MPC’s Michael Gregory makes his directorial debut with the new campaign for FIJI Water
The spots follow the journey alongside and inside a raindrop that falls high from the sky through the breathtaking, natural environments of Fiji, until it reaches the ground. It then transitions to show athletes refueling with the brand’s new water sports cap bottle after sprinting through a wildly contrasting urban landscape. The surroundings may be different, but the pureness of FIJI Water remains the same.
Gregory’s vast knowledge and skills in visual effects, combined with his creative vision and unique perspective, made him the perfect director for the spots, as it was essential to seamlessly depict the raindrop’s fast-paced journey through the different environments. MPC was tasked with building the CG water droplet that falls from the sky, reflecting and magnifying the beauty of the scenes shot in Fiji. Gregory explains the strategic process behind the shoot: “It was key to film in low light, cloudy conditions in Fiji. We shot over five days with a drone in the most remote parts of the main island, taking the drone above the clouds and shooting many different angles on the descent, so we had all the textures and plates we needed.”
MPC’s VFX team then got to work. Lead Compositor Oliver Caiden explained: “The raindrop itself was simulated CG geometry that then had all of the different textures refracted through the UV map.” He added: “This process was also applied to the droplet reflections, mapping high dynamic range skies onto the outside, so we could achieve a more immersive and richer effect.”
This process enabled the compositors to animate the raindrops and have full control over motion blur, depth of focus, refraction and reflections, making them as realistic and multifaceted as possible.
The shots were a mixture of multiple plates, matte painting, 2D and CG clouds, ultimately creating a sequence that felt seamless with reality. The spot was graded by MPC’s colorist Ricky Gausis.
The latest FIJI campaign marks a continued partnership between MPC and the Wonderful Agency – they previously handled VFX for Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos spots – but this latest campaign sees MPC managing the production through from start to finish.
Gregory explains the shift into a directorial role: “Planning the entire production process from start to finish, turning the agency’s creative concept into a film that that everyone is proud of, was key. The collaboration process with Wonderful was great and we delivered two amazing films, knowing that they had complete trust in us every step of the way.”