Few brands are more revered, influential, stylish and historic than that of the renowned jeweler Cartier — and it was the brand’s unique qualities that inspired Bruno Aveillan and his team at Digital District to step their game and turn a promising advertising spot into a unique and ambitious cinematic work.
The resulting piece, called L’Odyssee de Cartier, is a tour de force that stands on its own as a film while also perfectly illustrating the brilliance behind Cartier’s 165 years of existence.
This film features the panther — Cartier’s muse since 1914 — as its heroine and invites the viewer to follow it in its frantic race, its journey through the world, from the Italian mountains to the classic Parisian paving stones, passing by the Tsars’ white Russia and the maharajahs’ mysterious India.
One of the major challenges was to create a convincing and beautiful panther. Aveillan sought to create a film where it was impossible to tell the difference between a real animal and the 3D one created for the spot. The director confides, this “great magic trick” appealed to a real “patchwork of all the technologies used in the cinema.”
One of the esthetic and technical challenges was featured a heavenly dragon. In that sequence, Aveillan refers to the Chimera Collection, and therefore, stages a dragon’s body forged by precious materials and glorified by glaring colors.
Digital District’s talent asserts itself in the complete elaboration of the design planned by the director: The heavenly animal is magnified by its texture, and yet, the features of its face are faithful to the wood sculptures decorating the old Chinese temples’ roofs. Lastly, the aerial flow given it by the studio’s animators establishes it as a charismatic and divine character.
All Digital District’s know-how was applied to bringing to life the magic and lyricism of the piece. Aveillan’s wish “that the special effects can’t be seen on the screen and don’t break the illusion” is respected and the magic takes place without its secret being revealed.
Founded in 2008, Digital District specializes in visual effects and motion graphics. Barely three years after its creation, its list of collaborations is impressive, making it a force to be reckoned with in the world of post-production. Digital District’s credits include movies such as The Artist and Cloclo, as well as Amnesty International, Nike and Air France.