STORY’s Blair Hayes has directed a new spot for Cavit that beautifully evokes the authentic origins of America’s best-selling Italian wine. Conceived by Agency 212, New York, the ad shows a group of young Italians enjoying wine in the environs of a picturesque country estate. The voiceover describes “what matters” when choosing a wine, including where it comes from and how it’s grown, ending with the tagline, “when quality matters.” There is a clever interplay between the elements that contribute to quality winemaking, and to great moments in life.
Hayes shot the commercial on the grounds of The Cavit winery in Trentino, Italy, a verdant landscape of mountains, lakes, vineyards and medieval castles. Shooting primarily with a hand-held camera at magic hour, Hayes directed his all-Italian cast to act as if they were attending a casual dinner party amongst the vines – which they were. “I told them to sit and enjoy themselves and ignore the guy with the big camera,” he recalls. “I then had merely to move around the table, looking for moments. What a job!”
“It would be hard not to make beautiful images in that environment,” adds Hayes who acted as both cameraman and director. “The views were stunning and the lighting simply gorgeous.”
Hayes shot a variety of tabletop-style images of bottles being uncorked and wine pouring into glasses. Like the scenes with the actors, the product shots were captured outdoors and primarily with natural light. “We shot a lot of it at 120 frames per second in order to capture the clarity of the wine and the initial moment of the pour, when the wine curls in the glass,” he observes. Hayes adds that, while some of the product imagery was carefully art directed and choreographed, other shots were captured in a more spontaneous manner. “We didn’t want anything to appear too studied or staid.”
Ultimately, says Hayes, the commercial needed to feel real and immediate. “We wanted viewers to feel like a ‘fly on the grapevine,’” he notes, “to wish that they could be at that party.”