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Your Shot: Jake Scott on an Assassination Story with a Twist for Ford

Behind the Work 828 Add to collection

The RSA director discusses working with Mads Mikkelsen in a beautiful eight-minute film

Your Shot: Jake Scott on an Assassination Story with a Twist for Ford

With RSA’s Jake Scott behind the camera and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen in front of it, the new Ford film was always going to be a beauty. The eight-minute short spearheads a £40 million pan-European campaign for the Ford Edge, the brand’s flagship SUV. It’s a brilliant, proper old school assassination story, but with a twist; Mads’s character Le Fantôme (the assassin) has a change of heart (for reasons to be discovered in the film and the below interview) and opts to save the couple which he has been instructed to kill. LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with director Jake to find out more.

LBB> In the launch press release, you say that you always saw this film as a love story - can you elaborate on that please?

JS> The initial idea was that the Fantome develops an 'attraction' to the Ford. It seems improbable until you consider the oddity of the character as portrayed by Mads. His fascination becomes a kind of romance. 


LBB> I love the Widow - what a brilliant character. Where did you look for inspiration when creating her?  

JS> Barbara Steele is a friend of mine and something of a legend in Italian cinema, most notably Fellini's 8 1/2 which is my favourite film. She immediately came to mind as the perfect widow. 


LBB> And for the overall aesthetic and vibe - where did you look for inspiration? What were you aiming to achieve?  

JS> Well, I had an excellent team for a start. We were going for a romantic early ‘70s European cinema feel. Like Alain Delon's film 'La Piscine' with a little touch of 'Le Samourai'. So much of it comes from the stunning locations. We shot with anamorphic lenses which really do the trick. Mark Patten is a master. 


LBB> Were you given a lot of creative freedom on this project? 

JS> It was very collaborative with an extremely trusting agency creative team. Everyone was after the same end result. But yes, they did give me a lot of freedom. 


LBB> Gotta ask - where did you shoot? It is gorgeous!  

JS> Croatia. Incredible. Great crew, delicious food, thoroughly recommended for shooting. And sailing holidays!!


LBB> How long did you shoot for? 

JS> Five days. But we had a second unit, led by Adrian Moat, which was crucial. 


LBB> How was Mads to work with? What kinds of conversations were you having with him? Why was he the right actor for this role? 

JS> Mads and I sat down a few weeks before to discuss the character. He had an immediate grasp of the tone and nature of the Fantome's fascination for the Edge. He's an incredibly compelling actor, who can convey a lot with minimal expression, which was ideal for this character. He started out as a dancer which was evident in his physicality and was actually vital. Mads has a mischievous side too. He was a delight to work with.  


LBB> What are the most memorable moments of the project and why?

JS> The night of the dance scene. The extras performed an impromptu Croatian folk song for us on the bridge. It was magical and somehow informed the whole evening. That full moon glowed over the entire scene. 


LBB> Any parting thoughts?

JS> The widow lives!


Jake Scott is a Director at RSA Films. You can check out his showreel here

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Genres: People

RSA Films, Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:29:18 GMT