Client: National Geographic
Info from Neon: “National Geographic came to us directly with their concept for this 45” promo. Both budget and timescale were extremely limited but as soon as we saw the boards, we knew we had to be involved. The idea was inspired by a shot in the Naudet brothers’ documentary, where a damaged piece of paper attaches itself to the camera lens, dust enveloping everything as the first tower fell. That piece of paper, originally a very mundane spreadsheet chart, was briefly immortalised, and became imbued with incredible significance. The concept revolved around examining that transition, following the journey of that piece of paper in reverse.
“We worked very closely with National Geographic to realise the vision. A large part of the challenge was to create something that carried an emotional impact, whilst still being respectful and non-exploitative. To address this we made the focus deliberately and exclusively on the paper, and obscured faces where we could. Sound design played a large part too: we wanted it to be simple and raw.
“From the start, we knew the spot would be carried by the visual effects. We went through a process of designing style frames, and multiple iterations of pre-vis, which also informed the shoot. We used a large variety of 3D and 2D techniques, which gives it quite a stylised, almost painterly, feel in places.
"The spot went on to win multiple awards, including eleven Promax awards (UK, Europe and US), as well as four golds at the Kinsale Sharks."