Renowned photographer on capturing the primal beauty of the new supercar and working with an actual wolf on set
When it comes to car brands, it’s hard to think of any more luxurious than Aston Martin. Sleek, beautiful and powerful, the brand’s image exudes sophistication.
But in their latest film, directed by renowned photographer Rankin, the Aston Martin Vantage makes its global debut with a visceral, sexy spot ‘Beautiful Won't Be Tamed’. Mixing fast-paced shots of the car with raw footage of lions, cheetahs and wolves (oh my!), the film showcases the primal, predatory character of the car.
LBB’s Liam Smith went behind the scenes with Rankin to find out how he tamed this beast.
LBB> What was the brief like from Aston Martin, and what attracted you to it?
Rankin> It was just a brilliant brief. Similar in tone to what I’d done with Walt Campbell and Nick Gilberg on Coco X, but with this great predator narrative intertwined. I basically took that and ran with it.
Also, when you get a call from Aston Martin, it’s a defining moment in your career. As I keep saying, an honour.
LBB> The film is intensely fast paced. How did you make sure to capture the power and beauty of the Vantage between the quick cuts?
Rankin> It’s all about using a great DOP [Ed Gibbs (UK), Tony Miller (Atlanta)], who really understands the angles of the car. It’s a monster of a car; it feels a bit like a shark, but with a hint of femininity. We just played hard to those strengths and made that a massive part of the film.
LBB> Who did you collaborate with on the edit?
Rankin> It went through a few editors, Nick Gilberg from Coco X was on it, but he was super busy, so we only had him for a week. Plus, we all had lots of notes on it, Gareth Philips on my team finished it off and Dan Fernbach- a freelancer I love to work with - had started it. So, it was a bit of a mash up, it was that kind of film. But everyone involved worked unbelievably hard to squeeze every last drop we could out of it. I think we owed Aston Martin that for the opportunity to do it.
LBB> How much creative control did you have over the project?
Rankin> I had a lot more input than normal I’d say, but for me it’s always a collaborative process, and the guys at Aston are really amazing to work with.
I know lots of people say this, but the whole team that worked on this share a genuine passion for what we all do.
LBB> What was the biggest challenge in the production? And how did you overcome it?
Rankin> Budget, as normal. I started with these huge visual ideas for it. But I adjusted the creative, put my all into it and I’m really happy with the result.
LBB> On that note, what was it like working with an actual wolf on set?
Rankin> Hahaha – scary!
LBB> What are your most memorable moments from the shoot?
Rankin> Being in the Russian Arm follow car with this incredible driver who had no fear, was totally in control, but was going hell for leather. Plus following and filming those gorgeous cars that my teenage self could only dream about! Honestly it was all an amazing experience!