In China, Jordan Brand Treads a Stunning Stop-Motion World

From Blinkink directors Jonny & Will

In a world with sneakers as the dominant—indeed, perhaps only—life form, kicks visit barber shops for quick shines and hot-towel treatments, drive skateboards instead of cars and raise their laces for high fives.

Jordan Brand and Nike Greater China bring such scenes to life in impressive work from Studio Nowhere, Loft Films Shanghai and acclaimed Blinkink directors Jonny & Will.

Combining old-school puppetry, advanced stop-motion techniques and CGI sets built with Unreal Engine, the team transports viewers to a place ardent sneaker-heads have heretofore only seen in their dreams.

Jordan Brand | Barber Shop x Handshake

The work seeks to show a soulful universe designed by the sneakers themselves, where the shoes set the pace and create a street culture all their own.

Of course, it's a celebration of Nike fandom, a nod to Jordan obsessors who eagerly await each drop and unbox styles on TikTok for all to see.

Jonny & Will broke down their approach for Shots, noting that they strove to create believable characters and push the envelope just so far.

"It made sense to us for this project to use actual trainers and create expressive characters by manipulating the shoes in ways they naturally flex and move," they said. "We didn't want to make silly, wacky trainer guys with stuck-on eyes or flappy mouths; we wanted to keep the characterization more subtle."

The shoot took just two days. with Jonny & Will manipulating the shoes with rods against green screen backgrounds. A section of sidewalk and the barber chairs were real. All other details were added in Unreal.

Their results look fanciful in the best possible way. Jordan meets consumers where they live, with content and commerce in perfect step.

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