Why yacht builders are making Hollywood-caliber movies – Robb Report
Unlike Kitt, David Hasselhoff’s turn in “Knight Rider,” no boat has ever starred in a TV show or movie. Many have had supporting roles, such as african queen Where Andrea Gail in “The Perfect Storm,” but none have ever delivered their own Oscar-worthy performances, until recently.
In 2020, Riva released a short film titled “Riva In the Movie,” which had a brooding, almost haunting vibe, featuring a devilishly handsome man driving his vintage Riva around the canals of Venice at night. It has been used as a promotion for the brand’s book of the same title on Rivas in films for the past 70 years. On the other end of the spectrum, Vanquish Yachts also unveiled a sci-fi movie, showing one of its yachts launching into a desert and then speeding up the freeway.
Two other more recent short films financed by Azimut Yachts and the Ferretti Group, the two largest Italian boat builders, take a more adventurous turn. They avoided the typical promotional videos that showcase brands and hit viewers over the head with the characteristics of the yachts in every frame. Instead, they use professional actors and Hollywood-caliber production to tell stories about their yachts.
“We believe the typical product video is on the way out,” said Silvia Mancini, communications manager at Ferretti Yachts. Robb Report. “We now make films that tell a story. You will see more of those from Ferretti Yachts with new products unveiled this year.
The short film that debuted with the launch of the Ferretti Yachts 1000 uses the stanzas of “I Wish You Time” by German poet Ellie Michler as a backbone. He is installed on the 100-foot yacht and follows a multigenerational family gathered on board. It gained over two million views after its official launch in Venice last year, with versions in Italian and English.
“We wanted to tell a story on a yacht that is also the story of a family, a family filled with feelings and memories,” explains Mancini. “We have three generations on board. The idea was for the grandfather to pass the message that time is life’s greatest gift to his grandson.
It’s a far cry from the typical message of most yacht builders, which focus on handsome young people sipping cocktails on the flybridge, or floor-to-ceiling glass in the lounges, or inlaid marble in the head of the suite. main. Instead, it focuses – in just two and a half minutes – on what families can gain from their boats: memories and emotional connections that are often talked about for generations.
Italian director William9 knew he had a difficult project in his hands. How do you sell a product without visually showing every remarkable part and feature? His response: Ignore them and focus on the people using the boat. “We tried to tell the story of a simple family on their yacht, which represents their home on the sea,” he said. Robb Report. “We also had the benefit of working on an incredible yacht and a beautiful natural environment.” He believed these features would tell their own visual stories.
The other advantage was that the visions of the client and the director were aligned, so the creative differences with the Ferretti team were minimal. William9 found it difficult to shoot a boat, in part due to the constant movement and changing lighting. But also because there were no land borders to delimit the plans. Thus, he combined close shots of the interior and cockpit of the yacht, with the actors of different sets, with multiple exterior shots of the yacht.
There were a few partner brands – Dolce & Gabbana, Galleria Tornabuoni, and Pisa Orlogeria – but the only product that was evident was a Rolex watch donated from grandfather to grandson at the end of the film.
at Gabriele Muccino Open your eyes is a longer and more complex film – with more than 100 people and companies in the credits – involving a love affair between an Italian photographer and his publisher in New York. Set in Italy, it shows off the historic architecture of Rome and the natural beauty of Venice, preparing for the grand finale aboard Azimut’s Magellano 25M.
“We have done our best to give the story a soul in order to create a meaningful presence in the film locations,” Muccino, who directed the Hollywood films “Pursuit of Happyness” and “Remember Me My Love”, as well that many Italian feature films and short films, told Robb Report. “The big idea is the value that art, design and beauty give to our soul. It shows that extreme attention to how something is created, be it a sculpture or a yacht, separates the mediocre from the genius and makes it sublime.
The Italian backdrops are stunning and Muccino, who uses the love story to propel the narrative, concludes the film with the Magellano, a small explorer’s yacht that would make sense to the young couple if they want to sail to sunset.
Muccino also wanted to avoid the cliché of promoting the boat as a product and instead show off its curves, technology and aesthetic details in tight shots. The only branded visual is the word “Azimuth,” displayed quite inconspicuously, when the two main characters meet in person. “The boat is beautiful even if you don’t stick to the details like a conventional promo,” says Muccino.
Muccino had the chance to work with Giovanna Vitelli from Azimut, who wanted to try a new approach to bring new eyes to the brand. Vitelli, who is part of the founding family of the second generation, has a cosmopolitan vision influenced by the arts. This means that she is looking for new ways to promote the Azimut brand outside of a traditional boating audience. “Giovanna and I worked very closely on the project,” says Muccino. “We ended up merging love, attraction and beauty into a 12 minute short film. I think that for this yachting sector, it’s unique.
Will this subtle, narrative approach to yacht promotion remain an outlier? It will certainly be limited to the richest builders. Azimut-Benetti and the Ferretti group, who compete against each other, are undoubtedly global innovators in the promotion of their boats.
But like a small yard as Vanquish shows, less expensive and effective shorts can be made from the latest video technology rather than being shot in place. “We have perhaps created one of the most impressive yacht movies to ever be seen,” the company said.
Maybe, but expect to see more contenders this year if the Oscars feature a yachting category.