If someone told you they were going to make a film about how difficult it can be to see the world from someone else’s perspective, using different camera rigs as a way into each perspective, that might seem like a complicated, even worrisome conceit.
How can you make a film about the difficulty of understanding someone else’s point of view while avoiding all of the ham-fisted tropes of something like, say, Crash?
Rag & Bone’s hypnotic new short film, “Why Can’t We Get Along,” created by production company 1stAveMachine and agency SpecialGuest, pulls it off seamlessly. Actors Ansel Elgort and Kate Mara, along with dancers from the American Ballet Theater, HipLet Ballerinas, YouTuber Kandi Reign and members of Bulletrun Parkour, perform choreography from Benjamin Millepied to the tune of a new song by Thom Yorke.
The five-minute film, co-directed Millepied, Aaron Duffy and Bob Partington, was shot in one day. It weaves together footage from the different camera rigs and takes the viewer on a journey without ever putting an exclamation point on, well, the point.
“This film was the result of putting together an eclectic group of insanely talented people to work on an idea that personified our approach to creating truly original ways of presenting our collections,” said Marcus Wainwright, Rag & Bone CEO, founder and creative director, in a statement. “It was a bit of a crazy idea, and seeing it come together the way it has, was incredibly rewarding and maybe, above all else, a lot of fun.”
Here is an exclusive look behind the scenes:
A press release for “Why Can’t We Get Along” noted that the short was shot in one day using five different camera rigs, designed by Tony Hill. Read more about the camera rigs below:
The Pendulum Rig: The pendulum rig creates a fluid camera motion that adds speed and depth to the subject. If the dancer is in sync to the movement of the camera, it creates a dynamic effect where everything around him/her seems to zip past.
The Falling Over Rig (Tony Hill, 1976):The falling over rig makes the horizon appear to be tilting. It creates a surreal effect where the dancer is able to maintain balance even though the floor appears to be moving. This rig was chosen to create the sensation that the world is moving against the dancer.
The Dolly Zoom: The dolly zoom effect, also known as the vertigo effect, is created as the camera zooms in and out in while physically moving the camera back and forth. It changes the focal length of the camera creating a surreal effect where it feels as though the background is collapsing into the subject.
The Wheel Rig (Tony Hill, 1992): The wheel rig rotates around the subject making everything in view appear to spin along with it. If you attach and sync the movement of the subject, it creates an effect where the subject is still and seemingly able to defy the law of gravity.
The Satellite Rig (Tony Hill, 1981): The satellite rig flips the horizon upside down making it appear as if the world is flipping over. If the dancer’s movements are timed to the camera, it creates a distorting view of the dancer falling in sync with the camera. This creates an effect as though the whole world is moving with him/her. This rig also presents the opportunity to have performances that are upside down.