Nice Shoes recently teamed with fashion icon Mugler and Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga's creative director and stylist, to work on the glossy and provocative new short fashion film "Brothers of Arcadia," directed by Branislav Jankic and featuring music by Jessica 6.
The film, which features bronzed, muscled hunks modeling Mugler's Spring/Summer men's line, owes much of its inspiration to the baroque and classical architecture and sculpture of Rome where Formichetti grew up. And it owes much of its distinctive look to the editorial work and color grading provided by Nice Shoes, who was tapped for the prestigious job by Moving Image & Content, the agency that handles all of Mugler's work.
"We've worked with Moving Image before, and once we heard it was for Mugler, we were all very excited as we love the brand and are also big fans of Nicola's work," recalls senior producer Christos Mountzouros. "There was all this fantastic talent involved, they told us they had this beautiful footage shot for a short film, and asked if could we handle the editorial aspects in bringing it to life, as well as dealing with color and I jumped at the chance."
Adds Mountzouros. "I think it's safe to say Mugler is one of the most digitally-forward brands right now, and in keeping with what they did for their last campaign, they really wanted to get it on the Internet and spread quickly." To this end, Nice Shoes first created a short teaser which ran on Cocoperez.com. "It got people really excited and asking about the whole campaign," he says. "And from there, we did the full-length film in two versions."
After receiving the footage Nice Shoes reviewed it thoroughly identifying distinct themes, shots, and looks. "Then we spent the entire weekend with Nicola, and the agency as well as Branislav, the director," he reports. "They were very, very hands on. We just locked ourselves in an edit suite and worked crazy hours from Friday till the following Wednesday to get it done in time."
The Nice Shoes team, which included lead colorist Lenny Mastrandrea, loved the collaborative aspect of the job, notes Mountzouros. "It was great to have the CD and director in there with us, really conscious of all the decisions we were making. They had a very specific direction for the look. They came well-prepared, with reference and their print campaign which was very useful to us."
Summing up, Montzouros says that the job "turned out great, and it helped so much to have creative input from Nicola and Branislav. And for how seemingly different both parts of the film seem at first, they are truly part of the same narrative, the same story. I love how the film forces viewers to draw their own conclusions, another thematic element that drew us to the project."
The PG version premiered on June 23rd on nymag.com, and the X-rated version of the film made its debut on Xtube on June 24th.
NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, Head of Production Mike Donovan, CDs Brian Bowman and Aron Baxter, Senior Producers Pat Portela and Christos Mountzouros, and CIO Bob Keske.