It’s a strange feeling sharing this with you all for the very first time. This is officially the first short film Gary Pepper has ever produced for another brand (I used to make look book videos for my e-commerce vintage store, Gary Pepper Vintage, but they were on a much smaller production scale) and had 100% creative control over. We waited patiently to share this, with the final dates to release this being uncertain as we tried to co-ordinate logistics with everyone involved. And now it’s finally here after a month of planning, filming, editing and executing, and I don’t know how to feel about it after losing count of how many times I’ve watched it and picked it apart.
The concept for this came about from the Grandiose Mascara itself. Its unique and swan neck shaped wand is an industry first, it was created with precision to bend with the shape of your face so we felt it was important to highlight this as part of our story, which is how the Black Swan concept came about. We also decided to shoot this in black and white to be cohesive with the colours of the Grandiose packaging. The idea was to tell a story of how mascara, especially as one as innovative as Lancome’s Grandiose, can make you feel as if you have transformed into a whole new person. It’s all about the art of transformation.
Filming was spread out over three days in various locations; one being a huge public swimming pool which we filmed in late at night, another being a small cliff that I actually jumped off to get the head first diving motion we needed. I can tell you right now that for someone who has a fear of sharks and deep water, this was one of the scarier things I’ve done. All I can remember is swimming back to shore on a surfboard and freaking out midway as the realisation of swimming at dusk washed over me – this is one of the prime shark feeding times. Luke even exclaimed at one point “Stop being so frantic with your paddling, you look like an injured seal which will draw more attention from sharks!”, to which I started crying and screamed “I hope Barry got the shot because I am never doing this again! I’m serious!”.
It was the first time Luke had come on board to help with creative direction and he worked tirelessly on not only producing the whole film, but also directing it. It was a seamless process and one I couldn’t have done without such a strong and incredible team around me, each bringing their own skill set, creativity and fresh perspective to each scene. This experience felt like a luxury in comparison to projects we’ve done in the past, which have only consisted of Luke and I trying to juggle all of the elements ourselves. Just having a make-up artist alone makes a world of difference, so thank you for Max for spending two days with us. As for the music, we were in the process of having it composed from scratch but decided to go with this song by Shining Bird instead due to timing.
I did an exclusive interview with Elle Australia about the short film which you can read here. We can’t really believe this has already been viewed nearly half a million times! The dream would be to crack one million so if you love it, please feel free to share it around, and don’t forget to leave us your feedback.
Director / Producer: Luke Shadbolt
Director of Photography: Chad Waldron @ The Waldron Bros
Camera Operator: Ryan Barry Cotter
Drone Camera Operator: Thomas Stockwell @ The Clever Kids
Creative Direction: Luke Shadbolt and Nicole Warne @ IMG
Model / Styling: Nicole Warne @ IMG
Make-up / Hair: Max May @ DLM
Music:‘Must Have Been Dreaming’ by Shining Bird