Watch out world… Li-Ning is coming!!!

Chinese shoe company Li-Ning is planning its American launch soon and last fall I had a chance to work with them and Philadelphia 76ers first round draft choice Evan Turner on his very first commercial.  Li-Ning made the decision to make the former Ohio State standout their “face” in China, the US and around the world.    After a rookie season in which Turner improved by leaps and bounds, his celebrity status in China is only growing and if this NBA lockout ever ends you will see a consistent jumpshot has been added to his repertoire!

Evan was great to work with, he was receptive to everything the director and I asked of him which at the end of the day was all we could ask for!  To make this unique commercial we had a set that was  about 20 feet above ground made of three inch thick plexiglass which when looking down made everyone a bit uneasy!  We had 4 great basketball players that All In One productions, had cast for the shoot, Kenny Jackson, Kenny Penn, Jayme Miller, Ashanti Cook.  These guys had all played basketball at a high level and had also done some commercial work, so they understood the “drill” and what was needed to make everything look amazing.  The choreography had to be very precise as we didn’t have a large amount of surface to use.  Cuts had to be hard and we had to rehearse the stop and go actions several times to get the timing and positioning right. The vision of the project was to be sort of a basketball “ballet” where Evan was dribbling the ball and the defenders were converging on him trying to stop his every move.  As you will see from the video below, the commercial has a lot of great aspects from showcasing the shoes, to Evan make the “ankle-breaking” moves that the director Steve Nyuen needed!

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