Creative studio Metaphrenie slowed down time in its global spot for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which was commissioned by The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) ahead of the games.
The spot, titled “The Whistle,” takes viewers on a quick trip around the world to visit fans in Mexico, Germany, Japan, Argentina and Qatar.
Each setting represents a vignette, including a 93-year-old Mexican grandfather who has been alive for every World Cup finally fulfilling his dream of attending himself; a growing group of fans watching the games on a sunny rooftop; a welder building a giant statue to honor the players; a football freestyler on the brink of going viral; and a mother about to welcome a new baby. The first half of the spot showcases these moments in real-time, but when the whistle blows, time slows and brings the world’s attention to Qatar.
“We wanted this spot to depict the global phenomenon that is the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and how so many different moments and memories come out of this one shared experience,” said Metaphrenie Founder and Executive Creative Director Andrea Dionisio in a statement. “To get that idea across, we depicted time bending and slowing down in the world of each story – and a number of easter eggs that viewers can discover each time they watch it.”
To solve the challenge of multiple international locations, Dionisio and co-director Steven Petersen shot the production primarily at Thunder Studios’ XR Stage in Los Angeles. The Metaphrenie team created photorealistic background plates of the Buenos Aires skyline, Al Bayt Stadium and Lusail Stadium, where the kick-off and final games will be played. In addition, sets and practical locations were used.
To achieve the super slow motion used throughout the spot, Metaphrenie shot with a Phantom camera and augmented the slow-mo footage with photorealistic VFX. The large-scale production included a 50-plus person crew and a cast of 45 talent, as well as the studio’s post-production and CG teams.
“While the production schedule was ambitious, we’re always looking at how new technology can be used not only for storytelling but also for budgetary and logistical practicality,” said Dionisio. “Shooting on an XR stage just made the most sense for what we were trying to achieve in this piece. XR production will definitely be a big part of how content is created in the future. It truly was a game-changer for us and offered a more seamless experience with our client. I can’t wait to do it again.”
The spot launched on the opening day of the 2022 World Cup and will air locally in Qatar, on the SC website, YouTube channel, and social channels.
Client: The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
Deputy Director General (Marketing, Communications and Tournament Experience): Khalid Ali Al-Mawlawi
Community Engagement & Commercial Executive Director (Marketing, Communications and Tournament Experience): Khalid Abdel Rahman Al-Naama
Director of Film Production Unit (Marketing, Communications and Tournament Experience): Gabrielle A. Freiha
Film Production Manager of Film Production Unit (Marketing, Communications and Tournament Experience): Ziad Sunna’
Production, Design & VFX Company: Metaphrenie
Executive Creative Director: Andrea Dionisio
Directors: Andrea Dionisio & Steven Petersen
Creative Director: Nico Bolacha
Executive Producer: Elaina Porter
Live-Action Producer: Chad Engel
Production Manager: Chloé Malaisé
Production Coordinator: Felipe Silva-Arroyo
Director of Photography: Thomas Stanton
VFX Supervisor: John Brennick
CG Supervisor: Robert Wegemund
Houdini Artist: Christopher Watson-Wood
Editor & Colorist: Andrea Dionisio
Composer: Reiner Erlings
Sound Design & Mix: Michael Keeley