February 4th, 2015

While millions of fans tuned in to watch the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks go head to head in Super Bowl XLIX, brands took the battle off the field in a competition featuring some of the year's top creative ideas, celebrity cameos, clever copy and of course, spectacular effects. We're taking you beyond the concepts in our Super Bowl blog series featuring interviews and behind the scenes content on several of the night's big spots.

Director Noam Murro of Biscuit Filmworks, Wieden+Kennedy (Portland) and The Mill present the epic "Boston Tea Party", which premiered during Super Bowl XLIX. Based on the infamous 1773 protest against the Brits, it's a comic take on the war on taxation.

Amidst an angry scene depicting the Boston Harbor brawl, one redcoat raises a thoughtful question (along with a cup of tea): What if it was free to file your taxes? It's a clever (albeit anachronistic) idea that goes down quite well with Brits and Sons of Liberty alike.

Behind the Scenes

Robert Sethi, Mill creative director and shoot supervisor, comments: "The end shot with the ice is inspired by the painting 'Washington Crossing the Delaware' by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. It was a lot of fun and an interesting shot to create. We wanted people to be reminded of the painting but for it to strike a good balance of realism.

"The story and the cinematography really take the spotlight here and Simon Duggan (DP) did a spectacular job in lighting it beautifully. It was shot in San Diego Harbor, so we had to dress the dock and paint in 17th century Boston!"

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The only thing kept from the original shot was the boat full of people. Mill artists simulated a total 45 million particles for the CG water, adding in CG cannons and horses whilst a matte painting replaced the sky and the backdrop. Mist was added to the setting, enhancing the realism of the shot, and the final film was graded by The Mill in LA's Head of Color Adam Scott.

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Take a look behind the scenes of the full film with collection of before and after shots from TurboTax "Boston Tea Party":

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