Begin Desire

Martini – Rome

W Communications commissioned me to shoot stills on a short film for Martini in Rome. Director Jake Scott and DP John Matthieson headed up an amazing crew to shoot a short film/tv commercial for Martini in classic locations throughout Rome.

Myself and a two man video crew flew out to Rome to meet our contact from the agency and journalist Matt Munday who had been sent out to help with interviews and also cover the story for the press.

The ‘Begin Desire’ campaign was conceived by advertising guru Jeff Wiess who created the original sixties Martini advertising campaigns. The story is based on a young waitress who after serving a classic Italian gentleman finds a napkin with the words ‘Begin Desire’ written in ink, left by the intriguing character.  She follows signs and words through the old town guided by the spirit of Martini and boards a train off to her new future.

This shoot really was a fairytale as the lead actress, Elena, a young Romania political science student who had come to Rome to find work was actually working as a waitress and whilst scouting the locations in Rome Jake discovered Elena in a small Piazza and plucked her from the everyday and threw her into a life she could only have dreamt of.  I do hope her career continues.

The incredible director of photography John Mathieson  who’s work history is legendary explained how he chose classic old 70’s  lenses to give the film a classic authentic look and feel and Jake worked tirelessly to get the best out of the cast, his crew, the light and the locations.

The whole shoot was great and we were well looked after.  On our last night, our final shot was the famous Martini neon sign in the centre of Rome.  We jumped out of the car set up the tripods and within minutes were descended on by not one but two Carabinienri police cars.  Little did we know we were set up on American Embassy property and after copies of our documents had been checked we were asked to break down and move on.  Any Police action is always exciting! Thank you to everyone involved, definitely one of my best shoots of the year.


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