executive Producer: Peter Repplier
Executive Producer: Michaela McKee
Executive Producer: Lisanne McDonald
Line Producer: Mike Capon
Post Producer: Hilary Downes
Editor: Rhys Stover
Colorist: Seth Ricart
Music Company: duotone audio group
Managing Director: David Leinheardt
Executive Producer: Ross Hopman
Producer: Gio Lobato
Audio Post Production: duotone audio post
Sound Designer/Mixer: Juan Aboites
Executive Producer, Audio Post: Greg Tiefenbrun
1stAveMachine is a mixed media production company and storytelling outfit. They create video, digital, narrative and experimental content for Film, TV, print, web, and mobile, all with a unified singular vision. They have won numerous awards since their formation, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cannes Lions, AICP, One Show, and ANDY awards, and many others. Their work has been featured across the globe and most recently during the Super Bowl.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 5,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today’s marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Our network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 286,000 people make an impact that matters at www.deloitte.com.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the “Deloitte” name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.