We’ve recently completed one of the most experimental, and frankly insane, shoots for Glenfiddich. It was for the exquisite and pioneering Glenfiddich 21 Year Old whisky, which after being matured for 21 years is finished in Caribbean rum casks for a richer, warmer and more exotic taste.
After coming up with the headline, ‘Raised in Scotland. Roused by the Caribbean’, we had to bring the line to life in a single image. You may well have seen the final visual (spoiler alert, it’s at the end of this blog), but we thought it would be interesting to give you a behind-the-scenes peek into how the beauty image was created with the very talented photographer Benedict Morgan.
Warning: this blog contains paint. Lots of it.
You can watch a behind-the-scenes overview film about the shoot, but please read on for more images and explanation.
Before the shoot, we worked with Benedict and his special effects prop maker, Jack Kirby, to prepare all the ingredients. First they created paint with exactly the right texture – they used paint-dyed water mixed with a thickening substance to get the ideal consistency. After much testing, they were happy with the looser feel the liquid achieved, which seemed to mimic billowing fabric.
The first day of the shoot was all about experimenting – seeing how the paint ‘splashed’ and working out the best ways of achieving and capturing the resulting colourful explosions. The studio seriously resembled a mad experimental laboratory more than an ordered set – in fact we were all wearing lab coats to avoid getting stained.
We filled small balloons with the paint liquid, suspending them above the set. The balloons were manually swung towards our target to control the impact, and give us a cleaner and more refined look.
We tested various targets – from Blu-Tack covered in pins (to make the balloons burst) to the bottle on its own. The one that worked best was a golf ball with pins, as it created the beautiful undulating shapes we were after. The pins encouraged the balloon to explode in such a way that the paint dispelled in the different directions we needed.
This is one of the most memorable and powerful images we’ve ever created – it dynamically captures the feeling of the Caribbean rum finish in a very contemporary and bold way, as well as being super premium in execution.
And here’s the 21 Year Old beauty video that accompanies it.
We hope you like the final images.