New film for Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, envisioned and directed by El Colony's Steve Fuller and photographed by Pete Konczal takes you on a darkish journey behind closed doors, where a mere suggestion can take your imagination to places you have not been before.
Every hotel is a keeper of stories, but Las Vegas hotels are in the league of their own.
The Cosmopolitan, since its conception, has separated itself from the rest of Vegas, and arguably the world, by carefully crafting an incredible brand image: cooler, edgier, more contemporary... just the right amount of wrong. And if it is a bit more than someone can handle - it stays behind the closed doors.
El Colony’s Steve Fuller was very excited when R/GA approached him about the opportunity to work on a concept that made your head spin with the darkish possibilities. As soon as Steve saw the boards and saw Behind Closed Doors concept - his mind started seeing the scenes.
Seeing it was a great evolution for the brand, he knew not to mess with a good thing. Just as every person has a story, each room at the Cosmo has its own unique narrative.
Steve says when he started thinking about the project, it reminded him of an immersive theatre production Sleep No More by a British theatre company Punchdrunk, that he experienced years ago in New York.
The show, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, takes place in an old hotel call the McKittrick. Audience members start off in a 1930’s inspired hotel lobby bar, each holding a different playing card. They are then called by groups, according to the card they hold, given white masks, and then taken up an elevator. Upon exiting the elevator, the audience is free to wander around five floors of the building, through a variety of theatrically designed rooms and live scenes.
While the visuals of Sleep No More are very different from the Cosmopolitan scenes, there is the same energy and a certain kind of excitement felt. You have no idea what you will see or experience as you peek into each room, or look through each door. But what you do know is that you want to look. And then you can’t wait to see what’s next. And when that last door slams in your face, you want IN, because you know that anything is possible behind closed doors. This was one of my main inspirations.
The creative director at R/GA had great ideas for each room, Steve embraced those ideas and tried to make the most of them. When I watched the previous Cosmopolitan work, some of my favorite fashion photographers came to mind. In particular, the ones that were in Vogue Magazine’s inner-circle – Tim Walker, Guy Bourdin, and Irving Penn. These photographers all pushed their craft into new territory – turning fashion photography into fine art. They also dabbled in Surrealism, and were masters of creating mood – two things that have been key to Cosmopolitan’s image of standing out from the pack
Steve and the team drew a lot of inspiration from them which informed everything from casting, to set design, to wardrobe, to hair & makeup. Cinematography was in great hands of Pete Konczal, who takes you on a journey from dark into the light and back with such seamless ease, it makes one wonder.