There is no better setting for a celebratory campaign than right here in Mexico City.
We were excited to welcome our friends at Academy Films for a collaboration that celebrates human progress for the electric racing powerhouse Formula E. The spot, titled “Change. Accelerated,” was written and created by Uncommon Creative Studio and was directed by the great Marcus Söderlund, produced by Luke Goodrum, Medb Riordan, and The Lift’s Pepe Aguirre, alongside DOP Daniel Voldheim, Agency Producer Pete Thornton, and Creative Director Sam Walker.
The shoot was a full circle moment for one of our own. The Lift producer Pepe Aguirre first worked with us in 2016 on a shoot with Academy Films, and has been on our team ever since. The opportunity to collaborate with them again was a special career moment for the producer, who added “Marcus’ ideas and creativity and all the teams from Academy and The Lift were key for this amazing result. I am really happy and proud to be part of this project, and I think everyone involved feels the same.”
From the beginning, this project was all about the people – we needed a cast that looked authentic, bright, and representative of individuals from all over the world. Thankfully, the amazing team at Yanga worked tirelessly to assemble the perfect ensemble, filtering from around 1000 initial people. Head of Casting Paola Gómez shared insight on the process, saying “One of the most wonderful elements about this project was to find those depicted cities in Mexico. New York was a bit more simple since it has a very eclectic population, and the same goes for Paris because we have a big european community. But cities like Seoul and Saudi Arabia were challenging because it wasn’t just a matter of people having the look, it was also about them having the attitude or essence. People had to look authentic, simple, and with a lot of brightness in their face.”
We originally began production in December, but COVID-19 restrictions forced a pause on production until we were able to pick back up in February of 2021 and reunite together as a team. On the stop and start nature and on-set magic, Managing Partner José Barrera said “I have to hand it to Luke Goodrum, you beautiful man, who valiantly fought to make this happen until the last day. He never lost hope; cheers to you amigo! Then we were all here, ready and anxious to get things going, many moving pieces, the cast, the locations, the technicalities, all smudged together in what señor Goodrum elegantly called a one take wonder, and that’s just what it was, a marvelous and fearless trip into a one take wonderland.”
Luke echoed the sentiment, adding “This job was a real challenge but we had an awesome collaborative agency and a trusting client. The team at The Lift were invested in the creative from the start and really went above and beyond to support us. Their local relationships offered us great flexibility in shutting streets and avoiding crowds during Covid and their recommendations for HOD’s were outstanding, we felt very safe in their hands – working through three Russian Arms didn’t even seem to phase them! I look forward to shooting in Mexico again asap!”
The final product is a stunning montage of moments frozen in time, scored with Jon Hopkins’ “Singularity,” and narrated by Sir Arthur C Clarke’s 1964 speech at the New York World’s Fair. It ends on the powerful idea from Clarke that “the only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic,” – a statement that we proudly endorse.
Be sure to watch the spot above, and browse behind the scenes moments below.