Casablanca Fan

mardi 24 juin 2014, 14:46

A few months ago Rick’s was contacted by an advertising agency in Los Angeles on behalf of their client, Casablanca Fans, the leading U.S. manufacturer of ceiling fans. The company was embarking on a new ad campaign, and were interested in creating an ad for one of the fans using Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca as a backdrop. We worked out details of timing around our lunch and dinner service as well as being assured by them that they would not physically install a fan in our ceiling, but rather would transport a boom-arm that would hold the fan in place for the various photos. The team arrived in Casablanca on a Sunday in August, and over the course of three days all of us at Rick’s enjoyed watching real professionals at work. All Monday was spent trying to pose the fan with a strap, since the boom-arm was stuck in Customs over a holiday. It was a full dress rehearsal, which entailed moving the piano into the entry to the courtyard, adding several lamps from other parts of the restaurant, moving and removing tables. After hours of work arranging the scene the fan was lowered onto a strap which spanned the balustrades from the first floor, but unfortunately the fan was too heavy to manipulate to the center. Clint, the photographer, was philosophical and said, “Now we know exactly how we’ll compose the shot.” What was most impressive about being around Diana, Marc, Jason and Clint over these four days was each problem or setback never generated anger or frustration, just resourcefulness and creativity in solving the problem. On Tuesday they spent all morning setting up a very complex shot that showed a set table on the first floor, looked down at the courtyard and the piano on the ground level, and had all the lighting and decorative items in place when Marc and Jason finally arrived from the airport with the boom-arm. Then they set to work mounting the fan and inserting it into the scene. At 3pm Marc asked if the kitchen could prepare two desserts to go on the table...our kitchen closes at 3, but I found our salad chef there and together we threw together a colorful fruit salad and decorated a piece of cheesecake with glazed raspberries, added a teapot and cups of mint tea and the picture was complete. We’ve later heard that this is the shot that will be used in the ad campaign. Digital technology is fascinating with the flexibility of using different levels of one picture and what can be done with colors and textures. They took a number of photos to use in background or framing – one of our Syrian screens caught Diana’s eye, as well as our green tadelakt wall treatment in the private dining room. As Clint was photographing the wall Diana said, “I found a table out here in the hallway with a beautiful patina.” Hmmm, I thought to myself, the only table there is our service table, and yes that patina turned out to be remnants of sauce stroganoff, chile con carne and no doubt liberal doses of Cuvee de President Rouge! Wednesday they created two different scenes on the ground floor with the piano and the bar as focal point. Three days, three pictures – but what pictures they are! We’re all looking forward to seeing the ads appear in U.S. magazines this winter.