Hollywood Beginnings for Mill LA

Mill LA starts off with a retrospective of celebrated Hollywood moments for JCPenney. In the Oscar-debuting spot, ‘Life Imitates Art’, various sequences of famous films are recaptured in modern day settings all with JCPenney wear. DGA Award winner, Dante Ariola, again, teams up with Mills LA Flame Artist Chris Knight.

The spot starts with a woman evoking ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Audrey Hepburn as she stares longingly in a department store window. Chris combined various plates, shot on location in Argentina, with an assortment of motion plates and high-resolution stills, taken in Manhattan to recreate the Fifth Avenue background.

To capture the feeling of a giant flock of birds gathering on a playground, similar to Hitchcock ‘The Birds’, Dante shot several birds against blue screen. Chris composited the footage onto live action plates, replicating the birds to number over one hundred. He also added CGI birds created by Mill LA CG Artist Robert Kolbeins.

For another scene, the production team used a crane to lift up the modern day Mary Poppins as she takes off for her flight. Chris removed all traces of the rigging and its shadows. He also combined twenty hi-resolution stills for the final wide vista scene, incorporating live action elements shot from the same building, such as boats, traffic, steam and smoke. Distant helicopters, a camera move and a hint of a lens flare helped to bring the shot to life.

Alongside these legendary film moments, the spot also depicts scenes from ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Seven-Year Itch’s, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Easy Rider’s, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Taxi’s, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Midnight Cowboy’s, ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Say Anything’s and ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Titanic’s. The spot with the tag line, ‘Today the day to feel like a star’ marks a beginning for JCPenney new agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, and for new star, The Mill LA.

The Mill, London
40-41 Great Marlborough Street
Soho, London W1F 7JQ
+44 20 7287 4041
[email protected]

The Mill, New York
451 Broadway 5th floor
New York NY 10013
+1 212 337 3210
[email protected]


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