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Director Romain Quirot helmed the new in-flight safety video for Air France. Conceived by agency Aura by Omnicom and produced in partnership with Atout France, France's tourism development agency, the film is a poetic tribute to French-style travel.
Two flight attendants lead the safety briefing, which takes viewers on an elegant, lively, and fast-moving journey through the cultural touchstones and iconic landmarks of France – from the steps of the Opéra Garnier to the gardens of the Palace of Versailles to the sunny French Riviera to the legendary Hotel Martinez. The stroll continues through the vineyards of Provence, Musée du Louvre, a fashion show, café terraces, and the banks of the Seine before concluding atop the sparkling Eiffel Tower.
Working closely with Aura by Omnicom and production company \Else, Quirot was tasked with creating a joyful, cinematic viewing experience that would hold the attention of passengers while capturing the essence of the Air France brand and safety guidelines. A tribute to the classic cinematic worlds of French filmmaker Jacques Demy, Quirot left no stone unturned in constructing the film’s mise-en-scène. Here, gravitating towards timeless, French-chic imagery infused with ballet-like movement and color.
“The stakes were high due to the popularity and reception of Air France’s last in-flight film, which was one of the first to revolutionize and infuse a very unique style to the genre,” says Quirot, who is represented in the US by REVERSE. “This time around, we wanted to remind people of the best France has to offer -- and to make them dream of tomorrow’s world. As a filmmaker, it was an exciting opportunity for me to push the limits of this type of video, creating entertaining content that’s true to the Air France brand, and knowing it’ll be seen by 150 million Air France passengers over the next six years. It was also important to convey the mandatory safety instructions but in a fresh and surprising way. After all, air travel has to be safe but it should also be fun.”
Each scene offers an interpretive twist on each safety guideline by going out of the cabin and into the world. Buckling up happens at the opera, chair reclining is glamorously reimagined in a lounge chair on the Riviera and so on. From carefully planned camera sequences and scene blocking to editing and visual effects, Quirot infused choreography into every aspect of the film to seamlessly transition between the various vignettes and French settings. César and Oscar-winning French composer Ludovic Bource’s original score reinforces the tone of each scene with an array of genres and musical quotations.
In a fun nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s penchant for “easter eggs” in his films, Quirot followed in his footsteps, offering passengers the chance to discover something new every time they hop aboard an Air France flight – and a secret cameo by Quirot himself.
Considering the massive scale of the shoot spanning dozens of locations, a cast of hundreds, and Hollywood-quality production design and cinematography, getting the film across the finish line under Covid restrictions was a monumental feat.
For Quirot, celebrating the beauty and culture of his home country through his love of filmmaking was the greatest reward of all.
“To say ‘action’ and light the Eiffel tower before Paris wakes up was a dream come true,” concludes Quirot. “Collaborating with a brand that embraces true cinema on the level that Air France does is a rarity. I was honored to join the team at Aura by Omnicom and bring their story to life.”
Air France Brand: Sylvie Tarbouriech, Mélanie Guillain
Aura by Omnicom: Anne Vincent, Mathilde Seboul, Adrien Marsaud
Executive Creative Directors: Benjamin Marchal and Faustin Claverie
Art Director: Philippe Taroux & Benoit Leroux
Creative Producer: Anne-Claire Girard
Film Director: Romain Quirot
CEO \Else & Producer: Maxime Boiron
Executive Producer: Jennifer Bauche
Production Director: Tristan Voisin
Post-Production & 3D: \Else – Elise Gamboa, Younes Chekouh, Benjamin Piton
Music & Sound: \Else – Olivier Lefebvre, Fanny Mithois
Composer: Ludovic Bource
REVERSE is a US-based production company representing an international roster of award-winning directors: Johan Stahl, Romain Quirot, Daniel Börjesson, Martin Jalfen, Kim Jacobsen, Antoine Pai, and Mike Matthews. Recent agency clients include Grey, Publicis, VMLY&R, Team One, Garage Team Mazda, McGarryBowen.