Diesel 'Go With The Flaw'
What was the experience like shooting 'Go With The Flaw?'
I was very lucky to be asked to shoot ‘Go With The Flaw.' Francois Rousselet (director) had pencilled me a few times before, but the Diesel shoot was our first job together. Francois comes to shoots very prepared and won’t compromise until he is happy with what he sees. When someone is that focussed, but also very charming, it pushes everyone to do their best. His producer, Jules de Chateaux, acts as both his consigliere and his enforcer. We also had Nikita Bukowski from Family Production as our Kiev producer who totally ‘got’ the job. Within our local crew we had a very energetic and sweet-tempered Gaffer, Valera Butkov, and Konstantin Ovcharenko was our fearless focus ninja.
We started the shoot by waking hideously early to catch the sunrise on a half-built bridge and unleashing Loic Andrieu, our steadicam operator, on the dancer. There was no point in trying any lighting to add detail to the shadows as it would have just got in the way. We then shot the model with the uni-brow in a winnebago and spent a bit of time playing with coloured gels on the windows to find the dirty, sweaty, look that Francois wanted. That scene established the look for the 3 days of the shoot, and it also showed me what good taste Francois has because he removed a mini disco-ball from the set.
We would have loved to have shot the advert on film but the post-production schedule didn’t allow for it, so we shot RAW on the Alexa Mini. The Alexa can look a bit wishy-washy because of it’s wide latitude, so I exposed for the highlights and kept the shadows dark, we then pushed this further by crushing the hell out of it in the grade at MPC London - though we did go back into some of the shadows to add details like the sheen on the dancer’s jacket.
When I was at art-school, we had a project where we scratched and drew on 16mm prints. I suggested that the film scratches be made by dragging a print of the commercial over the laboratory floor, or by using sanding paper. In the end Francois abused a negative made of the assembled shots himself : http://www.moving-picture.com/advertising/work/diesel-go-with-the-flaw/
I love the finished piece of work and I’m thrilled that it got the attention it did. We shot a second Diesel commercial in November and it’ll be out soon. It feels like we had a number one record and this will be the follow up so the pressure is on…
This video won Eurobest Silver for Cinematography at Eurobest Film Craft Grand Prix.
About the artist
Simon Chaudoir is a Director of Photography based out of London, England. He has been shooting for over 30 years and is most recognized for his commercial cinematography.