For those who’ve been lucky enough to watch a movie at an AMC theater in the past year, you’ve most likely gotten a chance to experience Nicole Kidman’s heartfelt “We Make Movies Better” short which serves both as a cinema intro as well as a television spot advertising why movies are magical.

The ad, which features Kidman braving through a rainy, puddly parking lot to watch a movie alone in an AMC theater found viral life of its own on Twitter and with fans online who found a mix of humor and inspiration from the short.

And, to honor Kidman with her AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, director of photography Indeana Underhill was recruited to recreate the viral ad and has shared a very cool side-by-side breakdown as well as some interesting behind-the-scenes peeks into her process.

Recreating Nicole Kidman’s AMC Ad

As you can see in the side-by-side breakdown below, Underhill and her team were able to recreate the exact lensing, framing, movement, and lighting in a green screen world for the video with only a few hours of production time.

In particular, Underhill shares that the original ad (which was shot by Jeff Cronenworth) used Leitz Summilux-C lenses, which Underhill and her team were also able to use thanks to Keslow Camera as well as made use of new light modifiers like the DoP Choice AIRGLOW to recreate the softer sources in a smaller studio environment.

The recreation features Morgan Freeman in Kidman’s place as he opens the AFI awards show and praises Kidman for her years of cinematic excellence. The AFI productions team and director Chris Merrill directed the project and VFX artist Pat Longstreth brought it to life.

Exploring Cinematography for Actors

If you followed No Film School’s coverage of NAB this year, you might recognize Underhill as one of our video hosts as she and Haeleigh Royall brought us full coverage from the conference floor in Vegas. Underhill and Royall are founders of Cinematography for Actors and are focused on teaching the technical side of performance.

If you’d like to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of this video’s production, stay tuned to CFA’s podcast as they plan to go more in-depth into Underhill’s process for the video in a podcast to come out later this month.