August 18th, 2016

Alongside this summer's big competition, we've seen a series of powerful and inspiring ads celebrating the athletes, and their hard work and determination as they strive for gold. In addition to our Summer Sports 2016 Collection, we're highlighting the beautiful spots that Mill Colourists helped create. Take a look at a some of the top spots graded by Mill Colourists: 

James Bamford

Colourist, LDN

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DFS 'Great Brits'

Working with Krow Communications, Director Pedro Romhanyi and Outsider, The Mill helped DFS celebrate 'Great Brits' in their latest Team GB brand film. The beautifully shot film shows the synergy between Team GB athletes and DFS craftspeople through a series of artful cuts showcasing the focus and dedication to their crafts.

Mill Colourist James Bamford shares, "This is a really great spot from Pedro and it was a pleasure to work on. From the very beginning, we wanted this to stand apart from your regular DFS commercials, using a stronger stylistic approach. From the opening of the spot, you’re taken into a sporty, contrasty grade which is indicative of typical sports ads. There is also a blueish tone throughout which is enhanced by the warmer skin tones within the piece."

Mick Vincent

Colourist, LDN

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Samsung 'School of Rio - Rowing'

Working with BBH, Director Gabe Turner and Rattling Stick, Samsung’s Olympic and Paralympic Games campaign 'School of Rio’ looks to get the nation excited about Rio with a bit of help from comedian Jack Whitehall.

Mill Colourist Mick Vincent discusses his process in grading the film, "The look for 'School of Rio' was to be natural in order that the viewer wasn't distracted from the punchlines. However, a few issues needed resolving including different cameras, grey sky's and torrential rain. There was no time for sky replacements so we opted for heavy grades, enhancing the shapes already in the sky to make them dramatic. I am really happy with the end result as the spots look strong without being over worked.”

For more from the campaign, see 'School of Rio - Cycling'.

Fergus McCall

Head of Colour, NY

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Samsung 'Chant'

Joining forces with Leo Burnett Chicago and Blue Sky Films, The Mill worked closely with director Martin de Thurah to bring ‘Chant’ to life. Focusing on the sporting efforts and achievements of South Sudan, the newest country to be recognized by the IOC, the spot follows South Sudanese athlete Margret Rumat Rumat Hassan in her quest to be the first competitor to represent South Sudan on the country’s Olympic team.

The Mill NY's Head of Colour Fergus McCall graded the spot, adding to the vibrant intensity of the film. He comments, “We tried to capture the heat, joy and colour of South Sudan without becoming clichéd. Shots of Hassan before the race used contrast to create a claustrophobic feel, reflecting the pressure of her situation before the big race."

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Under Armour 'Phelps'

The award winning Under Armour 'Phelps' spot from Droga5 and Director Martin de Thurah from Epoch Film takes viewers through the intense training process of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps. While the film depicts the hard work and sacrifice of one of the world's top athletes, the beautifully shot film by Director Martin de Thurah and DP Kasper Tuxen sets an inspirational tone, reflecting the ad's theme and tag line: “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.” The Mill NY's Head of Colour Fergus McCall graded the film, using curve grades and heightened contrast to give the water a slick, almost oil-like look.

For more from Under Armour films graded by McCall, take a look at 'Women's Gymnastics'.

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Gillette 'Perfect Isn't Pretty'

In collaboration with Grey, Gillette released a powerful spot entitled 'Perfect Isn’t Pretty', directed by Karim Huu Do from Caviar Content. The ad, graded by The Mill's New York Head of Colour Fergus McCall, focuses on Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr., Chinese Swimmer Ning Zetao, American decathlete Ashton Eaton, and English cyclist Andy Tennant training for gold and acknowledging the sacrifices and commitment they put into the sport they love.

McCall treated the colour correction of the anthem film differently and with a bit more adventure, incorporating a black and white look intercut throughout the film. The grade contributed to the spot's gritty feel, aligning with the depiction of the athletes' tough and intense journey to the Olympic Games.

Mikey Rossiter

Colourist, NY

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Dick’s Sporting Good 'Gold'

Anomaly celebrates the pursuit of sporting gold in this cinematic spot directed by Eliot Rausch from Stink. Graded by Mill Colourist Mikey Rossiter, the spot highlights the tenacious determination of aspiring athletes to represent their country and claim international recognition as gold medal winners. Reflecting the campaign's insight that every human body contains 0.2 milligrams of gold, the film opens with elemental footage and transitions into intense-training shots that tell the story of the grit of U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls in their pursuit of gold.

Damien Van Der Cruyssen

Colourist, NY

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Hershey's 'Hello From Home: Jordan Burroughs'

Director Tyler Manson worked alongside Arnold Worldwide and Mill Colourist Director Damien Van Cer Cruyssen on Hershey’s campaign “Hello From Home” featuring U.S. wrestler Jordan Burroughs. The emotional mini-documentary gives viewers an inside look into an athlete's journey to the Games, from the dedication and sacrifices of training to the the importance of having friends and family in your corner.

Hershey's "Hello From Home" campaign also includes a a film featuring U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, graded by The Mill NY's Fergus McCall. See it here.

