When Byron Fitts, Executive Producer at The Department, a Dallas-based production company, was asked to help produce a video for CHANEL, he jumped at the opportunity. The subject was the stunning and talented Academy Award Best Actress nominee, Margot Robbie. CHANEL had reached out to Robbie to design the dress she was to wear for the 2018 Academy Awards ceremony. The video documents the design and creation process of the one-of-a-kind gown.
AdChat interviewed Byron about the shoot and got some juicy details.
AdChat DFW: What is the video about?
Byron: We produced this project for CHANEL Paris in conjunction Walter Films out of Paris. Margot Robbie is considered a CHANEL muse, and now will be the new brand ambassador for CHANEL. And because of her Oscar nomination for I, Tonya, they wanted to create a dress for her for this year’s Oscars. The project followed the design and creation of the dress at CHANEL Paris, following it to CHANEL in Los Angeles where the final fitting and embellishing took place.
AdChat DFW: What did the project entail for The Department?
Byron: In addition to the usual preproduction details, we researched and scouted various iconic areas in and around L.A. and the penthouse at Chateau Marmont where Miss Robbie prepared for the event. Due to the parameters of the project, we didn’t have the luxury of having a locked shooting schedule – we just went out and shot based on lighting conditions and logistics each day. Normally, that would drive me crazy, but it was rather liberating and fun.
AdChat DFW: Why Chateau Marmont?
Byron: First, Chateau Marmont is a Hollywood landmark and institution. It’s also close to the Dolby Theatre, so many celebrities stay there for the short distance, in addition to the many parties that take place there.
AdChat DFW: How did Walter Films find you?
Byron: The Department worked with Walter Films about 4 years ago when CHANEL was planning their 2013/14 Metiers d’Art Show here in Dallas at Fair Park. It was a great experience and privilege for us to work with them in the past. We all got along and worked extremely well together, even keeping in touch over the years. So, it felt natural for them to reach out again for this project, and we were excited to collaborate once more. And oddly, due to existing travel and meetings, I had planned to be in L.A. anyway, so it could not have been more perfectly timed.
AdChat DFW: Did the same director shoot in Paris and L.A.?
Byron: Yes, Philippe Prouff directed the Paris and L.A. portions of the shoot. Along with the DP, Lucile Mercier, we shot every day, handing over the footage at the end of each day to the editor who diligently worked throughout the night on rough cuts with the director to get approvals from Paris. This happened for four days until the day of the Oscars. As crazy as it sounds, it was a pretty seamless process and production, and could not have gone any smoother.
AdChat DFW: Where does the video live?
Byron: The final cut of the project will live on CHANEL’s social media outlets – YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, for sure.
AdChat DFW: What was it like to work with an emerging talent like Margot Robbie?
Byron: It’s funny you ask because CHANEL had their own celebrity handling department, they handle everything. With their new announcement of Miss Robbie representing their brand, they will make sure they’re representing CHANEL as only they can, in addition to making sure she has everything she needs and is comfortable. Many times, we facilitate the celebrity amenities in production, but it was rather nice to allow them to take the reins. As far as working with Margot Robbie, it was an absolute pleasure. We had limited interaction due to CHANEL’s handlers, however due to the bustle of the shoot day, we bumped into each other a couple of time while she flitted from room to room getting her makeup done and getting dressed. She was super sweet and petite . . . . and that smile. . ..
Watch the video…