TV / Web campaign for Musée Aurignacien.

Here’s the TV / web series ad campaign I wrote, produced, directed and edited for the Musée Forum de l’Aurignacien, Aurignac, France earlier this year. The goal of this campaign was to raise awareness of this new museum’s existence to the general public of the Midi-Pyrenees area of France, and beyond.

Musée Forum de l’Aurignacien is an eponymous museum celebrating Aurignacian man, the first anatomically modern human who lived in Europe about 35 000 years ago and whose remains were first discovered in Aurignac. The first challenge I faced was to find an angle that could interest the general public in a new ‘prehistory’ museum.

I’ll be honest: I’m not a big museum fan. I ‘get’ their purpose. I know they’re an important part of documenting the past, educating people, etc etc. I just seem to get bored in them. Maybe I’ve been looking at them in the wrong way:

During a guided tour of the Musée Forum de l’Aurignacien I was really taken aback by how advanced man was 35000 years ago in a cultural sense. On display from this era are animal bone flutes with whittled ‘finger holes’; necklaces with pendants made of teeth and shells and rocks; amazing sculptures such as the ‘lion man’. I was surprised and excited by how these objects resembled art and jewelry techniques that we use today—and the objects I was looking at date 35000 years. That’s when the idea for the campaign clicked.

Based on the tagline: ‘La Naissance de l’homme Moderne’ (The birth of Modern Man), I proposed to take a person in an everyday situation, for example, a woman at a party wearing a nice necklace; a musician playing a flute, and have the object in that situation morph into a similar object from the time of Aurignacian man, to show the general public that these items we take for granted today, also existed (for me amazingly) 35000 years ago. A third ad to round out the series sees a javelin morph into a spear, in order to appeal to a younger demographic.

The delivery of this campaign needed to be visually stunning and I believed the best way to present these images was in slow motion, in contrast to the ads that would surround them. As other ads clamored for peoples attention with fast, flashy images and messages, we’d provide people with a ‘pause within a pause’ from their TV program viewing by providing them with the complete opposite: a beautiful, slow image.

We filmed against a green screen at Triaxe, Toulouse using a Sony FS7 camera.

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