News / Animation

Adidas film by Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee turns football match into high energy, “He-Man” inspired cartoon

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Animation director Nicos Livesey, one of It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch and illustrator Stevie Gee have directed a campaign film for Adidas starring world-renowned footballers, overlaid with “psychedelic” illustrations.

Part of the brand’s Here to Create campaign with agency Iris London, the short animates game footage of Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Roberto Firmino and Luis Suárez turning the “boring” clips into high energy cartoons.

“This is something that two overgrown children would create,” Nicos jokes. “The idea was to draw over the football match and make the players trip out. Stevie’s drawings have this great style, it totally lends itself to animation.”

“We wanted to do something different for the football scene,” says Stevie. “It’s like football micro-dosing on acid. The films are about ‘the moment of creation’ when some kind of sporting magic happens and a boring game is transformed into a mind-warping feat of unrealness. They also express personal elements of the footballer’s personality or playing style.”

Nicos says of the collaboration process: “To make it we’d chat through the idea then Stevie would get the old brush and inks out and start developing the characters and visuals all on paper. I’d dive into animatics and work out transitions, add stupid shit. Throughout we’d just keep showing each other, suggesting extra things, crack up over drawings of goofy-looking footie guys. It was all inspired by Stevie’s drawings and the fact we like the same kind of old-school animation, skate graphics and cartoons.”

Stevie adds: “My style of art is pretty flat, colour wise, I don’t use much texture, gradient or effects so we were keen to try and keep that in the animation which gave it a kind of old-school vibe, like a He-Man cartoon. We are both fans of Vince Collins’ animation style which suited my drawings. Nicos is a morph-wizard so was able to figure out some rad transformations.”

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas

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Nicos Livesey and Stevie Gee: Here to Create for Adidas