Cannes Lions

#Romanovs100: 8mm & 16mm teasers

RT, Moscow / RT / 2019

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Overview

Background

The Romanovs were photography pioneers — in the early 20th century they owned the world's first portable cameras capturing almost every meaningful event in their lives.

On July 17, 1918, Nicholas Romanov, last Tsar of the Russian Empire, his wife and five children were executed by the Bolsheviks. To pay tribute to the family, we merged a large set of visual data with transmedia storytelling to piece out the big picture of a "lost Russia". Thousands of the Romanov’s images were converted into platform-specific social media narratives on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram with accounts on each network showcasing unique format and content.

We chose three original photos to reconstruct the lives of the Romanov family using a century-old filming technique. The “silent” online video reconstruction features original music and portrays the Emperor as a family man, focusing on his feelings for his wife and his children.

Execution

To promote #Romanovs100 we filmed a series of teasers using early 20th century techniques. Each teaser features the very photo from the Romanov archive that inspired the storytelling. Filming with 8mm and 16mm retro cameras involved large-scale production and authentic stage props.

The micro-films feature arrangements of the track ‘Fairies’, from piano version to orchestral, written and produced by the Russian singer/composer Peter Nalitch, who scored the original soundtrack for the project (the first ever full length OST for a social media documentary). The task was to transform the visual aesthetic of the Romanovs’ family albums into music. The challenge was to create an audio narrative that would portray the Romanovs as a kind and loving family yet would transmit a feeling of a “phantom menace”. The contrast of joyful visuals with dramatic music captures a happy family in a moment of approaching tragedy.

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