By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

September 26, 2016 | 4 min read

Independent San Francisco agency Venables Bell & Partners (VB&P) is releasing a feat of reverse engineering during the presidential debate tonight. The agency will air its new spot for Audi and it’s a doozy of a fight scene run entirely in reverse.

The spot, titled “Duel,” shows a man and woman dressed in tuxes fighting over what looks to be a square of colored paper. We see them slinging punches and generally making a terrible mess of a hotel – all in reverse. The story unfolds and we watch as they fall up through a skylight, break a lobster tank, hurl the aforementioned lobsters at each other, throw kicks and punches all to land the piece of paper.

The "James-Bondian" short film concludes as we see an Audi RS7 drive up as the two try to decide which of them will get to valet the car. The tag “Beautiful things are worth fighting for. Choose the next driver wisely” puts a bow on the whole affair.

VB&P and Audi decided to release the ad during the presidential debate because the race to be the next commander-in-chief has never been more fierce and it could heat up to become the fight of the century.

There are a few Easter eggs hidden in the spot, including seeing a “Presidential Tower” of a building in the background and a classified email on a cell phone. Those little nods make this 90-second ad a winner — but the powerhouse production team takes it to the next level.

Ringan Ledwidge, one of the most sought-after commercial directors, named the “Most Awarded Director in the World” by the Gunn Report in 2015, leads the effort with other great Hollywood talent including cinematographer Greig Fraser (who’s shot features like the yet to be released Star Wars, Fox Catcher and Zero Dark Thirty), Oscar nominated designer K.K. Barrett (Her, Adaptation, Lost in Translation, Where the Wild Things Are) and Robert Alonzo, one of the most in-demand stunt choreographers in the business (Iron Man, Deadpool, Avengers, Mission Impossible).

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Audi/RS7 “Duel” :90/:60

Client Name: Audi of America

Brand: Audi

Spot Name: Duel

Air Dates: 9/26/16, 10/9/16, 10/19/16

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners

Founder, Chairman: Paul Venables

Partner, Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness

Creative Director: Justin Moore

Creative Director: Erich Pfeifer

ACD/Copywriter: Matt Keats

ACD/Art Director: Matt Miller

Director Of Integrated Production: Craig Allen

Senior Producer: Matt Flaker

Producer: Gabby Gardner

Head Of Brand Management: David Corns

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Director: Ringan Ledwidge

Director of Photography: Greig Fraser

Head of Production: Richard McIntosh

Executive Producer: Joe Biggins

Executive Producer: Jeff Shupe

Line Producer: Greg Haggart

Stunt Coordinator: Robert Alonzo

Production Designer: K.K. Barrett

Editing Company: Work Editorial

Editor: Rich Orrick

Assistant Editor: Mike Horan

Executive Producer: Marlo Baird

Producer: Brandee Probasco

Music Company: Woodwork Music

Music Composer: Philip Kay

Music Coordinator: Andy Oskwarek

Sound Design/Final Mix: The Sound Lab at Technicolor

Executive Producer: Debbie Gonzalez

Lead Sound Designer/Mix Engineer: Scott Gershin

Sound Designer: Johannes Hammers

VFX: The Mill

Executive Creative Director: Phil Crowe

VFX Supervisor: John Shirley

CG Lead: David Lawson

VFX Senior Producer: Anastasia von Rahl

VFX Associate Producer: Karina Slater

Colorist: Greg Reese

Brand Director: Chris Bergen

Brand Supervisor: Justin Wang

Brand Manager: Abu Ngauja

Project Managers: Talya Fisher, Leah Murphy


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