By Kenneth Richard | the Impressionist

Far too often in the world of creative the “who” and the “what” are not at equilibrium. We’ve seen amazing concepts not living up to their potential as the talent is so-so or amazing talent in what is obviously a campaign thrown together at the last minute delivering mediocrity. IWC Schaffhausen lacks for neither talent nor vision in their recent campaign by Peter Lindbergh featuring the exceptional cast of Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, Emily Blunt, and Zhou Xun. It is however missing one simple ingredient, a screenwriter.

As a print campaign the work is emoting and stellar, a standard for Peter Lindbergh who constantly pushes his work to reflect a truthfulness lacking currently in fashion. There isn’t a photographer working today who champions the love for humanity like Peter Lindbergh and we applaud how he constantly pushes his own work to the next level. And had this campaign been simply about print it would go down as one of the best of the year. However, just four weeks after launch, the 2-minute video has found itself garnishing over 4.85M views and there in fact lies the conundrum. The video has no story.

Set in Portofino, this charming cast is filmed as they engage with each other over espresso, stroll along the harbor, and jet along the Italian Riviera in a Riva speedboat, all rich fodder for Peter’s lens. The result is a series of images that IWC Schaffhausen is wise enough to leverage for a traveling exhibit with stops in Zurich, Hong Kong, London, Dubai, and Miami. However, translating a print concept into a film is another story, as the viewer is left feeling as they were an unwelcome party quest observing some of the best actors in the world engage in conversation without actually speaking. And as we all know, Christoph Waltz was born to speak. The talent, cinematography, lighting, wardrobe, music, editing, and setting are all excellent. But as these Academy Award winners and nominees will tell you, it all starts with the script.

In the age of YouTube and countless other outlets for fashion films, more and more agencies and brands have begun to invert their concepting; putting the video first and lifting from it for print and still images. A good deal of this has to do with where the impressions are coming from as many brands have shifted their print dollars to digital and thus video has become more and more relevant. Either way the need for the scales to balance is the same and The Impression would just love to see IWC Schaffhausen get another shot with the same cast and more time to pull together what could obviously be fashion’s first shot at an Oscar for a short.


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