colour control with ASOS and Pensacola

To enjoy the video, all you have to do is click on the different buttons within the video and watch the video adapt into your chosen colour. 

We all know how music videos work. It’s easy enough to sit back and enjoy the YouTube video as it unravels before your eyes. Imagine a video where you take control of the video. Impossible? We think not! ASOS has partnered up with Pensacola and JUCE for an innovative take on both fashion films and online shopping, revolutionising the traditional concept of spectatorship in the process. The concept is simple: five colours, five parallel worlds, and endless possibilities in terms of combinations. With Colour Control, the viewer is in charge. THE HEAT, directed by visionary duo Pensacola, features Georgia, Chalin and Cherish of pop-tastic band JUCE, in a bold palette composed of five different hues. “Our idea was to create five different worlds, applying a different effect in each of them: forced perspective, floating, transparency, etc. This way, when you play with the 5 colours, there is also more than just colour changing.” The result is an interactive video, where the viewer changes the scene with a simple click. “We think it is a very simple and cool way to do a video where you can literally choose what colour you want to see all the time.”

When it comes to finding an out-of-the-ordinary concept, working with an exciting format was primordial. Pensacola tells us that the priority was finding “something dynamic that would allow us to display the vast range of looks that ASOS offers.” The genius idea not only confuses the conventional montage techniques of films, but also plays with scale, special effects and illusions.

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The duo quotes director Michel Gondry as a source of inspiration for the video. “We are huge fans of all the studio videos developed by directors like Michel Gondry where there are different worlds and aesthetics created side by side, and the transitions between these worlds are smart and dynamic,” they explain. “We wanted to create the same flow by using just 5 colours, always trying to keep the sets clean and well designed.”

The design and construction of the video was key, as they explain: “The interactive element was key for us, so the whole planning and concept of the shoot turned around it. We had to build 5 sets, and repaint them all, every time we had to change colours.” A team who was up to the challenging technicalities was needed for the task. “Our amazing art director Anna Colomer and her team did an amazing job designing all the sets and working each day to achieve the level of detail in the colours that we were looking for,” they state. “We didn’t just want to paint everything with chroma, and then play in the grading…”

The three-day shoot took place in Barcelona, where the director duo took on the challenge of creating five parallel stories. Locking the camera in place and controlling the timing so that the action happened at the same point of the song was the first important step. Most demanding of all, they tell us, were the flying scenes. “It is not easy to be rigged with strings and move around naturally like the guys in the film do. We were very impressed of how fast and easily they got used to it and were able to repeat the scenes over and over again.”

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At the heart of the concept of Colour Control is the shopping element, where viewers pick a palette, before heading to ASOS to discover the carefully curated selection of coloured garments. Coordinating five different hues in one video could be considered an insurmountable task. “Luckily we had the pleasure to work closely with ASOS and their stylists,” Pensacola explains. “We sat down with our shooting plan and storyboards, explained each action and restrictions to them, and we came up with a set of looks that worked for both us and them.” Working with ASOS is a prime example, Pensacola tells us, of involving clients and viewers more directly in the action. “Fashion films have the capacity to speak the brand’s personality in a way that commercials and photography are not doing currently.” Far from being a simple display, fashion films are a fun and creative way of showcasing new collections. Fashion films, Pensacola states, “should not be commercials, but manifestos, artistic interpretations of what the brand is.”

Add an element of interactivity and a shopping function, and the playful result certainly has our curiosity awakened. The whimsical undercurrent of the video is what Pensacola feels differentiates Colour Control from conventional short films. “We love brands that are open towards new formats, humour and more daring stages,” we are told. “That’s one of the reasons we are happy about this project, because it takes the brand and its product, and makes the video a simple and fun game for the consumers to explore.”

So, what do the Pensacola duo have up their sleeves, we wonder? “We love these formats, but we have a couple of projects in mind to explore our style and apply it to narrative.” They let us in on their hopes for the future. “This is what we have always wanted to do, be filmmakers and shoot movies. Hopefully we can make them happen within the next months and we can show you.”

Watch the video and choose your colour! 

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