MPC Teams up with Spike Lee on NBA Spots Featuring Chris Paul and Bernard King

MPC recently collaborated with Pony Show Director Spike Lee and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners on a trio of NBA spots featuring Clippers point guard Chris Paul and New York Knicks legend Bernard King. VFX Supervisor Jake Montgomery and Producer Juliet Tierney led MPC’s VFX team on the efforts, while Mark Gethin handled the color grade.

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“Disappearing Act” is a showpiece integration of 2D and 3D work in which MPC makes Paul disappear from the court in a cloud of dust and reappear in a restaurant booth where NBA all-timer Magic Johnson and Lakers guard Steve Nash are watching the game. To create the vanishing effect, MPC artists painted Paul out of stock game footage and restored the background, essentially inventing images that had previously been obstructed by the basketball player’s frame. The VFX team also executed a variety of compositing, clean up, and logo removal and replacement duties, while also using 3D technologies, including Maya Fluids and nParticles, to create the complex smoke effects.

“First we had to track all of the game footage, and match move a basketball character into each shot to match up with Chris Paul,” explained 3D Lead John Cherniack. “This gave us the ability to emit smoke on different frames and really customize how his movement was inherited into the smoke effect.”

“King of New York,” which features similarly intricate reflection replacement, compositing, cleanup, and logo removal, is a trip through Spike Lee’s memories of Bernard King’s epic 60-point performance at Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day in 1984.




Client: NBA
Spot Title: “Disappearing Act”, “King of NY”, “Wanda”
Air Date: January 2013

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Executive Creative Director: Jeff Goodby
Creative Director: Nick Klinkert
Creative Director: Adam Reeves
Creative Director: Marty Senn
Copywriter: Justin Pedone (“Disappearing Act”)
Art Director: Dustin Blouse (“Disappearing Act”)
Copywriter: Nick Morrissey (“King of NY”) (“Wanda”)
Art Director: Meaghan Oikawa (“King of NY”) (“Wanda”)
Producer: Benton Roman
Executive Producer: Tod Puckett
Director of Broadcast Production: Cindy Fluitt
Account Director: Jason Bedecarre
Account Manager: Janice McManemy
Assistant Account Manager: Heather Morba
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Julie Petruzzo

Production Company: Pony Show Entertainment
Director: Spike Lee
Executive Producers: Jeffrey Frankel, Susan Kirson
Line Producer: Fern Martin
DP: Jess Hall
Production Designer: Sarah Frank

Editorial: Final Cut
Editor: Stephen Berger (“Disappearing Act”) (“Wanda”)
Editor: Matt Murphy (“King of NY”)
Assistant Editor: Kendra Juul, Chris Amos (“Disappearing Act”) (“Wanda”)
Assistant Editor: Chris Amos (“King of NY”)
Senior Producer: Suzy Ramirez
Executive Producer: Saima Awan

VFX Supervisor/2D Lead: Jake Montgomery
2D Team: Jake Montgomery, David Hernandez, Lisa Ryan (“Disappearing Act”), Katarina Arroyo (“Disappearing Act”)
3D Lead: John Cherniack (“Disappearing Act”)
3D Artists: William Schilthuis, Nikki Mull, Ian Wilson (“Disappearing Act”)
2D Smoke: Ben Davidson (“Wanda”)
Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
Producer: Juliet Tierney

Color Grading: MPC
Colorist: Mark Gethin

Mix: Lime
Sound Engineer: Rohan Young
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke
Music: Public Enemy “Get Up Stand Up” (“King of NY”)

Sound Design: Stimmung (“Disappearing Act”)
Sound Designer: Gus Koven

Music: Rude Muse (“Wanda”)
Composer: David Michel-Ruddy

About MPC:

MPC is an award winning VFX and Digital studio servicing the advertising, motion picture and television industries. From its London, New York, Santa Monica, Vancouver, and Bangalore offices, MPC’s dynamic and diverse team delivers industry-defining VFX, animation, motion graphics, color grading, production, projection mapping, social and mobile application development, online advertising, data management, software R&D and pipeline development.

With a trio of integrated divisions, MPC utilizes a unified approach that drives the use of existing or newly created assets across the whole range of today’s media landscape. MPC Creative handles client projects directly with top-notch directing, CG animation and character design. MPC FX Studio is a dedicated corps of graphic and digital designers who bring clients’ visions to life. MPC Data Lab processes the content and makes it available for editing on demand. MPC is a Technicolor Company.