It was Romain Gavras who directed the epic Samsung advert which was released earlier this year, in which all of the 180 actors and stuntmen (bar the CGI T-rex) were shot on set in what was basically a fancy dress party to blow all others out of the water. Little did we realise, however, that photographer Chris Frazer Smith, who shot the stills for the campaign on a the same, gigantic scale had other plans for the enormous cast used, in order to take full advantage of the immensity of the costume, hair and make-up operation necessary for a shoot of this size. Whenever they weren’t needed in front of the video cameras, Chris ensured he had cast members off-set, shooting their portraits against either a black backdrop or the rural seaside landscape.
So what happens when you shoot portraits of a gang leader, Marie Antoinette, a charioteer, a blue-haired medieval elfin knight and a minotaur, and put them all side by side? The results are surreal, to say the least; the absurdity of the pairings requires serious suspension of disbelief, which, plus the momentary self doubt (“is that an actual cowboy?”) make for a rollercoaster ride of a viewing experience, which is as bizarre and it is brilliant.
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