2021 Innovation

FELLINI FORWARD

Short List
TitleFELLINI FORWARD
BrandCAMPARI GROUP
Product/ServiceCAMPARI RED DIARIES
Category A02. Applied Innovation
Entrant WUNDERMAN THOMPSON Milan, ITALY
Idea Creation WUNDERMAN THOMPSON Milan, ITALY
PR HILL+KNOWLTON London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production UNIT9 London, UNITED KINGDOM
Post Production UNIT9 London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Sergio Rodriguez WPP Global Creative Director Campari WPP
Lorenzo Crespi Wunderman Thompson Italy Chief Creative Officer
Dario Marongiu Wunderman Thompson Italy Creative Director
Lorenzo Branchi Wunderman Thompson Italy Creative Director
Virginie Alexandre Wunderman Thompson Italy Senior TV Producer
Marco Papale Wunderman Thompson Italy Head of Innovation
Alessandro Fusco Wunderman Thompson Italy Head of Digital Strategy
Arianna Nitri Wunderman Thompson Italy Art Director
Maximilian Niemann Unit9 Creative Director
Marc D’Souza  Unit9 Project Director
Martino Butti Unit9 Executive Producer
Yi Nong Dong Unit9 Producer
Maciej Zasada  Unit9 Technical Director
Harry Starkey-Midha  Unit9 Producer Short Movie
Drea Cooper Unit9 Directors Documentary
Zackary Canepari   Unit9 Directors Documentary
Gary Kout Unit9 Producers Documentary
Adam Dolman Unit9 Executive Producers Documentary
Andrea Betti Wunderman Thompson Italy Strategic Planner
Ruth Arban WPP Global Client Leader
Marco Croci Wunderman Thompson Italy Client Service Director
Lorenzo Salemme Wunderman Thompson Italy Client Service Director
Eliza Guarienti Wunderman Thompson Italy Account Director
Federica Carpanzano Wunderman Thompson Italy Account Supervisor
Marco Celletti Wunderman Thompson Italy Account Executive
Jacopo Galimberti Wunderman Thompson Italy Junior Account

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

Fellini Forward is a groundbreaking project that breaks the rules of traditional filmmaking and harnesses the power of technology to signpost the future of cinema. Endeavouring to emulate the creative genius of one of the greatest filmmakers is no small feat, and is something that has never been done before. Artificial Intelligence has made this possible. What we’ve created is a truly innovative art experiment that uses a wealth of new technologies and tools, combined in a bespoke way, to provide invaluable input into the filmmaking process and produce a unique piece of cinema influenced by Italy’s greatest director.

Background

Since its creation, Campari has pushed the boundaries of creativity to go beyond the norm, and its relationship with the arts - especially cinema - has grown strong. Having worked with the iconic film director, Federico Fellini, on one of his few brand collaborations in 1984, Campari wanted to continue and celebrate his legacy with a forward-thinking project that blends creativity and innovation in the cinema industry with the most cutting-edge technology. Was there a way for us to bring the Maestro back from the grave to direct a new short film?

Describe the idea

Using artificial intelligence, we set out to unearth Fellini’s creative genius in ways that had never been done before and create a new short film infused with the essence of the Italian director. By training an AI on Fellini’s past works, we would be able to generate new ideas for a new piece of cinema that felt authentically Felliniesque. We would need to use a mixture of off the shelf and bespoke AI tools - although some of these tools had been used before, the way that we were combining them to create a new workflow was completely unique. Another key part of our idea was to corroborate the AI’s suggestions with a team of human experts - creatives and members of Fellini’s family and crew - to validate that what we were doing felt true to the director’s style.

What were the key dates in the development process?

AI - DIGITAL DISCOVERY 10/12/19 - 28/02/20 (research / definition of approach / technical feasibility). AI - DIGITAL PRODUCTION 28/02/20 - 15/06/21 (data extraction & validation / tool development / AI model development). Live Action PreProd 18/01/21 - 23/04/21 (3D content production, animation, previs, shoot).

Describe the innovation / technology

New and existing AI tools were brought together in a unique workflow. Using AI, we analysed Fellini’s past work to extract data and establish patterns in his creative style, looking at shot type, camera movement, dialogue and facial emotion amongst other elements. A new AI-driven script-writing tool was created using the existing GPT-2 AI model. The model was retrained on Fellini transcripts as well as film script structure and syntax in order to predict dialogue, characters, action and parentheticals in order to make Felliniesque contributions to the new script. A pre-visualisation tool was also created from scratch to bring the vision of the short film to life. The AI model at the core of the tool, the Fellini shot prediction model, was developed as a plug-in for real-time 3D creation platform, Unreal Engine, meaning the Felliniesque nature of the AI-generated ideas could be assessed pre-shoot as real-time renders in Unreal.

Describe the expectations / outcome

Throughout the process, Fellini’s niece Francesca Fabri Fellini and original members of his crew, including camera operator Blasco Giurato, set designer Dante Ferretti and costume director Luigi Piccolo, were consulted to provide key insights on the director’s past work and to validate that the AI suggestions were truly ‘Felliniesque’. Therefore the final outcome can indeed be judged as staying true to Fellini’s creative style. Using AI in the filmmaking process sped up the scriptwriting and pre-visualisation process significantly and offered alternative solutions that the human mind would never have thought up on its own.