October 5, 2015 by Tina Fischer
Federico Cambria is a Milan based director focusing on TV commercials and digital projects. He shoots two kinds of commercials: Beauty visual projects and comedy, a special combination that reflects his two different “souls”. Federico brings exceptional sensibility to every project and takes pride in paying very special attention to detail. It’s therefore no wonder that creative agencies such as Havas, M&C Saatchi, Y&R,Armando Testa and companies and clubs such as Sky TV, Bolton Group and Juventus rank among his clients.
We took a look behind the scenes of one of his latest successful projects, the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” spot for Juventus FC and Marvel, a comedy digital project directing four international football stars: Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio – a great viral success!
Eroi in Ritiro dircut from Fede Cambria on Vimeo.
Client: Juventus Marvel/ Juventus FC and Disney
Advertising Agency: Armando Testa
D.O.P.: Fabio Casati
Testimonial: Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio , Arturo Vidal
Production Paradise: What’s the story behind the Avengers project for Juventus and Marvel? Who had the idea?
Federico Cambria: Armando Testa Digital Hub created the concept. They wrote some funny comedy sketches where Juventus football players “became” Marvel Super Heroes. What made it such an exciting project was its irony and the unusual nature of the set up. They prepared the project for the “Avengers – Age of Ultron” premiere.
Production Paradise: What was it like to work with famous football players Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio from Juventus?
Federico Cambria: Everything went so fast, and they didn’t have too much time, but they were extremely professional and entertaining to work with. Diaviva, the production company, created a great team to shoot fast and the players were focused and cool.
Production Paradise: Are you a football fan?
Federico Cambria: I’m not a great football fan. I adore other sports, but being Italian, football is in our DNA and directing football legends such as Andrea Pirlo was a very exciting experience.
Production Paradise: Has this shoot been more difficult in comparison to other projects, as you were working with football players and not with professional actors or models?
Federico Cambria: No, it was more difficult due to the tight timing, the short duration of shooting. My “shooting board” was created for the limited time we had on set and I had to be really fast. Of course when you direct actors you have a different approach, when you have models another one, for football stars there are no rules, I make them feel safe explaining what I need and I assist them with their acting. You can achieve a good performance, and often the result turns out well due to their passion! If they are athletes, they always “work” with their body and this helps them with acting. Usually they are confident working with their mediated image, because they are famous and as iconic as rock stars.
Production Paradise: It seems like you had a lot of fun during the shoot. Does having fun at work play a big role for you and in the success of your projects?
Federico Cambria: Having fun definitely helps as directing is team work, and I think great concentration and fun make the team think and move as a unique living organism. This is amazing and the key for a successful project. People work better than your expectations, if you are talented and know how to push them to their best.
Production Paradise: What’s the reason for your focus on beauty and comedy commercials?
Federico Cambria: Comedy comes from my background as a theatre director and my love for American and Italian comedy directors. Producers see that I’m confident with actors, celebrities and sports stars while shooting fun “stories” with actors (I often imitate them to create a fun mood on set). Casting in comedy is key, sometimes cast is “comedy”: it can express that ironic mood you want, sometimes an unconventional subtext to a line can bring the acting you don’t expect: true, organic, ironic.
Beauty comes from the amazing love I feel to create beautiful images, where women appear as if they were painted in frames, where lights, body, movement and set design create a dreamy world. I think of beauty as a positive value, I look at Hitchcock divas, those amazing actresses, those balanced vintage beauties that impressed generations of people. While casting you discover so many different kinds of beauty, any woman tells a story: think of Steven Meisel’s work – his female casting talent and his ability to create a “world” for any female image he creates.
Production Paradise: This is quite a unique combination isn’t it?
Federico Cambria: I do think some directors have two souls. If you are honest, professional and passionate in this you can work in two worlds.
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