As U2's new tour gets underway, there's a lot of excitement in the air about their new album, "No Line on the Horizon," and their revolutionary new stage design. Both are on display in "Light," a new "event" spot touting the band's partnership with BlackBerry.
In the ad, we see the band performing a cut from the new LP, as tiny specks of light reflect off their instruments (and Bono's shades, of course). The specks multiply, and become more prominent, culminating in a visual crescendo. Bono is enveloped in brightness, as he sings of "sparks of light." The camera pulls back over a sea of screaming fans, and we see the entire band onstage. The visual is complemented by the line "BlackBerry Loves U2," and the url, www.blackberry.com/u2.
Directed by longtime U2 collaborator Alex Courtes and created via Leo Burnett Chicago, the spot was cut by Adam Jenkins of bicoastal Union, who was handed the challenge of bringing two distinct brands together in the perfect edit.
"This project is the coming together of a lot of different elements," Jenkins explains. "We had the band, crowd and stage shot on green screen in Dublin, and everything else (including the 3D model of U2's concert backdrop) was added in post. It helped that Alex knew exactly what he wanted this to look like. The finished product very closely resembles his storyboards."
When it came to shots of the band, Jenkins viewed this more as a music video than a commercial. "Bands of this magnitude and image have a certain look that's part of their mystique," he says. "Both Alex and I have worked with U2 before, and while they were shot with two cameras at all times, they're such professionals and work with a solid blueprint that makes the edit a lot more manageable."
Transporting, organizing, and prepping the footage - shot both on the Phantom and on 35mm film - involved what Union's East Coast Executive Producer Caryn MacLean calls "a lot of logistical intensity. " "I'm grateful to Nicky and her team at Leo Burnett for assembling this group," concludes Union Partner/Executive Producer Michael Raimondi. "We all really enjoyed collaborating on 'Light,' and making it a reality."