The last time I spoke to Director Pablo Maestres we delved into the inner workings of his enchanting Delpozo fashion film Winter Eclipse. Today I’m very excited to have him back on DN to discuss his sexy sixties music video, Coeur Croisé for Parisian electronic duo Polo & Pan. Embracing a quintessentially La Nouvelle Vague style and fused with flawless choreography, Pablo has a created a visually spectacular piece that exudes erotic ardour, a true feast for the eyes! It was a pleasure to dive back into the creative mind of Pablo to uncover the secrets behind such a captivating piece and discuss what being awarded a Vimeo Staff Pick can induce for your career.
Where did the idea for the music video stem from?
I’ve had the fixation of doing a film set in the 60s parties for a while, but it’s not easy for a band to accept that type of aesthetics and storytelling. I’ve always been very fond of films like The Party by Blake Edwards or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, they are both very light, politically correct, musical comedies that stay on the same line all through the movie.
I loved the idea of maintaining that attitude of ‘contention’ in the guests by being very polite as guests of a party. That’s why all the sexual moments of the video are shown in a subliminal but obvious way. It was all about turning the film into a game for both the audience and the characters. And of course, then we needed choreography. From the moment I thought about a sexual twist to this genre, my main referent had to be one of my favourites: Bob Fosse.
The set and costume design is masterfully cogent, how did your collaboration with Anna Colomer and POLIÉSTER come about and what is about their work you admire?
I admire everything about Anna Colomer. I’ve known her since we started in film and she has never ceased to surprise me. We have worked together on many projects and I really love the experience and the workflow we have created. However, I had never worked with POLIÉSTER before and it’s been a real pleasure to do so! Both departments had a big challenge ahead. For starters, it was very hard to find a location to tell this story. The type of location we were looking for was based on American styles, and in Barcelona, it’s not easy to find a big, wide place with a 60s American aesthetic. Laia Barot, producer of the project, and the team were on the look out for the perfect location for several weeks.
I’m so happy with Anna’s work results. She gave the film a charming mystery halo and a lot of colour to the scenes. She created an impeccable narrative space and a great set, eye-catching and elegant. Remarkable. Regarding fashion, it also involved a lot of reading and research. Almost all the outfits that appear are from the 60s. They come from some of the great rental houses in Barcelona and Madrid. We also added some garments to complement the looks and some details to complete the palette we had chosen.
The cinematography and choreography work flawlessly together, how did you approach planning and how long did you spend rehearsing beforehand?
Long before we shaped the choreography, we already worked on the shooting thinking about possible dance steps and moves. They had to be used to connect the edit by introducing the characters and creating an evolution throughout the video from the more modest moves to the most sexual ones. Tuixen Benet was the choreographer. We had worked together before and I loved her work. She joined the project right away and we had some meetings just watching references and talking about what we wanted to show until we had the final piece.
We studied the light and the film aesthetics of the 60s, creating the perfect ambience for the choreography.
In the end, we only did an official 4-hour rehearsal one week before the shooting. In the rehearsal, we figured out all the main takes and camera movements and then the dancers were rehearsing during shooting days in every corner of the locations where we were. And then, it all comes perfectly together with Marc Miró’s masterful skills, DoP of the project. We studied the light and the film aesthetics of the 60s, creating the perfect ambience for the choreography.
How did you create the peaches shot?
It’s a really good question because in April when we shot the film you can’t find any peaches in Europe! One never thinks they’re seasonal. When I wrote the scene we didn’t know when it would be shot, so we never thought that would become an issue. In the end, we did two different takes: One close up with fake and real peaches and one long shot in 3D, taking as a reference the light and colour of the fake peaches.
You’ve been awarded a few Vimeo Staff Picks for your work now, how much do you feel this increases exposure for your filmmaking?
Quite a lot! Having a Staff Pick – apart from being an open window – is also a platform so other media know about you and they can publish your work on their websites or magazines. I’m very grateful for those! The first time I had a Staff Pick some years ago, my work changed radically. I moved from doing videos as a hobby to having job offers with international production companies. That is something very positive and, honestly, also a “surprise take off” in film.
What delights do you have in store for us next?
I’ve been mostly working on commercials since the shooting of Polo & Pan until now. In my experience, music videos are usually projects that are more ambitious than my resources. Sometimes, I have to recover from those working on other types of projects with more realistic budgets. However, some beautiful ideas are already taking shape on my desk.
All photographs courtesy of Lúa Ocaña.