Wild(child) editor Diego Panich was tasked with creating “Rabbit,” an offbeat, surreal spot featuring supermodel Kate Moss dancing seductively for her unlikely romantic interest, a tap-dancing giant rabbit man. Heralding the launch of “Dream Collection” for Basement, the captivating scenario connects to the fashion-forward clothier’s youthful international audience using a mix of live-action and visual effects. Panich collaborated with film and commercial director Martin Romanella on the commercial.
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“I was thrilled to have the opportunity work on a campaign for a brand that is known for its untraditional approach to advertising,” notes Panich, who cut the spot in Apple Final Cut Pro. “Basement has an image that reflects an irreverent aesthetic inspired by the connection between fashion and modern culture, art and film—and they were committed to creating a commercial that was an extension of this philosophy. As an editor, collaborating on a project that defies traditional advertising trends is not only exciting, but it brings a fresh perspective to my other work.”
“Romanella shot the :60 spot on 35mm film to create a filmic style that plays more like a mini-movie than an ad. The commercial was shot on location in London in a high-end, modern, stark white loft with floor to ceiling windows, which were used to frame effects-driven exterior shots of the city that appear with a skewed perspective that adds to the dreamlike feel.
Diego was provided with an abundance of stunning footage of Moss dancing seductively for the hybrid creature, who has a huge rabbit head but appears to be a normal, well tailored man from the neck down.
“The agency and client wanted to create an offbeat spot that that would captivate young audiences,” says Panich. ” As editor, the challenge was to create the right balance between the allure of this beautiful pop icon supermodel, the surreal rabbit who is the object of her affections, and the wacko scenario that is playing out—while still keeping the viewer focused on the product, Basement’s 2011 autumn/winter line of women’s fashion.”
Panich took his cues from the upbeat tempo and lyrics of the spot’s haunting track, a cover of Brenda Lee’s 1950s hit, “Sweet Nothin’s.” The retro music reinforces the strange cadence of the commercial and provided the editor with an element to anchor the story to. The editing retains its wackiness, yet gives it a cohesiveness that provides the impossible storyline with the form and structure needed to bring home the client’s message. Romanella created most of the effects in the camera, shooting a number of scenes in film and them rewinding the film and shooting another layer of images over it to create the desired visuals.
Diego devised a split screen effect at the beginning of the commercial that juxtaposes the interior shot of Moss at the window with an exterior shot of a building seen rising as it rotates, creating an altered perspective.
The spot opens with an aerial shot of surrounding building that pulls back to reveal Moss looking out over the city while “Rabbit” reads a newspaper. The upbeat rendition of “Sweet Nothin” begins to play, prompting her love-interest to break into a fast-paced tap dance. Moss begins to dance seductively, playfully putting her hands above her head and wiggling them like rabbit ears.
After trying to entice Rabbit with her provocative dance moves, Moss changes her strategy, and offers him a bunch of carrots. Rabbit accepts the gift and in return present her with a stunning little dress fringed in feathers from Basement’s Dream Collection.
Just as Moss is about to thank him with a kiss, the spot cuts to alarm clocks ringing and we see in her wake up in bed, leading the viewer to believe it was all a dream. However, when she awakens to find that she is wearing the dress that the rabbit gave her—and is surrounded by dozens of little bunnies—it leaves some room for doubt.