Ben Spilling

Timeless Pleasures

A Partnership

GQ Magazine, part of Conde Nast US, were asked to showcase the collaboration between two luxury brands; Range Rover and Swiss watch giants Zenith. To accompany the article we pitched the idea of making a series of short branded films with the central theme of “What it means to be a modern gentleman.”

Telling a Story

The story was, "A day in the life of a modern gentleman." We proposed three situations to make up the three films and to express the brand's key facets: a café scene in the morning to exhibit the unique, white Zenith watch strap; a driving scene highlighting Range Rover’s association with the Zenith brand and GQ; finally a saloon bar to compliment the moody darker colour palette of the final watch in the range.

Moody Brooklyn

We wanted to create a realistic, everyday style with luxury at the heart. And what better location to tick those boxes than Brooklyn, New York. We used Brooklyn Bridge as our main inspiration, paralleling its industrial metallic structure with our everyday, functional and luxury items; a watch and a car. To keep the camerawork organic, emphasising realism yet retaining a luxurious and cinematic feel, we used an ARRI Alexa on an easy-rig.

Originality

Brooklyn-based band 'Grizzly Bear' were our inspiration for the music track with their real, rough and ready folk style and urban feel. Our composer, Kevin Pollard, wrote and mastered a unique score for the films emulating these properties, driven by a blues lick that fit in with the vintage style that these films rightly deserved.

Character Strategy + Social Media

We had extensive discussions with GQ regarding the casting and came to the conclusion that a model wouldn’t have the moodiness to carry our central character. No, we needed somebody embodying the role of a modern gentleman with the right traits and experience. We found Luke Ditella, whose look could be seen as 'everyman' but still carried a charismatic manor. He fitted the profile, his passion for anything fast; cars, bikes, you name it, and a love of watches. His huge social media following of like-minded individuals may also have been part of the draw.

Zenith and Range Rover love the campaign.

Working Overseas

We sent Ben and Anthony; a Director - D.O.P. duo across the pond. These two have a history of making beautiful short films together and this series is no exception. We also used the overseas opportunity to extend the Pink Banana family by working with an all-new, US-native crew. Local knowledge gave us perfect locations with just 2 days of planning.


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