King James Cape Town asked us to help them craft a social media campaign for the launch of the new Netflix series "The Umbrella Academy". The series involves a family of misfit superheroes with unexpected or unusual abilities - the campaign hook therefore lay in getting popular social media influencers to post videos to their feeds that inadvertently showed off their inconvenient or embarrassing superpowers. Each video post needed to fit innocuously into their regular feed without causing suspicion, and each of influencers needed to have a unique superpower.

Three influencers were chosen:

Rushana Isaacs, a makeup artist with a secret tentacle condition;
Grant Hinds, a gamer with a tendancy to spontaneously teleport; and
Aqeelah Harron Ally, a fashion vlogger with a levitation problem.

So we styled the shoot and locations to be as normal as possible, with a spontaneous script and edit style that closely matched each influencer’s technique. We shot Rushana from her own makeup room, Grant on the run in a city location and Aqeela from an AirBnB apartment. Each shoot was largely unscripted, and we pulled the structure together in edit.

On the post-production side, we then added in effects as necessary: Grant had to teleport in a flash around the room, Aqeela had her levitation-rig (cables and harness) painted away, and Rushana had octopus-like tentacles added in 3D. The end result was a feel somewhere between a documentary and a superhero short.

For followers, on Instagram and YouTube, the results were unexpected and hilarious.

Produced by Masters & Savant. Director: Chris Lockhart. Producer: Alise Antrobus. Animators: Sean Frawley, Hennie Kok.

 Netflix – Umbrella Academy – Influencer Promo
Chris Lockhart
 Netflix – Umbrella Academy – Teleport
Chris Lockhart
 Netflix – Umbrella Academy – Levitate
Chris Lockhart