The team, led by The Mill’s Executive Creative Director Ben Smith and Art Director Kinda Akash, crafted an elegant liquid gold journey in CGI, that celebrates the most symbolic moments in Middle Eastern life and Jacques Cartier’s journey through the Gulf region.
The luxurious liquid metal in this sequence is metaphorical of Cartier’s pursuit at the turn of the 20th century, which he faithfully chronicled, drawing inspiration for his designs from local findings.
Ben Smith comments, “Respect for the ancestry of the Gulf region and longevity are important to both Cartier and the culture and heritage of the Middle East. In honor of this, the aim was to craft a film that feels somewhat like a fable being recounted by a family elder around a campfire. Magical and legendary.”
Representative insight was key to this project. Art Director Kinda Akash comments, “As artists, technologists, and makers at The Mill, we need to task ourselves with redefining how to best tell stories to various audiences. That requires representation. As an Arab and a creative, I wanted to ensure we were avoiding Orientalist clichés and very purposeful in our image, type, and music choices.”
The narration of the movie seeks to embrace the art of oral storytelling, with the script, an eloquent Arabic poem, written by Art Director Kinda Akash. Akash continues, “In writing the script, we looked to regional poetry (Imr ul Qays in particular) and the tradition of hakawatis, oral storytellers who spoke of magical tales to their communities. These forms combined, provided a fitting choice to celebrate Ramadan and Eid for this campaign. Telling the story of Jacques Cartier coming to the region, in the voice of said hakawati, was key to owning the narrative. This ultimately allowed us to draw strong parallels between both Cartier and the region’s histories and innovative future vision.”