Q&A: Carlos Moreno
By Sabrina Gamrot
September 12, 2018
Cossette has entered the world of movies with their newest campaign. In a game-changing direction, they have teamed up with renowned director Fleur Fortune and DOP Matias Boucard, to create a 13-minute short film entitled Dream Thieves. The client is KOHO, a new financial company, adamant on restoring Canadian’s financial balance. The short, which was shot in Kiev, Ukraine, gives off a post-apocalyptic feel and harnesses the power of story-telling. Applied Arts sat down with Carlos Moreno, Cossette’s global chief creative officer, to discuss the short.
How did you come up with this concept?
I think it was working closely with the strategy and clients on this [project] and having a really clear vision in terms of where they wanted to go as a brand. In terms of being a new player in the financial world and how they wanted to bring their benefits to life, which no one else could do. So it led to something that needed to be different and needed to be striking just because of the way they wanted to approach their product and their benefits.
The movie is shot in a thriller/horror genre. Why did you decide to go on this route?
We talked a lot about the dystopia that was going on in terms of the angst people are feeling in terms of their finances, and in the world, to be honest. We’ve never talked about it as a horror movie but I think there is a lot tension and a lot of angst that we wanted to capture and I think that’s why we chose to go with a director on this one, Fleur, because she has that type of aesthetic and that kind of feel to her storytelling that we thought was right [for] this film.
What did Cossette bring to the project, in collaboration with Fleur?
The one thing I’ve learned over the last 12 years in my career [is to have] a collaborative approach in terms of how you work, not just with clients but with strategy and the director, everyone across the board. We tend to try to bring people in to the process once the idea is sold, so on this case once we had it sold, we brought in Fleur and really started work-shopping the script in terms of where it could go and how we could bring this idea to life, in a more impactful manner. It was a very collaborative approach in terms of [Fleur] and us, in a team.
How long did it take to complete this project?
I think we started working on this back in October of last year. It was a long process. Something like this doesn’t take the usual production approach in terms of a four week period, like really planning out a story. I think they shot like 149 set ups if I’m not mistaken. Fleur is a very world renowned video director and she was super involved with it and even the DP (Director of Photography) [who is ] a very accomplished, world-wide director of photography. He’s into the music we had on the piece and was very involved. We just needed to have the right team on this at all touch points, to make sure we kept delivering on the vision for the client.
This short premiered at the Fringe Festival in Toronto. What was the feedback you got from there?
It’s funny, it was a really interesting night. I think everyone really saw it as a piece of entertainment, almost with a deeper message within it. The client just got surrounded by people who wanted to know more about KOHO and what their new stance on the market was going to be. And from our point of view, I think everyone was just wowed at the production value that we were putting on screen for basically an ad.
For someone watching the short for the first time, what would you want them to take away from it?
I think it’s about being action orientated. I think we let things happen to us in our daily lives and whatever aspects you may be dealing with. I think this is about asking people to take action and if there is a different way of doing something out there, that you go and seek it, and this case it’s KOHO.
When you had this idea, was it always in the medium of a short film, or were there other options?
We knew we wanted to do something longer form but as we started really work-shopping the script and working with Fleur, I think that’s when we started seeing the potential of this becoming a longer piece. Once that happened, [we] started to think about how [to] work with something that’s longer than 2-3 minutes. So that’s where Fringe came into play. It was an evolution and again this is what I’m talking about – if [you] have a very collaborative approach with your clients, the production people, director, the DP – I think everyone can bring their best self to a project and end up with something that is right and different.
So would you say the feedback has been pretty positive, people have been enjoying it?
Yeah I think people are definitely enjoying it. It’s overwhelmingly positive feedback. I think people are reacting well to the message of what we’re trying to say in terms of taking action and not letting things happen to you. Everyone has been reacting really well. I haven’t heard any negative feedback, in terms of ‘oh my god this is so scary,’ or any of that. I think we keep forgetting all the time that the things we tend to watch in our own personal lives are way worse in terms of what you see. I think this is a reflection of something that HBO or Netflix would do, and people are used to that [style]. If we can do something like that and pull it off with the right message, then it becomes even more powerful.
- Sabrina Gamrot