Watch out! You could dematerialise before you’ve finished reading this summary. That is, if MJZ director Nicolai Fuglsig casts his spell your way. The Mill in New York did their visual trickery to make magic in an everyday world for both the 30- and 60-second versions of the ‘It’s Magic’ spot, made to promote the JCPenney Fall collection.
Set to a quirky Regina Spector soundtrack, the spot records a
seemingly ordinary working day. At first, classic magic tricks
amuse, but then some serious Mill magic takes over for a sequence
of bizarre events made to look convincingly real.
Apart from a couple of traditional tricks done in-camera, The
Mill in NY worked on virtually every scene. But the spot's standout
moment is surely a great scene involving a JCPenney-dressed office
worker teleporting via a phone booth. Shot in a wide public square,
the multi-plate scene required extensive choreography for the
passersby, along with a rigged phone booth whose sides get pulled
away just as a rig-removed crane drops a cascade of water onto it.
In post-production The Mill 2D team reversed this water shot to
give the illusion of water erupting upwards out of the booth.
That's one way to make a splash in advertising. Sheer magic.