The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell alum appears on Super Bowl ad

Marquis Bradley ’11 found himself at the center of attention last Sunday, Feb. 2 just before halftime of the Super Bowl. Those tuned in watched the Grinnell alum and former assistant coach of the football team appear on a commercial for Mindfire Academy, a distance learning company focused on digital media.

In the commercial, the former Pioneer linebacker appears in a motion capture suit and receives a kickoff. In the process of running back the ball, Bradley is gradually transformed into an animated version of the company logo.

“[The character is] a kid that has fire red hair and he’s very excited at all times and animated. It’s a guy with his mind on fire,” Bradley described.

The commercial, which appeared in markets with Mindfire Academy locations, including Iowa, has been in the making for some time, according to Bradley.

“[Mindfire] first came to me saying, ‘We have something that you might be interested in. We know you have a background in football, and we thought we might see if you would be interested in basically doing a commercial with us,’” he said. “Given my background with trying out for the Kansas City Chiefs and definitely doing other different things with football, we began to meet. After we met a couple times and ran through a couple scenes, we figured out it was a perfect match and went from there.”

The actual filming took place on a motion capture stage and required Bradley to wear a motion capture suit dotted with white balls, which was extremely particular.

“Everything had to be very precise,” he admitted. “Everyone had to watch and no one could move. Entering the set and coming off the set was very unique. You couldn’t touch anything unless you were told to touch it or you had to make sure you made certain moves and you couldn’t make any extra moves because you couldn’t mess anything up. If you accidentally hit a camera, then it would take about 30 minutes to set back up.”

Additionally, the sensitivity of the motion capture technology meant Bradley had to bring all his athleticism and coordination to bear during the filming.

“[I had to do] everything to a high intensity, yet being conservative and being in the mindset of knowing that there are other things I could mess up if I don’t get this right the first time or the second time,” Bradley said.

However, such discipline was not hard for Bradley. Those who played with and for Bradley certainly believe he had no problem filming the commercial. Jeremy Wiles ’14, who first met Bradley when Wiles was a prospective student, remembers him as someone with dedication and will.

“He told me this. I’ll never forget because it’s so him,” Wiles recalled. “He said, ‘You ever heard of sacrifice? Sacrifice is when you’re willing to do whatever it takes for something you’ve never had.’”

Bradley also attributed some this success to his time at Grinnell.

“I think Grinnell really helped me to step out of my comfort zone, to experience different things and also to have the mindset that I can do anything,” he said. “I couldn’t be scared to step out and try something different or try something new. I was introduced to a whole different world, and, by doing that, I was able to be prepared mentally. I believe that the work ethic [learned at Grinnell] definitely helped out a lot. It’s something that really showed me that I can do anything.”

It is this kind of character and attitude that pushes Bradley to excel in whatever he does. Indeed, Bradley looks at the commercial as a stepping stone to his bright future.

“I know I made it just a little bit further than where I was, and I think that’s the biggest thing,” Bradley said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *