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Zero 2 Sixty Shoots Seamless Spot for Lincoln

(May 19, 2005)

Having successfully collaborated with Zero 2 Sixty (0:2:60) on numerous other campaigns, Uniworld Group (New York, NY) returned to the New York-based commercial production company to shoot DNA,  which supports the launch of the Lincoln Mark LT  for the Ford Motor Companys Lincoln  brand. The graphics driven :30 spot, with a :23/7 lift, features Earvin ?Magic Johnson  of the L.A. Lakers and Basketball Hall of Fame, and rolled out nationally the week of May 16th.

?This project, in particular, was the perfect match for Bobs creative expertise. He looked at the boards, took the frames apart, understood the creative concerns of the agencys team and branded his own vision in the process. Bob created an animated presentation, which laid out his visual expectations, in the process eliminating any anxiety or ambiguity, and focusing the teams vision. His pre-vis put everybody on the same page, explained 0:2:60 President and Executive Producer Doug Robbins.  ?Bobs greatest strength is that he can look at a creative challenge and see a solution, and in the process help focus the efforts of the creative team. He is not just talented but has the ability to articulate, present, sell and collaborate. 

With one seamless, continuous move DNA opens in a fantasy molecular environment in which a single atom morphs into the Lincoln starburst emblem. The camera pulls out rapidly revealing that the logo is embossed on the temple of sunglasses worn by ?Magic Johnson who is behind the wheel of a Mark LT. The pull out continues and reveals the creamy interior of the truck.  Suddenly, the camera pulls out through the rear window and pans around the truck, which is barreling through a Golden Hour desert, and moves to the windshield revealing the 2006 Mark LT in all its beauty. The camera continues to move through the windshield, past a confidently smiling  ?Magic and up through the open moon roof to four stars in the firmament which form the points of the Lincoln star emblem. The spot dissolves to a full resolution Lincoln logo against black as the nameplates  ?Aviator, ?Navigator, and ?Mark LT fly forward and resolve to the final tag, ?Travel Well over a beauty shot of the three vehicles.

?The agency boards were really solid with a strong idea that did not need a lot of dressing up. My job was to shepherd and add shape to an already good idea, to figure out how best to execute the concept. We explored a number of options and decided to shoot the truck on the dry lakebed as the cracked earth lends a unique texture and an otherworldly look and feel to the footage. We wanted to ride that line between real and unreal, explained 0:2:60 Director Robert Mowen.

?I added an extra element to the board and in the process created a real challenge for myself. As the camera moves around the truck the day changes  from early morning to noon and then sunset. I wanted to begin when it was bright and complete the shot when it was dark so we could end with a final move to the Lincoln logo in the night sky. With a Russian Arm attached to a camera car we were able to create a seemingly continuous move out the back window, along the truck bed, to the front of the vehicle, pausing momentarily, then across the hood, through the windshield and up to the heavens. We repeated the single move numerous time throughout the day, making sure that each pass was as similar to the others as possible, so we could marry the moves in post and make it appear as though the day is changing as the camera is rolling. The key was having a crack team of camera operators who were able to get the passes so close to one another. 

For the interior shots, shot on a Southern California stage, that explore the steering wheel, the seats and include extreme close-ups of ?Magic Johnson, the 0:2:60 team removed the front and back windows and employed the same lens, with a different mount, which allowed them to do much smaller moves.

Uniworld Groups Group Creative Director/Copywriter Lisa Llewellyn, added, ?Bob is a very thoughtful director, very well prepared, very secure in his talent.  He is the least director-like person I know, but the most thorough director I have ever worked with. This is a very understated, smart, seamless spot which joins two icons the Mark LT and ?Magic Johnson. To make the spot come alive we had to have a director who was as thoughtful and as intelligent as Bob.

Darlene C. Samuels, Uniworld Group Executive Producer, added, ?Lisa and Paul were the creative parents of this project. My job, as producer, was to find the best production company, the one that could actually deliver this spot seamlessly in one move without it looking hokey, without it looking put together. I had worked with Bob on another innovative, effects heavy project and knew he was perfect for this challenge. One of things I like about how he works is that everything is integral to everything else. Nothing is added on, nothing is superfluous, he marries all the elements to create a cohesive, effective whole.  We are very pleased with Bob Mowens and 0:2:60s contribution to this campaign.

And, adds Uniworlds Chief Creative Officer Rebecca Williams,  ?It is not always easy to work with a celebrity and ?Magic is about as celeb as they come.  Zero 2 Sixty  took everything in stride and had everything running really smoothly. We were lucky to have a great production company, a great crew and a great star to work with and I think it all added up to a wonderful commercial.

And a final thought from Lincoln Mercurys Multicultural Marketing Manager, Jeanine White, ?We are pleased with the directorial execution of our latest television spot DNA.  Bobs unique vision captures the spirit of our newest luxury truck, the Lincoln Mark LT, in a style that entertains yet motivates the viewer to take a second look.

0:2:60 is headquartered at 121 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001. For further information about the 0:2:60 directorial team, which includes Mark Claywell, Reginald Hudlin, Robert Mowen and Glen Owen, contact Executive Producer Doug Robbins, Phone (212) 807-7123, FAX (212) 807-0427, or email  Zero 2 Sixty is represented in the Midwest by Maureen Butler, (312) 320-6027 or  and in New York by John Naitove (212)  633-6211 or Check out their website at

These directors are also available through Comotion Films, 951 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307. Contact Executive Producer Sheryl Myers at (404) 688-3800, fax (404) 688-3900; Email:; website

 DNA Credit Sheet:

DNA was lensed at Ben Kitay Studios (Hollywood, CA) and on location at El Mirage, a dry lake bed (Victorville, CA), by a 0:2:60 creative team which included Director Robert Mowen, Executive Producer Doug Robbins, Producer Audree Verduin and DP John Stanier.

Representing Uniworld Group were Director of Creative Services Carmon Johnston, Chief Creative Officer Rebecca Williams, Group Creative Director/Copywriter Lisa Llewellyn, Art Director Paul James, and Executive Producer Darlene C. Samuels.

All postproduction was completed at R!OT Manhattan (New York, NY) by a creative team which included Executive Producer Luis Ribeiro; VFX Producer Angela Lupo; VFX Set Supervisor Lesley Robson-Foster; Lead Senior VFX Artist Tom McCullough, who also handled the offline and online assignments; Additional Visual Effects by Artists Randie Swanberg, Matt Reilly, Fred Wilson and Bridget Fullan;  Mac Artist  Phillip Akka; and  Color Corrector Fred Keller.

The CG work was completed at R!OT Santa Monica (anta Monica, CA) by VFX/CG Supervisor  Andy Lesniak and VFX/CG Artist  David Carlson. The final audio mix was  completed at Sound Lounge (New York, NY) by  Mixer Peter Holcomb. 

Composer David Wolfert and Executive Producer Joel Simon of JSM Music (New York, NY) provided the musical underscore.


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