Two years ago, when I first heard that Greg Desjardins was starting a new clothing brand, I have to be honest with everyone, I told myself “not another guy who thinks he can just start printing t-shirts and become a clothing brand”.
Only after speaking with him for hours about his project did I understand that Plenty Humanwear was really going to be something else. I had never seen such devotion, perfectionism and attention to detail in someone starting a project. The idea behind the project, the branding, the prints, the designs…everything seemed so professional that one could hardly guess this was an emerging brand held by (at that time) only one guy with the help of a few people. Of course, this hard-working attitude eventually sparked a lot of interest in me, and I felt like I wanted to be part of the project.
At the end of this summer, we were having diner at a friend’s house, and I decided to offer Greg my help if he needed anything video-related for Plenty. A few weeks later, he called me back and we had our first meeting with his new associate and long-time friend, Pierre-Nicolas Lessard. Honestly, after that first meeting, I felt kind of insecure. The guys really had a very defined idea about the video they wanted to produce as a teaser for their upcoming Summer 2011 collection, called The Natural Path. They wanted to do a first-person abstract short film demonstrating the contrasts between the urban scenery and natural landscapes. Let’s face it, I tend to have a more corporate style, even in my personal projects, and I tend to have a very photographic style, where the camera doesn’t move much and the framing is 50% of the shot’s quality.
I was about to embark on a project filmed entirely with a Glidecam and a Canon T2i, without any actors except the main character’s point of view, which was actually me featuring Pierre-Nic’s arms. As insecure as I felt, I was also really looking forward to this challenge that would make me step out of my comfort zone.
We shot the film over 4 days, in non-summer-like weather, which was our biggest challenge. The leaves were already starting to change color and the sky was always cloudy. We had to make sure every shot could be portrayed as a middle-of-July image, to really fit the 2011 Summer collection. We managed to do pretty good in that domain, and with a bit of color grading we were able to get warmer tones that the original images didn’t provide us.
The editing had its challenges too. Going from city to nature back and forth without losing the viewer’s attention was hard, and each transition and flash had to be thought through. And after that, the color grading between the incredibly different sceneries was a tedious job too. We had to make sure every shot felt like it belonged in the same “universe” even if they were filmed in totally different locations, different times of the day, and also simply, on different days.
In the end, I think the feel of the video is exactly what the Plenty guys were looking for, and for my part, I think I succeed the challenge that was set for me !
**You can see behind the scenes photos and an article at: http://www.plenty-humanwear.com/summer-2011-video-making-of/