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The Next Level


Nike takes its sports brand advertising to The Next Level in this action-packed, 2-minute, spot released around the globe during the run-up to Euro 2008. Spin-off versions of 90, 60 and 30 seconds were also screened.

Director Guy Ritchie is good with narrative and no stranger to working with big stars. And The Next Level is rich with soccer superstars, including Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Ronaldinho, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. A major international collaboration between Mill offices kept all eyes on the ball and achieved the rapid-fire energy Guy wanted.

Shot and posted in HD, the entire film is seen as if through the eyes of an amateur footballer fast-tracked into the big time. We see what he sees in the thick of the action, on and off the pitch: the footwork, the fouls, the goals and the girls.

Filming in London, Manchester and Barcelona with perhaps the world's smallest camera (SI 2K) took a month. The Mill pushed post production to the extreme, venturing into some unchartered FX territory, setting up a new data pipeline for the camera (used here for the first time in commercial production) and to track shots previously considered impossible.

Flame artists Giles Cheetham and Chris Knight and 3D animators Jordi Bares and Suraj Odedra led the extensive VFX work. One of the trickiest tasks was to composite shots filmed in different degrees of natural lighting. The 2D team also composited extra elements into the crowd, re-timing them to match the action on the pitch.

Finally, there was Adam Scott's data grade. The 2D and 3D work had been done on flat, ungraded images. Using Baselight in London, with clients online via Minerva in Los Angeles, Adam finished the film to give it a striking saturated look.



  • Agency: 72andsunny
  • Producer: Sam Baerwald, Angelo Ferrugia
  • Creatives: Glenn Cole, John Boiler, Jason Norcross, Bryan Rowles


  • Production Company: Anonymous Content, Independent Films
  • Director: Guy Ritchie
  • Executive Producer: Dave Morrison
  • Producer: Aris McGarry
  • Director of Photography: David Higgs


  • Editing Company: Spotwelders
  • Editor: Robert Duffy

Post-Production / VFX

  • Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
  • Executive Producer: Gabrielle Gourrier, Stephen Venning, Helen Hughes
  • VFX Producer: Liz Browne, Arielle Davis, Miles Pettit, Jordi Bares
  • Shoot Supervisor: Hitesh Patel, Austen Humphries
  • 2D Lead Artists: Giles Cheetham, Chris Knight, Sharon Marcussen
  • 2D Artists: Rich Betts, Paul Kirch, Neil Davies, Grant Connor, James Pratt, Becky Porter, Pete Hodsman, Grainne Freeman, Felician di Giorgio
  • 3D Artists: Sergio Xisto, Robert Holmes, Luke Tickner, Martin Contel, Daniel Marum, Meng Yang Lu, James Spillman, Richard Costin, Telecine, Adam Scott
  • Assist: Paul Downes, Ross Goldstein, Jeanette Williford
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