Wes Anderson’s aesthetic is intricate, precise… and apparently effortless. In his award-winning films, the camera glides smoothly through stylized sets, lighting on symmetrical compositions that please the eye. We teamed up with Mellow Velo Bicycles to film a playful tribute to the acclaimed director, and kick off Outside Magazine‘s Bike and Brews event for National Bike to Work Day. The eye-catching aesthetic would help us raise awareness about an eco-friendly cause.
It didn’t take long to learn that Anderson’s look is the result of grueling work. Setting up shots called for a heightened awareness of everything in the frame, and mapping out the placement of Anderson’s signature text overlays kept us on our toes. We worked hard to capture the precise expressions and gestures of the bike commuters on their winding paths to Mellow Velo. During the production we came across this quote from Anderson:
I have a way of filming things and staging them and designing sets. There were times when I thought I should change my approach, but in fact, this is what I like to do. It’s sort of like my handwriting as a movie director. And somewhere along the way, I think I’ve made the decision: I’m going to write in my own handwriting.
Anderson’s words emboldened us to consider the elements that make our own styles unique, even as we worked hard to mimic his aesthetic. Exercises like this often replenish our creative juices for this very reason. Making the video kept us hyper focused, but gave us time away from our own creative impulses. Momentarily free from the pressure of using our own “handwriting,” we thrived in the process of following another creator’s trail. The adventure wasn’t always easy, but the delightful video was well worth the sweat and blood!