The Cologne-based streetwear label Snipes has accomplished something of a coup: it has partnered with the blockbusting Netflix series STRANGER THINGS. Concurrent with the start of the show's third season, Snipes brought out a capsule collection in the style and with the logo of the series. The Berlin production company TRUST’N’TRY, which has worked with Snipes since 2015, shot the commercial for the collection. Director duo Timm Gillner and Fatmir Dolci shared their experiences on set with us.

What were the biggest challenges on the shoot?

First and foremost the locations: eight were scheduled within four days of filming with five different actors, and the idea was that the viewer shouldn't be able to tell that the locations were in Germany. In the end we got all the planned scenes shot in time, which was a big surprise even for us, because the fairground scenes took a lot of patience and concentration. We had very little time, as the sun didn't go down until late and the fair didn't close early for us. On top of that, the carnies weren't ecstatic about the production team redirecting the flow of visitors. But despite the difficulties, the vibe on set was unbelievably good and the crew didn't get flustered.

Another challenge was the game of spin the bottle. We wanted to stop the bottle turning when it pointed in a specific direction, without having to use visual effects. But after numerous failed attempts, we had to concede defeat and have VFX artist Leonard Vuong (Snipes) recreate it for us. It was new for us to work with VFX, so we were really happy to have such great experts as Leonard and motion designer Joey Rieger (Onomoto Studio) on board for the project.

Why did you choose ALEXA 65 for this project?

Our DP, Pat Aldinger, had just shot a project with the ALEXA 65 and was totally delighted with it, plus it was the ideal camera for what we had planned. Our concept comprised only brief, stationary scenes and short tracking shots, which enabled us to use a larger system. The size of the ALEXA 65 sensor allowed us to combine the advertising images with the depth of field that Pat preferred. The first shots we saw on set exceeded our expectations, and that feeling only got topped during grading, when colorist Marina Starke squeezed the very best out of the material.

How did the ALEXA 65 perform during filming?

Despite its size, the ALEXA 65 is versatile and quick to prepare for different tasks, part of which was of course thanks to our experienced 1st AC, Tom Zylla. Pat was also able to shoot the underwater scene in the pool with the ALEXA 65, without any problems. It always worked reliably, which is a big plus when you're setting up, dismantling and changing location as often as we did, and when you have such a wide range of challenges to deal with on set. The camera offers a unique look with incredible levels of detail, and ARRI Rental provides excellent support as well!  

Photos: Timm Gillner, Fatmir Dolci, Pat Aldinger


The commercial: SNIPES x STRANGER THINGS Capsule Collection

Season 3 of STRANGER THINGS is available on Netflix now.

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