George Clooney stars in yet another commercial installment as the spokesman for Italian vermouth brand Martini. Accompanying the pencil mustache wearing Clooney is Hawaiian-born actress Shannyn Sossamon from Fight Club and A Knight’s Tale fame. In the commercial both characters race through a crowded party scene in order to get to the drink. Shot in Los Angeles with the Italian island of Amalfi used as a backdrop, A Beautiful Race was filmed entirely in black-and-white, with color being added only to Martini in post-production.
A representative from post-production company Smoke & Mirrors on the making of this commercial:
To this end, Janusz Kaminski (recently Spielberg’s DP on Indiana Jones and double Oscar winner) shot everything against green screen, some 80 feet of it, and SMNY creative director Sean Broughton supervized the shoot over two days.
Smoke & Mirrors continues:
As per the last campaign, everything was to be B&W except the product. Sam Caine and Stephanie Isaacson rotoscoped every shot the product entered, for three sets of films over two days while Dan Kelly and Phil Akka composited sky plates, delicately balancing every scene and finally Sean Broughton created the opening shot and title design. [source]
George has been the spokesman for Martini since 2004 and it seems like people just can’t get enough of the Hollywood mega-star…well, everyone except former girlfriend Lisa Snowden that is. After having met in 2000 while shooting, surprise, a Martini ad, Lisa has recently come forward claiming her relationship with George has scarred her reputation, forcing her into an unwanted period of celibacy.
This recent addition falls in line with the previous campaign for Martini, which was also shot entirely in black-and-white. Below is one from their 2007 series entitled, El Toro:
Before that they achieved a small level of international success with George Clooney in the 2005 “No Martini, No Party” campaign. That campaign first showed us George being turned away from a party when he fails to bring any Martini, only to respond by later returning to steal the Martini (and thus ending the party) after the neighboring house party encroaches on his attempts at seducing a date.
A Beautiful Race was conceived by Momentum where Creative Directors Ty Baker and Alonso Davila call home (Akash Khokha was the Agency Producer). Francoi Girard from Independent Media, Inc. directed with Janusz Kaminski and Susanne Preissler as the DP/EP. Trish Fuller from The Whitehouse edited the commercial (with Corina Dennison as the EP).
Post-Production company was Smoke & Mirrors with Melanie Klein as the Producer. Sean Broughton was the Lead VFX artist alongside Flame Artists Phil Akka and Dan Kelly (VFX Support Artists were Sam Caine and Stephanie Isaacson). Paul O’Beirne was the VFX Producer.
A far departure from their peppy campaign from the 1980s: