Art Streiber on creating a new take on a famous Volkswagen ad, in GIF form, for Bloomberg Markets


The GIF that Art created was used on the magazine’s website.


For a feature on the growing popularity of betting on lawsuits—or litigation funding—Bloomberg Markets looks at a case against Volkswagen over its emissions scandal, in which a U.S. law firm is financing the case against VW in exchange for a share of the winnings.

“…it’s easy to see the appeal of an asset class that isn’t tethered to financial markets at a time when interest rates are at rock bottom and investment returns are anemic,” notes Bloomberg Markets. “If the VW shareholders lose, [the] fund will have spent a few million euros to pay for German lawyers. If they win—and secure the €2 billion they’re seeking in damages—[the fund] could get back as much as €400 million, a potential return of 10,000 percent.”

The magazine chose to illustrate the story by asking Art Streiber to reinterpret a famous VW ad from the 1960s by Doyle Dane Bernbach in which a group of nuns climb into a VW bus. Replacing the nuns were eight lawyers, meant to represent litigation funding. Below, he explains how he got the shot—and his inspiration for also creating a nifty GIF for online use.

“In order to replicate the look of the original ads as closely as possible, my crew I pored over them looking for lighting and lens-choice clues. Ultimately, I wanted a big, broad, soft, flat, toppy light, so my crew and I bounced two heads into the studio ceiling behind the bus and used two large soft boxes in front in order to wrap the back/top light around and onto our model/subjects. In order to add a bit of snap and contact to the models, we used a 7” reflector in front as well.

Once we were lit and our models were expertly outfitted by wardrobe stylist Kate Bofshever, groomed by Juanita Lyon and Michelle Parry, and handed briefcases and other props by Anthony Altomare, it was a matter of choreographing their approach to the vehicle.

And after we had nailed the still, it occurred to me that we could create a GIF for the Bloomberg Markets website. I asked the models to slow their pace just a bit, so that the strobes could keep up with their walking to the car, getting into the car, and ‘driving’ away.

The driving look was accomplished by Altomare and his crew hiding being the bus and pushing it out of the frame, which meant that the bus came perilously close to the back wall of the stage in Smashbox’s Big Box Studio. After four attempts (and no head-on collisions), we had what we needed.”



Photo by Art Streiber for Bloomberg Markets.


Art on set. Photo courtesy @aspictures.

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