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If the shoe fits: A film for Favini

25 November 2016 | Posted in Advertising | Photography | Video

“Our idea was simple – to show the offcuts of a leather shoe made into paper, which is then used to package the shoes.”

Five days, a human foot, a custom-made leather shoe, meticulous planning and more than 1,000 still photographs. These were the ingredients of a stop-motion animation created by Silk Pearce to promote Remake – luxury paper by Favini. Ian Coote, senior designer, explains how it was done.

Ecological production methods are the hallmark of Italian paper manufacturer Favini. It uses leather residues to make its Remake paper range, saving a significant quantity of tree pulp in the process. Silk Pearce’s challenge was to create a short film to demonstrate this innovative upcycling practice and the craftsmanship behind Favini papers.

The concept

Our idea was simple – to show the offcuts of a leather shoe made into paper, which is then used to package the shoes.

Quality and authenticity were essential. We needed each piece of leather cut exactly as it should be, so the skills of bespoke shoemakers The Shoemakers’ Workshop were invaluable. The company created a pair of shoes in the style, leather and colours we required and provided offcuts and leather pieces cut to scale.

Our storyboard shows the perspective of the camera circling around a foot. The foot taps to the beat of music while the pattern of a shoe appears as a sketch on the skin. Next, the sole and leather pieces form a shoe around the foot and laces snake their way through the eyelets to tie themselves. Under the tapping foot, the leather offcuts break down, flatten and form paper. This becomes a Favini-branded shoebox, which opens to reveal leather shoes packaged for the luxury fashion industry.

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The shoot The technical challenges of our storyboard were soon apparent, but working with photographer Bruce Head, we approached each dilemma with the help of a calculator and a sketchbook. The shoelaces scene was particularly tricky to achieve. By determining the number of foot taps in a camera rotation (16), the number of shots per tap (8) and shots per rotation (128), we painstakingly planned the threading of the laces.

It’s almost impossible to keep a foot completely still when tying laces, so we captured the scene in reverse, beginning with the laces neatly tied. In a series of minute adjustments, we untied them and captured each change, shot by shot, while the camera slowly circled.

Small tricks helped make this look authentic. We soaked the laces first to strip off the wax coating and make them more pliable. And well-camouflaged, adhesive putty held the laces in position for each shot. We used maths and a little improvisation to create the sketches on the foot, also filmed in reverse. The first shot captured the image in full, and, using makeup remover on a cotton bud, we erased tiny sections of the drawing with each new shot.

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The finishing touches Music was composed especially for the film. But although we knew the exact tempo to follow, the final track wasn’t produced until the shoot was complete, giving us the flexibility to make decisions throughout filming and post production. The musicians played along to the finished film, creating a loose, improvised feel to the soundtrack.

Silk Pearce conceived, produced, storyboarded, directed and edited the film, but work didn’t end there. We also designed the props, from the shoeboxes and foil-blocked logos to the luxury tags on the shoes. Our understanding of Remake was invaluable. Silk Pearce works closely with Favini on the branding and design of many of its products, from paper ranges and colours, to swatches and brochures. This relationship helped us create a film with a message that’s unique and personal to Favini.

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If you’d like to know more about how Silk Pearce works with clients on creative projects, please call us on 01206 871 001.