Work: Mercedes-Benz Superbowl “Soul” Commercial

Posted on 31 January 2014

I worked on last year’s Mercedes-Benz Superbowl commercial and it was my DREAM assignment. I got to photograph Usher, Willem DaFoe, Kate Upton and the ever charming Sebastian Beacon, up close and personal. We spent a week shooting in Los Angeles, then we all flew down to the gorgeous city of New Orleans (which I promptly fell head-over-heels in love with), where I ate my weight in authentic seafood gumbo and listened to a lot of Concrete Blonde. PLUS, I got to scope out the sweeeeet new Mercedes-Benz CLA before it was publicly announced. (I am the first to admit, it is a sexy, sexy car that makes me wish my current auto lease would end already. Rawrrr!)

As if all of that wasn’t already freakin’ amazing enough, I also got to shoot the magazine covers for GQ, Architectural Digest, Details and Traveler for the Benz commercial. (I also shot a ton of hilariously epic photographs of Sebastian riding a white horse and wielding a mighty sword for the Vanity Fair cover, but they wound up using a video still for the final edit, I believe. I might post some of the outtakes another time because they are pretty amazing.) I’m still kind of in disbelief actually, because it completely melts my brain seeing my photography work in this context. CRRRAZY. Totally cray-cray.

I sincerely cannot stress enough how eternally grateful I am to Mercedes-Benz, the ad agency, my fellow NINJAS of the behind-the-scenes unit, and all of the cast and crew of this wickedly rad Superbowl commercial, for letting me live out my Annie Leibovitz dreams to the fullest. …And I didn’t even have to sell my precious SOUL to do it!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! From the bottom of my creative-driven heart, I humbly thank you all. <3

Now that it’s Superbowl season again, I’ll be posting a few more behind-the-scenes from this assignment in the next few days. Until then, here’s the video (directed by the awesome Dante Ariola)! You can also see the extended cut on youtube. Even if I hadn’t worked on it, I’d still love this commercial. (You just can’t go wrong with Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones — it’s one of my all-time favorite road trip songs, with the windows down, driving alllll the way up Highway 1.) I hope you guys love it too. Enjoy!

Peace up! A Town Down! YEAH
(I shoot fully manual, so most people can't focus my camera.)

(p.s. Now that I’m a forest-adventurer-with-a-camera traipsing across the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, I do have to add one last thing to this post, which is: “…GO SEAHAWKS!“)

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