Charlie Robins of Forever Pictures could never have foreseen the incredible international attention that his recent promo for Naughty Boy has achieved.
The beautiful and seemingly impossible footage was shot before he even knew that Beyonce would be featuring on the track. The song had captured Charlie, so the addition of the Superstar’s vocals was a surprising, but extraordinary addition. It was back in June that he flew across the globe with his crew and French champion free divers Guillaume Nery & Alice Modolo, to Rangiroa, a tiny atoll off the coast of Tahiti.
The coral reef is the only place in the world that offers the prime conditions for filming the footage that he sought for his idea. It is here that the crystalline waters, with a water temperature of 27 degrees and a depth 15 metres, allows the sun to light the scene naturally. It’s also the home of the World’s strongest current. These natural conditions allowed for the magical underwater effects to be achieved entirely in-camera. DoP Jacques Ballard managed to film the beautiful footage on Dragon.
The film set out to create a sense of adventure whilst capturing a love story, albeit an underwater one.
The filming was to be a methodical and pre-planned affair having involved lots of story boarding and discussions beforehand.
Charlie shot in a drift current, which flowed through the lagoon for two hours everyday, giving the illusion of the forward momentum that you see in the video. With only four days to shoot in, the conditions needed to be ideal for the shoot to succeed. It was aided by the fact that the free divers themselves are partners and had worked in such conditions previously. Their knowledge was key for the project to work.
The end result is a magical and beautiful film, which has captured people’s attention across the globe and has now notched up nearly 25 million hits on You Tube.
Charlie was recently selected for Saatchi and Saatchi’s 2015 New Director showcase.
Directed by: Charlie Robins
Production company: Forever Pictures
Co-direction by: Julie Gautier of Les Films Engloutis
Cast: Guillaume Nery & Alice Modolo
Produced by: Sarah Tognazzi
DoP: Jacques Ballard
Editor: Leo King at Stitch
Telecine: Paul Harrison at Finish
Sound Design: Davo McConville at Forever Music
Commissioner: James Hackett at Virgin EMI