Adam Scott

Head of Colour, LA

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Gatorade ‘Never Lose the Love’

Adam Scott, Head of Colour at The Mill’s Los Angeles studio, collaborated with Director Rick Famuyiwa of Superprime to set a look for Gatorade ‘Never Lose the Love’ from TBWA\Chiat\Day. The spot features athletes Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, April Ross and Paul George training hard with some help from their younger selves. Scott shares, "Working closely with Director Rick Famuyiwa and Creative Director Mark Peters, we went for a strong contrast and saturated look. The aim was to maintain a different feeling between each scene whilst highlighting the colours of the kids clothing so they would stand out amongst the athletes. It's a really fun spot with the kids challenging the athletes and this inspired me to keep the grade light but energising."

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Coca-Cola ‘Torch Bear’

The Mill collaborated with Director Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man and Ogilvy & Mather Brasil to bring the Coca-Cola bear to Rio 2016. The film takes the furry animated character from his chilly cave to an adventure set in the warm, yellow-tinged world of Rio. The Mill LA's Head of Colour Adam Scott comments, " I set a grade on this prior to the VFX. The aim was to make it look like Rio in the summer, warm and sunny. The tricky part was to make a white polar bear sit in with that environment without looking too yellow." The grade was finished off by Mill Colourist Dave 'Luddy' Ludlam, using the original look as a base and adjusting for the CG bear.

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Nike ‘Unlimited Courage’

Directed by Max Malkin of Prettybird, ‘Unlimited Courage’ zeroes in on American duathlete Chris Mosier. As the first transgender man to compete in the duathlon for the national team, he’s proven that limits are only as real as you let them be. The spot was given a rich grade by The Mill’s Adam Scott, Head of Colour in the Los Angeles studio.

Scott shares, "Working with Director/Cinematographer Max Malkin and Art Director Sara Phillips, we went for a bold filmic look on all of these spots, maintaining and enhancing the beautiful captured light and these truly inspiring athletes.The grade amplified the grittiness of the city, enhancing the images to reflect the courageousness of the athlete."

Gregory Reese

Colourist, LA

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Nike ‘Unlimited You’

The Mill collaborated with Wieden+Kennedy (Portland) and Prettybird directorial duo DANIELS on ‘Unlimited You’. The film, which debuted during the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony, depicts athletes and newbies alike pushing themselves to achieve sporting greatness. Gregory Reese, Colourist at The Mill, added a suitably eye-catching, vibrant grade to finish.

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University of Phoenix ‘Still I Rise’

Created by 180LA and director Eliot Rausch of Stink, ‘Still I Rise’ continues University of Phoenix's 'We Rise' campaign celebrating the determination and achievements of its students and alumni. The film honours World Champion basketball player Gail Marquis, recognizing her lifelong accomplishments on and off the court.

Set to the Maya Angelou poem of the same name, the film transitions through the eras to tell Marquis' story, from a member of the USA Basketball National Team at the 1976 Olympics to her career as a Wall Street executive and her works as a gay rights activist to earning her MBA with the University of Phoenix in 2006.

Each era is reflected in the grade by Colourist Greg Reese, opening with warm, gold hues for a young Marquis in the 60s and transitioning through looks that reflect the eras depicted. The film closes with Marquis delivering a commencement speech, bringing the narrative back to the present with deep blacks and rich gold and red hues that are brought out in the beams of sunlight.

Derek Hansen

Colourist, LA

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UNICEF ‘Stand with Team Refugees’

Colourist Derek Hansen of The Mill worked with Lefty of Unit 9 to set a look for Unicef’s ‘Stand with Team Refugees’, a profound PSA that highlights the commitment, strength and motivation of the first-ever Refugee Team. Hansen comments, “I enjoyed grading this one; the exposures were really nice. The goal between Lefty and me was to just bring out the natural richness of the different environments.”

Luke Morrison

Head of Colour, CHI

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Jeep ‘4x4 Summer’

Jeep's summer campaign from DDB Chicago and director Bram Coppens of Bunker, celebrates the freedom and adventure that comes along with the magnetic energy of the summer season. The Mill Chicago's Head of Colour Luke Morrison graded the film. He comments, "With such a diverse range of shots, we wanted to create a look that brought it all into a similar feel whilst maintaining and making apparent the diversity of locations. Overall, we wanted the look to be impactful with a cinematic quality. I achieved this by pushing contrast into the mids whilst backing off saturation, and keeping the top and bottom end rolled off. The final touch was to  treat each shot with film grain, using different intensities and stocks depending on the footage."

Matt Osborne

Colourist, CHI<

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McDonald’s ‘Friends Win’

Colourist Matt Osborne collaborated with DDB Chicago and director Jamie Rafn at Smuggler on this spot for McDonald’s celebrating children of the world for the Olympic games of 2016 in Rio. celebrating the spirit of friendship in support of the brand's Olympics Kids Program, which offered children from around the world the opportunity to participate in the Opening Ceremony. Osbourne shares, "I really liked the concept of this spot, and also liked how the kids were based all over the world. This gave me a chance to explore different looks where each child was based. We wanted to use the grade to enhance where they were from, adding to the global scale of the project. Being shot anamorphic we used a contrast level that complimented the crop, natural but filmic was the approach.”

For more from Mill Colour, visit here.