The concept was simple: Create a commercial that makes the viewers feel like they have an all-access pass backstage at a Lenny Kravitz concert and are sharing the experience with his inner circle of friends in a world where music and fashion come together. Wild(child) Editorial editor, Diego Panich, set the pace of the spot, taking his cues from the Grammy-winning artist’s ‘chill’ demeanor, the natural ease of his gate, and his recently released track, ‘Rock Star City Life.’ Director Philip Adelman’s stunning 35mm black + white footage created the documentary-like feel of a spot that conveys the rocker’s signature style, personified by the Basement’s hip urban line of men’s clothes.
The :30 spot, entitled ‘
opens with an aerial shot of Miami, that cuts to street level as the camera moves with the city’s traffic. The viewer rides along, following a black SUV with tinted windows up a winding ramp where Kravitz exits the vehicle and approaches a backstage door. He shakes hands with the security guard and enters the venue, exuding his signature cool, self-assured persona as he glides through a crowd of friends, band mates and his entourage.
“There’s a ‘party’ scene that features Kravitz hanging out with this hip crowd, enjoying animated exchanges and laughter. It was key to the spot and the client wanted it to have a cool rocker vibe, ” notes Panich, who edited the spot on Final Cut Pro. “Director Philip Andelman’s abundance of masterful footage gave me more than what I needed to create a montage sequence that enhanced this feeling. I was able to achieve a nice balance by weaving in some quiet moments shared between Lenny and his lead guitar player, Craig Ross, which had an intimate feel and showed the bond between the friends.”
Just before the show is about to begin, Kravitz goes the wardrobe area and selects a shirt and hip black
leather jacket from a rack of clothes, revealing a Basement label on the hanger. He pulls off the tee shirt he’s wearing, puts them on and heads down a corridor, followed by his band. The screams of his fans in the huge, filled to capacity venue build to a crescendo as the curtains parts and he walks onto stage. The tag, BASEMENT: LENNY KRAVITZ, Solo En Falabella, closes the spot.
Hired earlier this year by director Martin Romanella to cut Basement’s previous spot, a surreal fantasy featuring supermodel Kate Moss and a giant Rabbit, Panich proved his talent for capturing just the mood and feel that the client was going for. This time around, confident in Diego’s ability to create a spot that convey Basement’s unique brand, the agency, Dittborn & Unzueta out of Santiago de Chile, hired the editor directly for the campaign’s second spot.
Panich traveled to Santiago de Chile to edit. After a meeting with agency creative director Tomás Dittborn to discuss what the client wanted it to communicate, he was given complete creative freedom to shape the spot.
“For me, the energy and vitality of the tempo and lyrics of Kravitz’s song was the dominating force of the commercial,” says Panich. “As soon as I began cutting, the beat revealed itself as the perfect pace for setting the mood and pace.”
The lyrics of “Rock Star City Life’ drive home the strong connection between the world of a superstar rocker and the role of fashion and style, bringing home the spot’s message. (‘Walks like a man, you think she’s older. She understands. She ain’t no joker. She’s got the glam, A rock n’ roller. She knows that she’s got the look. And she’s gonna play. She got an attitude Rock star city life! She got an attitude.)
“The song’s rocker beat and lyrics were the driving force behind the spot’s timing,” says Panich. “But as the
story arched I wanted to amp up the rhythm of the spot, so I deliberately lost the synchronicity between the music and the action, and transitioned into a pace that reflected the exhilarating frenzy of the screaming audience as anticipation of the first glimpse of Lenny builds, just before he’s about to walk through the curtains onto the stage.
“I’m a musician myself, so creating a music-driven spot comes naturally for me – and getting the opportunity to work with director Philip Andelman’s footage was an editor’s dream come true,“ says Panich. “The only challenge this job presented was having to repeatedly re-sync the beat with the visuals every time I changed the order of the scenes, or created an alternate version.”
Director Philip Andelman is no stranger to the music scene or to Kravitz. Early in his career he won a grant from Martin Scorsese and filmed a documentary about Lenny Kravitz. Andelman signed with Partizan in 2004, and since then has directed a number of music videos for Kravitz, include Lady, and Where Are We Running,’ as well as for Beyonce, John Mayer and Jay Z, in addition to a prestigious roster of high profile commercials.
“Lenny Kravitz is a global icon who personifies the connection between rock ‘n roll and fashion,” adds Panich.
“It was exciting to work on a spot that featured a singer/songwriter of his caliber, although the musician side of me couldn’t help but compare my no-frills backstage routine the that of the superstars – and found it a little disheartening,” adds Panich. “None the less, cutting this spot was an amazing experience.”
About Diego Panich:
Editor Diego Panich is an award-winning editor working in both the US and global markets. His credits include ‘Rabbit,’ the first spot for Basement’s campaign, featuring Kate Moss, ‘Nike Surgery, which garnered a Bronze Clio in 2008, and ‘Father + Daughter’ for MTV, which was awarded the Cannes Silver Lion. Most recently Panich lent his talents to Lipton Ice Tea’s newest global spot, ‘Join The Dance,’ featuring actor Hugh Jackman, and a cast of 150, directed by Luciano Podcaminsky out of @Radical/Stink, NY.
About Wild(child) Editorial:
is a NYC-based creative boutique with an award-winning staff of in-house editors complimented by a select roster of global talent that offers advertising agencies and content creators the ability to connect with a diverse mix of cultures and styles. The veteran company provides commercials, as well as films, music videos, broadcast programming and emerging media, with a full range of postproduction services – from rough-cut editorial through finishing.
Wild(child) Editorial, and its sister company,
reside in an open-architecture creative environment that allows the two firms to collaborate seamlessly, with a shared creative vision, from concept to completion.
Wild(child) Editorial’s work includes spots for Nike, Verizon, Givenchy, Candies, Time Warner, Frontier Airlines, P&G, Wendy’s, USA Network. Wild(child) Editorial also attracts a steady stream of prestigious films, such as Al Pacino’s acclaimed indie film, Wilde Salome, which will be presented with the Glory Award at the 2011 Venice Film Festival, and the feature film City Island, starring Andy Garcia which won the Tribeca Audience Award.
About Resident Creative Studio:
is a creative consortium where a multi-disciplined collective of top-caliber international design-driven talent specializing in VFX, photorealistic CG, motion graphics, live-action production, interactive and emerging media provide clients with a full service creative environment. Resident’s roster of work includes spots for Avon, Heineken, Verizon, Pepsi, Max Factor, Remington, Time Warner, and Vitamin Water; Music Videos include Coldplay, Kanye West, Jay Z, Kenna and Lupe Fiasco.
Contacts: To view Diego Panich’s work or for more information about Wild(child) Editorial + Resident Creative Studio: General Market: Roxanne and Co,
, 212.679.9797. US Hispanic Market: Isabel Echeverry (
,) 786-275-6555. Wild(child) Editorial (
) Executive Producer, Elissa Muddell:
, 212.725.5333. Resident Creative Studio (
) Director of Development, Liz Ludden:
Title of Spot + Length:
Type + Length: Commercial, :30
Air Date: August 12, 2011
ADVERTISING AGENCY: Dittborn & Unzueta/Santiago de Chile
Chief Creative Director: Tomás Dittborn
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Partizan/LA
Director: Philip Andelman
DP: Melissa Larsen
Producer: Patti Getker
EDITORIAL: Diego Panich [Wild(child) Editorial/NY + USA]
MUSIC: Lenny Kravitz (Multi Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician)
Track: “Rock Star City Life”