started the shoot by asking the dancers to help, too. “We said, ‘If you
didn’t get it, tell us. We’ll reshoot things. We can’t watch everything.’”
The Benefit film gave the directing duo a quick lesson in shooting
choreography, and also represented a big step in the evolution of
their directing work. Having shot stills for advertising clients like
HAVAS, McCann and Ogilvy & Mather, they made their first big
splash as directors shooting a stop-motion video for Amazon’s Kindle
that debuted in 2010. The jaunty commercial, a quick-cut series of
stills showing a model reading a Kindle and being launched into an
imaginative flight of fancy, garnered Angela & Ithyle a lot of attention.
More stop-motion assignments followed.
“Stop motion is a lot of fun, but it’s kind of a one-trick pony. We
wanted to get more into live action,” says Kohler. For example, the
duo, who are represented by the production company Grand Large,
Inc., recently shot a commercial for Target that combined some live
action and some stop motion to show how paint color can transform
a room. The assignment for Benefit’s brow division fulfills their
goal to direct motion pieces “that are magical, but not necessarily
animation-based,” says Kohler.
There was a learning curve, however. Stop motion offers “the
ultimate control,” says Griffiths, while the Benefit commercial,
with its large cast, presented many variables. As experienced still
photographers, they are used to creating several variations of every
shot. In live action, however, “continuity is huge,” says Kohler. “People
ABOVE: During the shoot for Benefit Cosmetics, Angela & Ithyle shot with three cameras. They used a jib and a dolly to capture movement as well as high and low angles
on the dancers, and relied on a handheld when they needed to get tight shots of someone singing or to convey the how-to instructions that were part of the video.