Liberty Shoes Adrian De Sa Garces

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Liberty Sandton
The Making of Liberty Shoes
The Making of Liberty Sandton

Liberty Shoes & Liberty Sandton – Back Story

FoxP2 handpicked Adrian and his producer Karen as the team to bring life to Liberty’s new ‘Sandton’ commercial, having worked together a number of times and from the strong collaborative relationship they’ve developed.

When reviewing scripts of ‘Sandton’ and ‘Shoes’, Adrian immediately recognised the importance of executing the commercials in a similar manner. The ads had been written in the same style and it was key that they should be tied together to create a unique and recognisable tone and voice for Liberty.

‘Sandton’ was the first of the two ads to be produced, thus determining the type of visual and audio elements that would be used in the subsequent commercial.

With only 9 weeks to complete the ad, Adrian and FoxP2 partnered with Digital Domain – Los Angeles-based visual effects specialists – to tell the story of how Sandton City emerged from being a farmer’s field to become ‘the richest square mile in Africa’. They embarked on a 3D journey using various visual effects techniques, including photogrammetric reconstructions of the environment, digital tree and environment generation, as well as delicate hand animation.

From building a Sandton City replica out of apple boxes in a car park, to dodging a flood on site the day before the shoot, the production process was both interesting and challenging from the get-go: the result of which is a remarkable 40-year timeline of the evolution of Sandton City, created completely from scratch and shown through an impressive reverse time-lapse sequence.

‘Sandton’ has since been nominated for ‘Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial’ by VES (Academy for Visual Artists). The awards will be held in LA on 12 February 2014.

When shooting the second commercial in the campaign, Adrian’s main challenge was to consider the visual execution used in ‘Sandton’ and apply it to this new script. He made the decision to push this ad into a more emotive space, giving ‘Shoes’ an edge that would convey Liberty’s message in a powerful way.

To create the sense of frenzied activity seen in ‘Shoes’, the time-lapse effect required a state-of-the-art computerised camera rig weighing over two tons, which had to be shipped in from LA.

The Graphite motion-control camera made it possible to shoot identical 30 minute takes, again and again, of factory workers assembling and packing thousands of school shoes. These shots could then be composited and sped up to create the 60 second spot. An operator and technician were also brought in from LA as nobody locally had experience with the rig.