Paul McCartney and Paralympics Super Heroes

ParalympicsGB is raising funds for athletes heading to the Beijing Games, with the support of Sir Paul McCartney. A TV ad is calling for members of the public to invest in the future of disability sport in the UK both in the run up to London 2012 and beyond.

Paralympian in ParalympicsGB TV ad

The main film is a powerful montage of monochromatic shots, each showing a beautifully lit close-up of an athletic body, with cleverly orchestrated shadows and camera angles obscuring the Paralympians’ disabilities. Only when the track kicks in (Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings) do we see the athletes powerfully performing in their full glory, revealing their disabilities. At the end, a lion made of fire takes over the screen before turning into the ParalympicsGB logo.

Click on the image below to play the video.

The second film sees Paul McCartney passionately talking about how heroic our Paralympians are. Behind him is a giant stylized dot-matrix screen that shows footage from the main film.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Paralympics Super Heroes campaign was developed at Team Saatchi by Adrian and Julian Borra, with agency producer Laura Mueller.

Filming was shot by director Luke Scott via RSA Films with producer Ewen Brown.

Colorist was Paul Harrison at The Mill. Editor was Cyril Metzger at Cut & Run. Sound was designed by Parv Thind and Aaron Reynolds at Wave Studios, London.

Visual effects were developed at Golden Square by producer Danny Jones, lead Flame artist Mark Beardall, CGI artist Mike Little.

Sir Paul McCartney was shot against green screen in an otherwise blank studio. So Mark Beardall and his team had to create the environment in Flame. Using U2’s Zoo as a starting point, they developed the concept of a giant floating screen with burnt out light bulbs that convey sequences from the main film as dot-matrix images. After chromakeying Paul McCartney from the greenscreen, he was placed into the new environment, with the backdrop being tracked to his camera moves. The dots (or light bulbs) were then treated with glints and glows to bleed into each other and Paul McCartney.

Paralympics Lion in ParalympicsGB TV ad

The flaming lion required the most amount of post in the main film. Images of lions were projected onto a simple 3D geometry that represented the lion in the logo. Fire textures and explosion elements were added to create the intense flames. It was further enlivened with heat haze and glows until the ball of fire was transitioned into the logo. Flame was also used to perfect the film’s mood by enhancing the grade and adding lighting effects like flickers, flairs and shafts of light emanating from different sources within the shot. Additional effects included rig removal and creating organic flickering titles.