Peter Dietrich, represented in the U.S. by A Common Thread, has directed a branded entertainment short film for Chinese cell phone giant OPPO, about a man’s magical quest to find himself. Produced by Red Horse, Shanghai, for BBDO Proximity, China, The Loop of Life promotes the launch of OPPO’s new Find 7 smart phone.

The film centers on a callow young man (played by David Atkins) who spends his days at magic shows debunking the performers’ disappearing acts, card tricks and other illusions. That ends when a master magician, before a packed concert hall, transports him back in time. There, armed only with an OPPO smart phone and smart wristband, he’s instructed to “Find yourself. Find the magic.” What he ultimately finds is a moment of stunning self-revelation.

Dietrich shot the film over four days in Barcelona, working with Spanish cinematographer Oscar Faura. The production involved numerous locations, a large cast of extras, intricate special effects and two principal actors playing older and younger versions of the central character. The project marked Dietrich’s first foray into branded entertainment. “The agency wanted something cinematic,” he recalls. “They wanted it to feel like a small feature rather than a commercial.”

Dietrich pulled off the magic tricks depicted in the film through a combination of judicious camerawork, clever editing and CG. “It was quite demanding…challenging, but also fun,” the director says. “I also enjoyed the art direction of the scenes set in the ‘70s and ‘80s—the colors, the hair styles, the magazine covers—all the little details that contributed to the story.”

A Common Thread is located at 4081 Redwood Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90066. For more information, call 310.823.7300 or visit