Dutch top director Ismael and American director Teddy Cherim, both from production company Pink Rabbit, collaborated on jeans brand G-Star’s latest film – starring Snoop Dogg and featuring the hip hop legend’s new song Say it Witcha Booty. Ismael talks about what went on behind the scenes.
On previous occasions G-Star worked with Pharrell Williams, chess star Magnus Carlsen, football club Borussia Dortmund (with its huge fan base) and Formula 1 phenomenon Max Verstappen. This time it was Snoop D-O double G’s turn.
Since a couple of years G-Star focuses on the ‘fit’ more than anything. What is the first thing you look at when you try new jeans on – especially women? Right, your ‘booty’. And who’s a connoisseur of booties? Well… exactly.
Ismael, a former CD/AD and co-founder of Pink Rabbit: ‘It was a big production, full of uncertainties because of Covid-19, there wasn’t much time and Snoop Dogg was in it – (laughs) how much pressure can you take on as a production company?
We solved a lot of the problems by shooting a large part of the commercial in Barcelona first. Teddy then jumped on a plane to the US to take over control and guide the project to the finish line.
I’m so thankful for collaborating with Teddy for more reasons. The client – G-Star and creative agency The Family – wanted a funny, impressive, awesome fashion film, that would appeal to a larger audience.
I’m good at telling an original story, at form, comedy and emotion. But Teddy lifts that all up with his “silly”, but intelligent jokes and subtle little stories within the bigger story. It makes the work extra fresh and layered.’
The Family came up with the idea to approach Snoop Dogg, since G-Star worked with a dog in its communication before. It turned out Snoop liked the bespoke brand and was already planning a new album release, that featured Say it Witcha Booty. The stars aligned…
Ismael: ‘The original lyrics were PG-rated, so we had to adjust them a tiny bit and added “G-Star” here and there – which Snoop Dogg actually approved and surprised us to be honest, in a good way of course.
The other, main thing was that we wanted to visualize the “perfect booty in the perfect jeans” mostly in a graphic way; these days you can’t be too sexist. It had to look like a modern-day James Bond movie, with the same kind of style, class and nonchalant sexiness.’
Ismael directed Snoop during the night from a distance – ‘we set up a connection with big screens between Amsterdam and LA’. What was it like to work with Snoop Dogg?
‘Snoop is extremely professional, and even though I’m an experienced director I was kind of nervous to be honest. But in the end he asked if we couldn’t make the music video for the song as well and – jokingly – asked why he had to perform in front a green screen and wasn’t invited to the live shoot in Barcelona.’
Ismael adds: ‘You don’t get many chances like this in the commercial world. Especially for younger directors like Teddy it’s difficult to get your hands on advertising scripts like these. The other way around he helps me to steer away from my comfort zone.
That’s what I loved most about this production: to work at the highest level with Teddy and others, who complemented, pushed and inspired each other creatively. In the end, that is our goal at Pink Rabbit – to get the most out of every film and the most out of this industry.’