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Union’s Marco Perez Helps The LEGO Group Celebrate The Incredible Power of Play
- Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023
Editor reunites with Ellen Kuras, who directs the first ever fully playable brand film, ‘Play Is Your Superpower’
The LEGO Group has released its new Play Is Your Superpower campaign featuring the brand’s first ever fully playable brand film, which celebrates the heroes that can emerge in a world that has forgotten how to play. It will run for four months with three key moments: the fall launch, World Play Day on 12th October and during the brand’s peak holiday season. The film was directed by pioneering cinematographer, screenwriter and director Ellen Kuras, best known for her work on Academy Award winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Director of Photography is Rachel Morrison, one of the first female directors of photography for a big budget superhero movie, Black Panther.
- The five-minute film is packed with easter eggs, allowing viewers to play along with visual assets on LEGO.com
- The film, directed by Ellen Kuras and starring Hollywood actor Jane Lynch and superstar Sun Li in the Chinese adaption, is part of the brand’s wider Play Is Your Superpower campaign, aiming to address the global deficit in play amongst children
- A cast of superpowered industry talent including Director Ellen Kuras, DOP Rachel Morrison, and Editor Marco Perez, assembled to create the epic film.
Play Is Your Superpower was edited by Marco Perez, Partner/Editor at bicoastal Union, who has earned numerous awards and countless accolades across his distinguished career. Perez is a frequent collaborator with director Kuras on commercials (Honda) and is currently working with her on Chronicle, a documentary about the COVID-19 pandemic, for which Kuras recruited 47 filmmakers across the globe.
“Ellen is one of the directors for whom I most love to edit,” said Perez. “We have a relationship where one of us throws the ball as far as we can and the other catches it, throwing it back even further.” For LEGO, Perez traveled to Prague, where the film was shot. “Being involved early on was great, because on this one we were doing all the ‘no-no’s’ of working with kids and dogs,” he mused. Perez edited the project in London, working out of Union partner house Marshall Street Editors, where Joshua Sampson served as Social Media Editor, cutting the various social and playable assets associated with the film.
“From beginning to end it was a pleasure working with Union,” said Kuras. “Marco and I have a great working relationship, and he brought so much to the edit. He and Josh made the experience fun, and supported production every step of the way. I can’t wait for the next collaboration.”
Female-led production company The Corner Shop along with Kuras worked with set designer and art director David Lee, whose credits include Star Wars and Batman Begins. Kuras also partnered with new Irish post-production and VFX company GABHA Studio to complete the superpower ensemble team behind the film that takes viewers on a fun-filled journey that highlights the power of play.
“Marco added an extra layer of magic to the Lego film in the edit. He ran with the theme of the film - PLAY - and made the edit so playful and fun,” said Anna Hashmi, Founder/EP of The Corner Shop. “He was editing on set, and it was so rewarding to pop into that quiet area of calm and see how well the story was coming together while we were still shooting. Ellen felt very supported as a director, having an editor who was so invested in the story.”
The film stars Jane Lynch as a work-obsessed CEO who becomes enlightened to the merits of play by seeing its impact through the eyes of six adventurous children. Each child brings a different passion and skill to a mission to spread play in a monotonous, structured workplace. Superstar actress Sun Li takes on the role of the CEO in an adaption for families in China. The film, produced in collaboration between the LEGO Group’s creative agency, Our LEGO Agency (OLA), and award-winning agency Droga5 Dublin, part of Accenture Song, takes viewers on a journey that highlights the power of play.
“Jane made my life as an editor very easy,” Perez said of Lynch’s work in the film, “and Ellen cast the children so well and has such a sure instinct for building a story visually and narratively, that their performances really shine, as an ensemble and individually.”
The film is fully playable and packed with easter eggs, allowing viewers to play along and interact on LEGO.com and LEGO® Life app, where prompts on the site will encourage participation. Families will also be encouraged to transform themselves into minifigures like the characters in the film and join a global squad of passionate play advocates on LEGO.com.
