New promo sees moon landing through the eyes of first black female astronaut

Ads, Creativity

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Digitas, UNIT9, and ENVY Advertising have teamed up on a powerful new promo, ‘Full Circle’. Centered around the first black female astronaut, Mae Jemison, the film promotes The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s new interactive documentary app, JFK Moonshot.


The app, created by Digitas, allows users to relive the ground-breaking achievement through an epic, full-scale augmented reality simulation of the Saturn V rocket, which launched Apollo 11 into space.


Directed by UNIT9’s Jonathan Pearson, the cinematic 40-second film opens with rousing footage of JFK’s iconic 1962 ‘We Choose to Go to the Moon’ speech, which a little girl (representing a young Mae Jemison) watches intently on her living room TV. The camera orbits the scene throughout, switching seamlessly between the TV and Mae, while the cast and set evolve to reflect each decade. The story unfolds with each rotation, taking us on a captivating journey from the 1960s up to present day, all underpinned by JFK’s speech.


Post production company, ENVY Advertising, was brought on board early on in the process and worked in close collaboration with UNIT9 to bring the ambitious project to life. To complement the spectacular visuals and time-lapse theme, the team at ENVY Advertising crafted the grade, sound design, VFX, and motion graphics.


Greg White, Managing Director at ENVY Advertising, comments:

From working with Jonathan previously, we were familiar with his meticulous approach and brilliant eye for detail. We knew that every element of the project had to be carefully considered and respectful towards the final piece. The orbital move around three generations meant that casting and set design were a key consideration, and rebuild was a major part of the environment. The motion-controlled ‘orbital’ move that allows for the transitions between the time periods was supervised by Martin Waller and Bill Wright, who were tasked with the scene extensions behind the TV and ensuring the details were respectful of the art direction and the unique period itself. 

Bill Wright, Head of Motion Graphics at ENVY Advertising, comments: 

Due to the scale and complexity of the project, there were a multitude of technical challenges to be worked out. The biggest challenge for me was getting the CG set extensions (in this case, a very prominent wall behind the TV that the camera sweeps past three times) not only looking right, but looking suitable for the three time periods. We had a very small lead time on this considering what needed to be done, and we turned it around in 20 days which I’m hugely proud of, and is testament to how well the VFX, Flame, Edit, and Audio teams and producer here played together. It was certainly one of the tightest jobs, time-wise, that I’ve been involved with. But once our Nuke guys started to corral the CG and our Flame ops began the process of finessing it, you could tell it was going to look beautiful. And it really does.  

ENVY is one of Europe’s leading independent broadcast facilities, with BAFTA and RTS award-winning creative talent.  Since opening in 2006, ENVY has acquired a wealth of experience working across a wide breadth of projects including documentary, entertainment, factual entertainment, scripted and shortform – spanning across single documentaries to multi-episodic series, including some of the UK’s most beloved programmes. ENVY has been recognized with multiple high-profile awards including: ‘Best Post Production Facility’ at the Broadcast Awards: 2017, 2015, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2008 and ‘Top Facility’ as voted by Producers in Televisual’s annual facilities Top 50 every year since 2010.

ENVY Advertising is a multi-award winning commercial, digital, branding and short-form specialist post house. Offering a full in-house service, it is an end-to-end post production facility delivering across offline, grade, VFX, online and sound design. ENVY’s technical setup is second to none – expertly developed to allow flexibility, it offers streamlined and bespoke workflows to facilitate almost any requirement.


Awards include a BRIT, Black D&AD pencil for their editing & sound on the Film4 Idents, D&AD pencils for sound design on Oral B ‘Merry Beeping Christmas’ and The Sunday Times ‘The Unquiet Film Series’ has scooped D&AD pencils, a British Arrow Gold and a SHOTS award. At the British Arrows 2019, ENVY Advertising won Gold for re-record for Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off season nine trailer. 



Advertiser: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum


Creative Agency: Digitas Boston 

  • Copywriter: Jason Ziehm
  • Art Director: Michael Walsh 
  • Producer: Amber Harris 
  • Executive Group Director: Mark Philip

Production Company: UNIT9

  • Executive Producer: Adam Dolman 
  • Director: Jonathan Pearson 
  • DOP: Gary Shaw 
  • Producer: Geoff Stickler 
  • Production Designer: Chris Lightburn Jones 
  • Edit Company: Marshall Street Editors 
  • Editor: Toby Conway-Hughes

Post Production Company: ENVY Advertising

  • Grade: Danny Wood 
  • Flame: Kieran Baxter 
  • VFX Supervisor: Martin Waller 
  • C4D: Bill Wright 
  • Motion Graphics: Andrew Green 
  • Nuke: Telmo Sousa 
  • Sound Design: Rich Martin 
  • Post Producer: Pete Burch 
  • Executive Producer: Greg White