Product / ServiceJOHNNIE WALKER
CategoryA02. Computer Graphics/Visual Effects
EntrantBBH CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Entrant Company BBH CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Advertising Agency BBH CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Production Company FILMS SHANGHAI, CHINA
Production Company 2 THE MILL London, UNITED KINGDOM


Name Position
Johnny Tan Executive Creative Director
Leo Zhang Creative Director
Jay Qian/Leo Zhang Copywriter
Jeffrey Sun/Johnny Tan/Nicola Chung/Woody Pan Art Director
Krystie Koh Agency Producer
Finnian O Neill Account Supervisor
Merrilyn Lim Producer
Joseph Kahn Director
Terence Manuel Editor
Zh Communication Sound Design/Arrangement
The Mill Post Production
Carlos Fraiha Animation
Chow Lam Lighting
Brain And Melissa Music
Charles Wigley Planner
Sam Driscoll/Francois Roisin/Dan Moore/Carlos Fraiha/Andreas Greichen Special Effects/Computer Graphics
Joseph Kahn Cinematographer
Christopher Probst Director Of Photography
Attic Editing Company
2d Compositors: Andy Dill/Gary Driver/Siro Valente/John Price Other Credits

Brief Explanation

The latest iteration of Johnnie Walker’s Keep Walking campaign sees the brand partnering with game changers who exemplify the Keep Walking spirit. In Greater China, the work heroes Bruce Lee. Chinese consumers only know Bruce the martial artist. This campaign introduces them to Bruce the philosopher for the first time. Bruce’s Chinese screen-name is Little Dragon. In the opening line “Dragons never die,” he is referring both to himself and the great figures of the past (the dragons) who have gained immortality in popular culture. The water metaphor ties back to his thinking on instincts - applied both to martial arts and life, encapsulated in his famous quotation, ‘Be Water My Friend.’ The film opens with Bruce reflecting on a projection of the original 1971 interview when he first spoke those words. He then expounds his philosophy and explains the inspirational attitude that led to his gamechanging success. Recreated using revolutionary filmmaking technology, he encourages us to have the courage to express who we are and urges a new generation to follow in his footsteps and start living their dreams. He finally issues viewers an inspirational challenge: “Because someday you’ll be more than a success. You’ll be a game changer.”

Creative Execution

Our on-set setup was minimally invasive to support Joseph Kahn's rapid shooting pace. We placed tracking markers on Danny Chan's face to allow us to extract the 3d tracking data for the base head. Once the head was tracked we animated the model in Maya using a combination of blend shapes and a rig. The model was lit and rendered in Softimage using the Arnold renderer. The hair was also done in Softimage. All compositing was done in flame. There were 30 shots with Bruce Lee's face in the spot and every time the model changed all those shots were re-rendered and composited. It was not uncommon for the model to change every day. This was a hard job and uncharted territory. Other facilities had used other approaches with mixed success, but there is little knowledge sharing. Our big struggles with the shots were creating his likeness which was harder to get right than anyone expected, and then animating a compelling performance. CG by it's nature is static and it was an uphill battle to saturate Bruce Lee's face with movement without over-doing it.