Penelope Cruz in a pink jacket, sitting on a luxurious plane

Fly Better

Emirates’ latest campaign takes flight with a little help from new brand ambassador Hollywood actor, Penelope Cruz.

Shoot Production
woman seated on a plane

With a thought-provoking theme of ‘travel is not just about the end destination; ​it’s also about how you get there’, the campaign showcases the range of destinations available to Emirates customers alongside the luxuries of the Fly Better experience.

Directed by Oscar-winning director Robert Stromberg, Framestore collaborated with Emirates, Heads Up Production and RSA to deliver the brand film and a series of 40+ bumpers in both English and Spanish. The ads were written and created in-house by Richard Billington, Emirates’ Senior Vice President of Brand and Advertising.

Penelope Cruz on a plane

The team employed a range of techniques including complex digital matte painting, camera matching, blue screen compositing and creating seamless transitions, a metaphor for the ease of travel from one destination to the other, to bring the campaign to life.

Production extended over several weeks, with filming taking place in Dubai and South Africa. Previs was carried out ahead of the shoot to help inform camera movement across some of the scenes to ensure successful and seamless transitions from one scene to the next.

Led by Framestore Creative Director, Kamen Markov, Framestore was tasked with digitally recreating several of these locations throughout the film.

“For the Tokyo Shibuya Crossing shot, the talent was filmed on a blue screen in South Africa before we used VFX to recreate the entire environment. To accomplish this, a highly detailed DMP was created, predicted and tracked over a 3D proxy of the location” Kamen explains.

two people lounging on a plane

One of the more complex shots to deliver was the Swiss Alps opening. “To achieve the depth and connection between the blue screen set and footpath, the team separated the DMP on several layers and projected them over CG proxies of rocks and ground” he notes.

Other VFX work included the African Savannah scene which involved creating much of the environment in Photoshop and Nuke before incorporating the elephants from stock footage. Framestore was also tasked with transforming a beach that was shot in South Africa to appear as Mauritius.

Woman on plane with binoculars

The grade was completed by Colourist Matthieu Toullet at Company 3: “The film had to feel visually fresh and luxurious to honour the brand, so it was essential to bring out certain elements, such as the gold on the tables. The brightness within the imagery was particularly important in generating those holiday feels."

Kamen concludes: “It was a great pleasure to work with Robert Stromberg and Emirates to deliver on their vision. The end result is a top-notch campaign that we are all very proud of”.

elephants viewed through binoculars


Emirates SVP Brand & Advertising
Richard Billington
Emirates Global Brand & Content Specialist
Radhika Mazumdar
Production Agency
Heads Up Production
Partner / Executive Producer
Jody Allison
Junior Producer
Laura Knapp
Production Company
Robert Stromberg
Erik Sohlström
Ben Porter
Production Manager
Katie Keith
VFX Shoot Supervision
Kamen Markov, Pedro Sabrosa
Creative Director and VFX Supervisor
Kamen Markov
Compositing Supervisor
Mike Baker, Sara Oh, Joan Marques Carbonell, Aadel Matoorianpour, Guy Lubin, Vinny David, Tomer Epshtein
Mark Orne, Priyanka Telang, Jessica Ferry
Sharon Lock, Dani Marsh
Joel Savage
VFX Editorial
Humberto Reynaga, Matthew Collins
Executive Producer
Anna MacDonald
VFX Coordinator
Chloe Dunn, Poppy Chadwick
Production Assistant
Conor Garnett
Data Services
Madeline Haydon, Nick Rafferty, Ed Brown, Ollie Cooke, Tom Perry, George Vickers
Company 3
Senior Colourist
Matthieu Toullet
Colour Support
Santino Napolitano
Line Producer
Bigtooth Studios