The digital team at Lush have created a visually captivating short film, The Experimenter. Utilising the very best in 4K technology, the film showcases the beauty of Lush products in minute detail. The artistic work was inspired by the stunning images produced by Lush consumers under the hashtag #LushTime. Video Producer, Erica Edwards, talks us through her favourite products and how the team collaborated on the project with music producer Simon “Palmskin” Richmond.
ASFF: The Experimenter is incredibly detailed and beautiful – how did you set about making it?
EE: We wanted to create a film that celebrated our products and ingredients, and the initial idea for the film came from Lush fans on social media who were sharing bathtime works of art using the hashtag #LushTime. We wanted to recreate this effect on a much bigger scale, with an explosion of colours, shapes and textures, resulting in the ultimate #LushTime. Additionally, experiments in the lab by Lush Digital managing director and product inventor, Jack Constantine, revealed the beautiful effects created when the colours used in our products were dripped into swirling water. These two influences combined led to the creation of The Experimenter, in collaboration with award-winning visual effects company The Mill+. The video was filmed using a Phantom Flex4K in a studio setting. Macro lenses filmed products and ingredients in extreme detail being dropped into water, burst from balloons, pressed between glass sheets and even vibrated at different frequencies. There was a lot of experimentation throughout the entire creative process, hence the title of the final video.
ASFF: The film utilises high-tech 4K technology, why did you think this suited the Lush products?
EE: There is a very high level of attention to detail that goes into Lush products and ingredients, from the initial conception, the ethical sourcing of ingredients by our buying team and the manufacturing of products in our factories. We wanted to give this same level of detail to the products when filming them, and 4K was the right fit for this. On a practical level, this technology allowed us to crop into our images, capturing extreme detail and allowing us to really focus on the beautiful shapes seen in the final piece.
ASFF: You produced the piece using products from Lush – were there any products in particular that you enjoyed using?
EE: The shot of the Luxury Lush Pud, one of our festive bath bombs, is a favourite amongst the team, but we all really enjoyed working with a new bath bomb, which is due to be released later this year. The glitters, made from agar and free of micro-plastics, were great fun to work with as well and created a really beautiful, ethereal effect on camera.
ASFF: The movement in the short responds to the music, it was produced by Simon “Palmskin” Richmond, how did you go about selecting the music and why did you want to work with Richmond?
EE: Simon is a long-time collaborator of Lush and was really enthusiastic about this project. With his background as an artist and electronica producer, he was the ideal composer for us to work with. Combining digital sound with a full choir and 45-piece orchestra, his final composition is beautifully textured and perfectly fitted to the visuals. We wanted the music to convey a narrative and work seamlessly with the images to carry the mood throughout the film, and Simon helped us to achieve this. Together with our musical director, Simon Emmerson, the images were edited to the flow of the music to create something really quite cinematic and emotive.
ASFF: Obviously the film showcases Lush products but in a subtle way, what do you want audiences to take from the short?
EE: Firstly, we hope people will enjoy the video for what it is, something really beautiful to watch. Of course, we hope that The Experimenter might encourage viewers who perhaps don’t know who Lush are, or have a preconceived idea of us as a “smelly soap shop”, to realise that there is more to Lush than they might initially think. On a wider scale, the video is a spectacular showcase of some of our ingredients and products, none of which are tested on animals, so for our Fighting Animal Testing message to reach a wider audience would be a fantastic achievement.
Lush is also due to open its largest shop in the world (9500 sq ft) this April 2015 on London’s Oxford Street. The flagship store will showcase new concepts, experiences and products, besides hosting a Lush Spa with four treatment rooms.