Thursday, July 18, 2013

Johnnie Walker Bruce Lee Advertisement

It has been 40 years since legendary Chinese American martial artist and filmmaker Bruce Lee took Equagesic (a painkiller) and went to take his eternal sleep. Expert said he has died from an allergic reaction to the muscle relaxant (meprobamate) in Equagesic, some said he had a delayed reaction to a Dim Mak strike he received several weeks prior to his collapse. Whatever the reason, as Linda Lee's voice over in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story says, it is better to discuss the Dragons's life instead of his death.

And The Dragon (Lee was born in both the hour and the year of the Dragon) still lives on. So it would not be suprising to see "him" looking over Hong Kong's impressive 21st century skyline in a recent advertisement. But still it gave my spine chills to watch Bruce Lee in the new advertisement for Johnnie Walker.

Watch Johnnie Walker Bruce Lee Advertisement for yourself below. If you do not (somehow) know Lee you would probably not realize that the "actor" is in fact an impressive 3D CGI work. The video is a promotional work created with the sponsorship of Johnnie Walker for its Blue Label product. The CGI work is done by visual FX company The Mill in 9 months. Details are impressive. To catch the life like charm and soul of Bruce Lee, the director has consulted Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee.

I think Shannon Lee forgot to tell these guys that Bruce Lee has never drank alcohol during his 32 years of life. For this reason, the video got some criticism on using The Dragon in a whiskey advertisement but the director Joseph Kahn explains:

"This spot isn't about drinking, nor does Bruce Lee ever pitch, hold, talk about it. It's a short inspirational film sponsored by Johnnie Walker. Those making comparisons of "water" to "alcohol" are literalists & wrong. Last thing alcohol wants to be is water. It's a metaphor for life. It's his metaphor in his actual words. I spent a year living and breathing this man, thinking about him every day. For me, it's not an ad. It's an exploration & celebration of him. This is a sculpture in a different medium, paid for by a different church. I stand behind it."

This is a very well crafted sculpture.

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