Nola Scales the Eiffel Tower to Light Up Paris
September 30, 2010

Nola Scales the Eiffel Tower to Light Up Paris

Nola Pictures teamed up with noted features director Pierre Morel and Anton & Partners to portray that famously iconic city in a romantic, devil-may-care tv :30 starring Justin Timberlake for Givenchy's Play fragrance. Anton & Partners CEO/CD David Anton, AD John Painter, and EP Marty Friedman called on Morel, whom they had worked with on past projects, and Nola to bring their original creative concept to life. Morel further collaborated with Nola's VFX Creative Director, Arman Matin, to create a sparkling nighttime panorama of the City of Light that comes alive with painterly visual effects and resolves with a charming twist.
Play opens in the dead of night with a couple dashing across the deserted plaza below the Eiffel Tower's soaring latticework, racing up its spiral stairs and across its beams high over the darkened city. From a platform high over Paris, Timberlake hits PLAY on what appears to be his MP3 player and the ensuing music activates a sprawling pattern of city lights below which dance and flash to the music's rhythm, much to the gleeful astonishment of his fetching companion. The bird's-eye lightshow is occasionally interrupted with street-level shots of iconic Parisian landmarks exploding in a cavalcade of rhythmic lights, in playful synch with the music.

Nola's VFX Creative Director, Arman Matin, took the lead on all post work, supervising a series of time-lapse still images over four nights and then creating an aggregate of those stills to make versions of Paris entirely lit and entirely dark. He then layered individual lights and patterns to create the illusion of a completely organic and believable moving cityscape. Using the audio splits, light patterns were crafted by writing custom algorithms to drive the animation off beats in the music to make it seem as though they are dancing to the track. The goal was to create a visual sequence that appears to be fully organic in a scenario that is clearly fantastical and the attention to detail from Morel, Matin and their crew made it work

Anton and Morel coordinated with Nice Shoes to create a unique tint for the film that perfectly matched the tone of the spot and evoked the spirit of a Parisian night. Colorist Ron Sudul focused on retaining the intricate detail of the Parisian landscape. "David Anton had a very exact look in mind - a clean overall presentation, black and white with a hint of flesh tone, all while bringing out as much detail in the Eiffel Tower as possible, enhancing the structure's beautiful lines."

"This spot showcases of our knack for handling production through completion at a very high level, moving through a project as a cohesive creative unit with our clients from early on, down to the last details," noted Nola's EP Charlie Curran. "It's a very satisfying way to work."

Client: Givenchy
Spots Title: Play
Air Date: September 2010

Agency: Anton & Partners
CD: David Anton
Art Director: John Painter
Copywriter: Rob Lee
Producer: Marty Friedman

Prod Company: Nola Pictures
Director: Pierre Morel
EP: Charlie Curran
Producer: Alec Sash

Post/Effects: Nola Pictures
VFX Creative Director: Arman Matin
Producer: JJ Wilmoth

Editorial: Wild Child
Editor: Yvette Piniero
Producer: Alexandra Leal

Telecine: Nice Shoes
Colorist: Ron Sudul

Music: ill Factor
Composer: Ivan Corraliza

Sound Design: Aberle Sound
Sound Designer: Hank Aberle