American Airlines flies to 250 cities in 50 countries around the world, but its latest destinations - under the ocean and into your living room - required some help from the post experts at Absolute. The studio's Lead VFX/Flame Artist Dirk Greene once again teamed up with Believe Media Director Gerard de Thame in order to kick out this adventurous pair of spots for the airborne giant.

After School opens on a mother and daughter discussing the youngster's role in the school play as they sit cross-legged in their living room. But something's a bit off kilter - as the camera swings around the room, a pair of airline seats, which had been casual living room chairs in the previous shot, appear; then the soft glowing lights of a fasten-seatbelt sign blink on along the wall; and, very faintly, a droning voice states, "This is your captain speaking," in the background. When the camera makes one final swing from daughter to mother and pans out, the elder is not in the living room with her daughter at all, but in the cabin of an American Airlines jet, engaged in the conversation via instant message on her laptop.

Scuba follows a couple scuba diving through the rays of light, schools of fish and sea turtles off a sprawling reef. The first indications that this is not your standard reef appear in the form of a "Priority Access" sign lodged into the plant life, followed by a bank of screens showing the status of departing flights, which is just one example-in addition to text notifications and mobile boarding passes-of how American Airline passengers receive a streamlined, mobile boarding experience. As a school of fish darts in front of the camera, blurring the panorama, the water evaporates and the couple comes out in an airport terminal. "Fly without putting yourself on pause," a narrator intones. "Be yourself, nonstop."

This latest project from Greene and de Thame follows joint work on big-name clients Verizon, Allstate and CSX. "One of the reasons why Absolute can consistently create very high level VFX is because we establish production partners that demand excellence," noted Absolute EP Sally Heath. "In the case of Dirk and Gerard, they've developed a special chemistry that manifests itself in everything they do. We're proud of this partnership and look forward to teaming up with Believe Media in the very near future."

Client: American AirlinesSpot Title(s): Scuba, After School Air Date: October 2011Agency: TM Advertising CD: Bernard Park AD: Brian Wood Director of Broadcast Production: Hal Dantzler Producer: Stephanie Murdoch Prod Co: Believe Media Director: Gerard de ThameDP: Mick CoulterEP: Michael McQuhaeProducer: Fabyan DawEditorial Co: Charlie Uniform TangoEditor(s): Jack Waldrip, Artie PenaEP: Mary Alice Post/Effects Co: Absolute Lead VFX/Flame Artist: Dirk Greene VFX Artist(s): Warren Paleos, Krissy Nordella, Alex GabucciDesigner/Animator(s): Ed Manning, Jim VidalEP: Sally HeathProducer: Melissa Stephano Telecine Co: Smoke & Mirrors - NYColorist: Ben Eagleton Managing Director: Jo MorganProducer: Lauren Shawe Audio Post Co: Charlie Uniform TangoAudio Engineer: Jake KlugeShoot Location: Nassau, Bahamas (Scuba); LA, California (After School)


Leave a comment

about the author

TRUST TRUST is a communications company specializing in partnerships with agencies, tech cos, startups, content studios and other small to mid-sized brands.