The Factory Of Sensual Pleasures

Heady Perfumes And Strong Film-Making Combine In This Adventurously Crafted Commercial

It’s tough to create a visual appetiser that viscerally evokes a strong sense of smell. Yet Dvein, a Barcelona-based director’s collective formed by Teo Guillem and Carlos Pardo, have managed to exceed difficult standards in an ambitious new work that packs a wealth of stimulation into a mere short minute. Welcome To The Factory is banquet of visual sensations, taking a modern twist to the Greek mythological story of sirens and sailors, in which erotic women would lure men to their watery graves. Erasing all elements of macabre from the original tale, Dvein instead focus on a kitsch romance, where girl meets boy and they fall in love. The connotations of their communion is represented by an absurdly comic, exaggerated explosion of perfume that sprays up from the arteries of the factory.

Formed in 2007, Dvein are constantly pushing the boundaries of live action and animation, having worked in advertising, music videos and film making for the last decade. They are driven by their backgrounds in fine art and design, a clear hallmark of their work. “Our common DNA is the idea of experimenting, trying new stuff and new challenges, and this commercial was one of those. Curiosity pushes us into these challenges and crazy projects.”

1

Created exclusively for Barcelona-based fashion and fragrance business, Puig, and for Jean-Paul Gaultier, Welcome To The Factory is the result of sharp and brave film making. Enormous in its scope, and with collaborations from photographer Miles Aldridge as well as a host of other talented creatives, their set-design and choreography are breathtaking.

“The task was to make an interpretation of Gaultier’s world,” they tell us. “Surrealism, fun and love are part of the setup.”

2

The amount of detail fine-tuned in this adventurous little video-advert is astounding. The cheeky, playful tones make the metallic and silvery environment warm rather than cold. We are meant to be welcomed into this factory, and it is certainly a place full of wonder, intrigue and sensual delights.

We met with the founders of Dvein to learn more about their experience:

The Plus: How did you get involved with this Jean-Paul Gaultier project?
Dvein:
It was through our production company in Paris, Stink, and the executive producer there. He knew about the project from the agency, Mlle Noï, and wanted us to pitch on it. We had a first meeting with the creatives of the agency and started a process in which we tried to put their ideas into a film though a treatment. It was a long process in which we started to nail down the storytelling, adding certain aspects to it, and the characters, the pace and tone of the film, and the general design and mood of the world of Gaultier’s factory.

3

TP: Where was it shot? How long did it take to prepare everything, and what kind of preparations were involved?
D:
It took quite a while. The preproduction and treatment process lasted about three months and took place all over the place, working in Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. Once we had everything clear we started building all the props we needed for the set together with our set designer Jean Michel Bertin. The great building team in Prague worked in parallel to us to make all of it happen. It was a fun but stressing process in which everything happened too quickly because we had so many sets to design and build in such a sort time. Anyway, the satisfaction of seeing all that in real scale once finished is great. Then we had a four day shooting in Prague. After that we spent five more months on the post production, working with Mikros in Paris.

TP: How did you channel the set with the iconic perfume bottles?
D:
Well, it was all related to the can. We wanted to play with the idea of the can being circular and the bottles more organic, and we started playing with circular structures that could give some harmony to the overall factory and playing with metallic textures that could give the elegant touch we need for this “couture” film. We wanted to create a nice build up in the film to make the revealing at the end. It was very important to play with the idea of inside and outside, and creating the fantasy of a factory where those bottles where filled with the perfume. At the end it all was a fantastic and surrealist perfume factory.

4

TP: Considering the synchronisation in the video, would you consider yourselves to be choreographers of sorts?
D:
I wouldn’t, it is part of the film making process. In the film it was very important to have a pace to resemble a cabaret or theatre, and it was very important to get that vibe clear before the shooting. We worked a lot on making animatics and trying to look for the right tone and then we worked with the models to put that in front of the camera. Everything was really well thought prior to the shooting, so when we arrived there it was more about what you felt looking through the camera, the gestures, the little things that the actors would give to you and add to that choreographed essence.

TP: Were the ideas all yours or was there some input from Jean-Paul Gaultier?
D:
Jean-Paul Gaultier have developed a very strong look and aesthetics in the last twenty years, and we didn’t want to clash with all that. We were really respectful with his imagery, but at the same time we tried to put our own look in the film, trying to make something like our vision on Gaultier’s world. At the beginning it was a difficult task, but step by step we found the way and the puzzle started to make sense and our vision fitted perfectly in Gaultier’s world. It was a fantastic experience as when we read the first version of the script we thought it was really cool and fun and playful, and we had a very good starting point.

5

TP: Where did the ‘factory’ idea come from? Anything to do with a play on the ‘olfactory’ sense?
D:
Well, that was the idea that came from the agency. In our opinion they developed this first draft of the script as a way of getting Jean-Paul Gaultier’s world to its origins, to the genesis of the perfume. It was all about a fantasy, with its shiny chrome walls, bright light, vibrant magic and iconic characters, but overall, more experimental and modern.

TP: What was the most exciting part of the shoot?
D:
All of it! The work with the models was highly satisfying, getting the correct choreographies and trying to envision them in the factory we had in mind. But if we have to choose a sequence, it would be the boats carousel, it was not only a technical challenge, but also was the most important part of the sailors and the courtesans interaction. We wanted that flirting to be fun and realistic and we pushed to shoot everything together on set even though it could have been easier to separate girls and boys. We are really proud of the result.

6
TP: What kind of choices did you make post-production?
D:
There was a lot of questions about the space and the architecture, the feeling of being in something huge, the factory, and how that related with the characters. We thought about it all in the pre-production and the shooting, but in post we were supposed to build all the background and adding details to the factory. We spent a lot of time designing and imagining each of the spaces so they made sense in the narrative, and how we could portray each character in that environment, seeing and seeing again the edit so we can see how the pace was evolving once we putted them into the space. For us, the most important thing was keeping the aesthetics of the shooting, that was our starting point. It was a really cool process, where we had the time to think and visualize each part of the film and then go back to the whole film to see if it fitted or not.

7