Quad Productions charts panther odyssey on location across Europe for Cartier
Jewellery brand Cartier has enlisted Quad Productions to take its panther emblem on a global odyssey in its new ad. Beginning with a jewelled Cartier panther coming to life, the animal travels through snow, mountains and deserts before returning to Paris.
The restrictions of transporting live panthers meant that the production team couldn’t travel outside Europe, so they got creative with European locales. The Dolomites in northern Italy provided a handy rocky background setting for a sequence where the panther confronts a mystical dragon that initially resembles the Great Wall of China.
In the same area, the team chose the Cervinia ski resort for some of the snowy landscapes for scenes where the panther pads across an arctic wilderness.
Claudia Traeger line produced the spot for Quad: “Some of the snow scenes were shot near a glacier in northern Italy, four or five hours from Turin. The Italy shoot was a huge logistical challenge as we had a crew of around 50 people, as well as three panthers.
Some of the snow scenes were shot near a glacier in northern Italy, four or five hours from Turin. The Italy shoot was a huge logistical challenge as we had a crew of around 50 people, as well as three panthers.
Claudia Traeger, Line Producer
“The crew and equipment were taken to the final location by helicopter, but the panthers had to be trucked in as they can’t be taken by air.”
For safety reasons scenes at the ski resort were filmed during the resort’s off-season. The ski lift is the nominal mode of transport but this was closed and travelling by helicopter was faster and more efficient anyway.
The Bárdenas Reales desert in northern Spain was used to double for scenes that are broadly far-eastern in tone. Here the panther emerges from an Oriental palace onto the back of an enormous elephant before catching a lift on an historic Santos Dumont aircraft.
Marc Bèdia was line producer for The Lift in Barcelona: “The Bárdenas region is a spectacular desert in Spain. It’s the smallest of the country’s three main desert areas but offers great landscapes, great horizons, little mountains and eroded features.”
The Lift had several months to plan the one-day shoot as the project developed over time and the actual filming was made easier due to the small crew. With no human cast they didn’t need hair or make-up departments, so it became a more streamlined operation. A Scorpio crane was used to capture the elevated shots.
The Bárdenas region is a spectacular desert in Spain. It’s the smallest of the country’s three main desert areas but offers great landscapes, great horizons, little mountains and eroded features.
Marc Bèdia, Line Producer
Scenes featuring the historic aircraft were filmed in a studio in Belgium with the replica 1906 Santos Dumont aircraft specially built for the shoot. An early sequence showing the panther chasing a horse-drawn carriage through a frozen St Petersburg was also recreated in a studio, this time in Czech Republic.
Traeger comments: “Snow scenes featuring the horse-drawn sled are set in St Petersburg but as a trip to Russia wasn't possible because of the panther logistics we used a fake-snow set in a Czech Republic studio and recreated the city digitally.”
Agency producer: Muriel Allegrini
Creative director: Sébastien Vacherot
Production Company: Quad Productions, Paris
Line Producer: Claudia Traeger
Production Service Company (Italy): Orlando Films, Milan
Production Service Company (Czech Republic): Czech Connection/Filmservice
Production Service Company (Spain): The Lift, Barcelona
Director of Photography: Patrick Duroux
Director: Bruno Aveillan
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