samedi 28 juillet 2007

Golf GTI, The original, updated

Où en étions nous ? Ha oui… Les utilisations de Singin' in the rain avec dans un premier temps les références au solo de Gene Kelly. Je vais m'attarder aujourd'hui sur la publicité pour la "nouvelle" Golf GTI réalisée en 2005.

Une publicité qui illustre à merveille son slogan The original, updated, en proposant une reprise du solo en poppping.

Mon seul reproche dans cette idée c’est le fait que ce soit en format pub. J’aurai bien aimé voir la chorégraphie en popping dans son intégralité, juste pour le plaisir.

Et parce que c’est toujours intéressant d’avoir l’avis des gens concernés, une interview du danseur David "Elswhere" Bernal qui interprète ici Gene Kelly. Cette interview a été réalisée par Jason Kottke sur son blog

jkottke: How did you get the Golf GTI gig? Audition or had someone seen your stuff and specifically wanted you for it?

David: They specifically wanted to use me for it. I had done a Heineken Commercial several months prior and the special effects people for that commercial were going to do the effects for this VW commercial. I got an email asking me if I could dance in the rain with a prosthetic mask on and several weeks later I was in London doing just that.

jkottke: That scene from Singin' in the Rain is one of the most famous in film, and certainly the most famous dance number in film. What was it like to be a part of an attempt to recreate and update it?

David: It was an honor and a privilege being one of the dancers in this commercial. Gene Kelly was a great dancer, singer and actor which is a lot more than I have to offer. It's extremely flattering having a commercial that essentially implies that my moves are an updated version of Gene's dance skills.

jkottke: Some folks have complained about the crassness of using a dead guy's likeness to sell automobiles. As one of the actors playing the deceased, do you have any thoughts on that?

David: Yeah it's kind of weird, but imo it kind of comes with the territory when you're a legend. I don't know if Gene would be too hot about the whole thing but obviously the Gene Kelly Estate approved it, so it's apparently not that crass to them.

jkottke: I’ve read that you often freestyle when you dance, making it up as you go along, but that you also have little micro-routines that you rely on as you do. In shooting the commercial, how much of the choreography was scripted and how much did you get to ad lib? How much did you need to change your style much based on specific shots from the original film or Gene's style?

David: It was different for each shot. For example with the close-ups they would say just do a bunch of wavy stuff, so I would simply freestyle with some waves. Most of the full body shots were more routine based. They would specifically want me to do a list of moves, but to connect everything I would naturally freestyle.
I didn't have to change my dancing stylistically at all. They wanted me to dance the way that I dance. In fact they had us watch the original Singing in the Rain scene so many times that I started unconsciously moving a bit like Gene Kelly. The director at one point even told me that I was moving too much like Gene and I needed to move more like me.
If anything the parameters and conditions of the shoot inadvertently changed my style. The sound stage was cold and we had to dance under artificial rain for hours. To avoid freezing we wore wet suits under our already thick, tight costumes. This restricted my movement a lot. My shoes were quite uncomfortable and fake flooring we danced on was soft and spongy. I had to keep my head up and smile constantly which was very unnatural for me. Yet the biggest difficulty for me was the rigid time restraints. Since it was a commercial we had to do a lot within a small amount of time. This forced me to speed up my style more than I usually do.

jkottke: Thanks, David.

Désolée pour les non anglophones. Je ferais une traduction de cette interview dans les semaines à venir dès que j'aurai un poil plus de temps...


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