Fulvio Bonavia on how he got an “impossible” shot for a car client

What do you do when a client asks for a shot that’s impossible to get? You find a way to make it happen, of course. Fulvio Bonavia was recently commissioned by Publicis Italy to get a shot for a Renault Espace MPV ad that, he says, was a classic “mission impossible” situation because the location was at odds with the look they wanted. And then a lighting emergency during the shoot added to the challenge. (There’s always something, isn’t there?)

Here, Fulvio, who worked with Publicis Italy creative director Patrizio Marini and art director Guido Scamporrino, explains how he got the photo his client needed.

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The ad, minus copy, for the Renault Espace MPV shot by Fulvio Bonavia for Publicis Italy.

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“They were asking for a modern-looking location with a cool cityscape background. The agency made the layout using a bridge that’s located in L.A. As you know, Italy is more famous for old-style architecture, so it is not easy to find modern bridges here. We have some, especially by Calatrava, but they are overused by every car brand.

The producer suggested a bridge in Padova, but it was under construction (though close to being finished). Still, I knew it would work for the shot. We decided to shoot the car on a closed street and to shoot the bridge separately. The day before the shoot, I did a tech scout to make sure everything was in order for our nighttime shoot. But the evening of the shoot, as we were building a track to take the shot of the bridge in movement, all the lights in the entire area went out. This was on a Sunday, and when we called the city to ask for help, our request was rejected because for them it wasn’t an urgent situation. Meanwhile, it was very urgent for us because we needed to deliver the final image the next day!

So after few minutes of panic, I decided to light the entire bridge with the lights I used for the car. And then in postproduction, I used a photo that I shot from a terrace in Hong Kong last summer for the background. The deepness of the color worked perfectly for this image, I think.

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Fulvio used this photo, which he took on a visit to Hong Kong, for the background.

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In the end, it was a nice experience—working through the challenges actually gave me the chance to light the bridge exactly as I liked.”

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One Comment

  1. Roy L. Williams
    Posted 04/29/2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    What make, model camera and lenses did you use? Also, what are the settings and distance?


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