Channel 4, in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox and its media agency Vizeum completed a world first broadcast stunt live in a TV ad break. On Sunday 18th December, Hollywood stuntman Dave Grant free fell from almost 100 feet at a speed of over 50mph live on air, in celebration of the UK theatrical release of Assassin’s Creed on 1st January 2017.
The highly ambitious feat is a bold homage to the iconic ‘Leap of Faith’ jump featured in the film – whereby we see Michael Fassbender’s character ‘Aguilar’ free fall dive from the top of extremely tall structures. The film’s Director Justin Kurzel opted for real life stunts in place of CGI wherever possible and the ad break has been created in celebration of this.
David Grant (the stuntman from the film) is one of only a handful of stuntmen capable of performing a free fall from this height meaning jumps such as this are rarely attempted, even on film sets. The ad was filmed outdoors at Millennium Mills, a derelict flour mill in Newham, London where there were many variables for David to overcome on the night, including negotiating the dark, winter weather conditions and jumping live on national television.
The dramatic 100 second ad break, produced by creative company The Outfit, aired at approximately 9.10pm during Channel 4’s critically acclaimed drama Humans, when viewers were also treated to an exclusive first look at footage from the film.
10 second teaser ads appeared on air from Wednesday 14th December across Channel 4 and E4 and built anticipation for the event using the straplines No harness. No CGI. No Going Back. Viewers were encouraged to join the conversation on social media using #C4LeapOfFaith.
Angus Mitchell, Agency Principal, Channel 4 said: "We’re incredibly excited to be making TV history with Twentieth Century Fox by attempting something no other broadcaster has ever dared to. This innovative idea was developed through 4 Sales’ creative arm PL4Y and is the perfect way to celebrate and showcase the fantastic stunts in the film. It also marks a long and successful relationship with Twentieth Century Fox, delivering a truly unique and highly engaging experience for Channel 4 viewers.”
Cameron Saunders, Managing Director UK Theatrical, Twentieth Century Fox said: “Assassin’s Creed is going to be the event movie of 2017, with nail-biting, never seen before breathtaking action sequences. What better way to bring a taster of this adrenaline to audiences throughout the UK than this daring live Leap of Faith? There’s plenty more where this came from when the movie releases on January 1.”
Charlie Read, Joint Managing Director, The Outfit said: “In a world of CGI film action sequences we wanted to pay homage to the use of real stunt action sequences used in the film. By recreating a Live Leap of Faith, we wanted to give the audience an insight into the skill and thrill of real stunts and get people excited about the theatrical release of the film.”
Lin-Sze Teh, Business Director, Vizeum said: “In bringing the Assassin’s Creed franchise to the big screen from the console, we wanted moviegoers to reappraise the franchise and connect with the central character’s story. With raw physicality a central theme, we knew that a live stunt of this magnitude was the only way to demonstrate this and capture the nation’s attention at a fiercely competitive time of year.”
The live action was directed by Matt Askem whose credits include The London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony, three Take That live tours and in the commercial world the Range Rover Sport Launch featuring Daniel Craig.