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‘The Fearless are Here’ – Nexus Studios’ Smith & Foulkes launch 2018 Winter Olympics

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Nexus Studios in collaboration with Y&R London have launched the 2018 Winter Olympics with a stunning new animated spot helmed by Oscar-nominated creative duo Smith & Foulkes. The film serves as the basis for the BBC’s The Fearless are Here campaign and is a highly-energised, semi-abstract depiction of a luger, skier, curler, snowboarder, ski jumper and ice skater’s journeys through the physical and psychological obstacles such athletes see themselves up against.

From the beginning, the ambition was to focus on the feeling that fear and anxiety induce in top level athletes rather than simply represent it as a physical monster. The creative focus became how to dramatise the negative emotions that must be conquered in order to succeed. This drove the team towards a more shapeshifting, morphing animation style.

-Nexus Studios

Having graduated from the Royal College of Art, creative duo Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith quickly rose to prominence in the creative industries through a variety of high-profile commissions combining live-action, animation and VFX, beginning with tour visuals for U2 and subsequently amassing an impressive roster of corporate clients including Coca-Cola, Honda, HP, Comcast and Intel. Their reputation has been cemented by such accolades as a Cannes Grand Prix, several Cannes Gold Lions, two D&AD Black Pencils and an Oscar nomination in 2009 for their short film This Way Up.

To create the authentic quality of movement seen in The Fearless are Here, Smith & Foulkes researched live action sports filming techniques and made use of emerging VR cinematography software, allowing them to experiment with a variety of different camera angles as though shooting with a handheld, live-action camera. The stunning 2D animation was achieved by a team of Nexus Studios’ top artists led by Bishoy Gendi and supervised by Michal Firkowski with Art direction by Alice Duke and Shen Yi.

There have been many memorable BBC Olympic title spots created over the years so the pressure was on from the start to bring something special to the party. It’s impossible to completely rewrite the story of the Winter Olympics; there are after all only so many sports to choose from. For starters, skiers were always going to hurtle down mountains. We just tried to bring a new visual approach to portray the intense drama of winter sports.

-Alan Smith, Smith & Foulkes

For more from Nexus visit nexusstudios.com

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