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
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
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.