Union Editorial has offices located in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content. Other Union companies include Hunter, which provides finishing services, vfx, graphics and mix for commercials, features and gaming. Union is presided over by Partner/Managing Director Michael Raimondi alongside Executive Producer Joe Ross and Head of Production Dani DuHadway in LA, Partner/Managing Director Caryn Maclean alongside Executive Producer Melissa Lubin in NY, Executive Producer Vicki Russell in Austin, and Logan Aries, Executive Producer of Hunter. The Union roster is comprised of Partner/Editors Jim Haygood, Einar Thorsteinsson, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, Merritt Duff, Graham Turner, and Chris Huth, editors Daniel Luna, Laura Milstein, Jason Lucas, Karen Kourtessis, Kevin Ray, Rachael Connelly, Zach Kashkett, Andrea MacArthur, Amanda Perry, Justin “Q” Quagliata, Vinnie Hobbs, Rodrigo Brazão, Rick Lawley, and Jono Griffith, as well as select projects with Guicho Flores, Teddy Gersten, Tim Thornton-Allan, Matt Chesse, John Mayes, Spencer Ferszt, and the Marshall Street roster.
About Our LEGO Agency
Our LEGO Agency is a 400 people strong, fully integrated in-house agency, supporting LEGO Group campaigns and embedding creativity into the heart of the brand and its product. The agency currently has five global offices, headquartered in Billund, Denmark, with regional hubs in Enfield, US; London, UK; Shanghai, China; and Singapore. The team is led by Senior Vice President and Agency lead, Nic Taylor.
About Droga5 Dublin, part of Accenture Song
Droga5 Dublin believes that the path to world-class work is through rigorous creative strategy that has clear and measurable objectives and is rooted in brand purpose. From product innovation to performance marketing, they believe that all their work needs to work in concert to connect every element at every phase of the customer journey. Droga5 Dublin strives to create work that adds value to people’s lives, not noise. They believe that our industry needs to be transformed to create things people actually want and welcome.
About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine. The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words Leg Godt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. Its products are now sold in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com.
Client: The Lego Group
Spots Title(s): Superpower of Play Hero Film
First Air Date: 9/22/23
Our LEGO Agency:
SVP and Head of Agency: Nicole Taylor, Global Creative Leads: Hazel Tracey & Guy Bingham, Global Brand Communication Lead: Dan Worrell, Sr. Global Communication Partners: Simran Khaira and Lino Fortes, Global Brand Strategist: Rebecca Price, Global Communication Strategist: Richard Yardley, Sr. Social Strategist: Natalie Williams, Sr. Global Project Manager: Kenneth Sanchez, Head of Production: Uffe Bryld, Sr. Lead Producer: Elaine Lee, Brand Global Marketing Development Team: Alero Akuya, Lisa Nash, Kristofer Crockett, Jasmin Brennan, Rebecca Dover.
Creative Agency: Droga5 Dublin, part of Accenture Song
Managing Director: Jimi McGrath, Chief Creative Officer: Jen Speirs, Chief Strategy Officer: Emma Sharkey, Head of Production: Jessica Bermingham, Creative Directors: Stephen Rogers & Edward Redgrave, Senior Art Director: Lucas Oliviera, Senior Copywriter: Anthony Ortuso, Copywriters: Emmet Heneghan & Ruby Norman-Curran, Executive Producer: David Lynch, Senior Producers: Karina Cotter & Aisling O’Dwyer, Producer: Siobhan Coakley
Production Company: The Corner Shop
Director: Ellen Kuras, Founder/ Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi, Executive Producer/Producer: Tess Mitchell, Executive Producer: Sara Wallace, DoP: Rachel Morrison
Editorial Company/Location: Union Editorial NY
Lead Editor: Marco Perez, Social Media Editor: Joshua Sampson (of Marshall Street Editors/London), Local Versions Editor: Jean Taylor, Assistant Editor: Colin Davis, Managing Director: Caryn Maclean, Executive Producer: Melissa Lubin, Head of Production: Lily Hartmann
Post Production: Gabha Studios
VFX Supervisor & Creative Director: Daniel Morris, On set VFX Supervisors: Daniel Morris & Jan Huebel, Executive Producer: Dafydd Upsdell, Colorist: Andy Francis, CG: GABHA & Rohtau, Rohtau Executive Creative Director: Jordi Bares, Rohtau Creative Director: Dragos Stefan, Rohtau Executive Producer: Josh King, Rohtau Senior Producer: Julie Nixon,
Audio Post Production: String and Tins
Music and Composition Arrangement: Joseph Alexander, Additional Music Composition and Production: Jim Stewart, Sound Designers: Will Cohen, Jim Stewart, Foley: Earthsound
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