A selection of cover videos from Vanity Fair featuring
Robin Wright, Caitlyn Jenner, Margot Robbie, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Jeremy Elkin: The general philosophy behind each cover video was to create a world that reflected the editorial ambition of the magazine, ensure it paired well with the photographer’s select and aligned with Graydon Carter’s vision.
There were typically three types of motion components—a creative concept, a sit-down interview and a traditional behind-the-scenes. With each subject, we tried to concoct an elaborate idea, but it typically relied so heavily on the talent and their team, that the outcome often didn’t end up exactly how we envisioned it.
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 2015
As was the case with Robin Wright. She was under the weather, so it was understood going in to the shoot that we would strictly capture BTS visuals and atmospherical sound. Zander Taketomo and I shot it rather quickly, since Patrick Demarchelier always achieves his image within a few minutes. I knew we needed a strong soundtrack and sound design to turn it into anything memorable sans story.
MALIBU, CA - JUNE 2015
The Jenner project was developed within a small group under Graydon’s direction. Barbara Leibovitz and I shot Caitlyn in her home, at a time when there was heightened paparazzi presence around her property.
Dana Brown, Michael Hogan, Jane Sarkin, Kathryn Macleod, Jessica Diehl, Buzz Bissinger, and Chris Dixon were key collaborators on this, keeping the story a secret. There was a section on Bruce’s gold medal at the '76 Olympics that had to be removed from the film due to rights issues, but considering the sensitivity of the subject matter and all the red tape involved with its release, I’m proud of the result.
ST. BARTHÉLEMY - AUGUST 2016
Margot was terrific. This was one of two shoots we did with her that afternoon. She had just landed from a long flight, and magically sprung into action for us. I still can’t believe these are real terms. Nikhil Shah did a wonderful job on the color in post, and we created a digital iPad-like interface to mimic the real one and give it a ‘Weekend Update’ type feel as she swipes through the images.
LONG ISLAND CITY, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 2016
We shot this in between looks for the cover and photo feature by Jason Bell. After an outfit change and a glance at a script that Kevin James of the ‘Illusionists’ wrote, Benedict nailed this first take having never read the material, thanks to his theatre background. In post-production, I recreated the info panel off of a water bottle for the intro card—the rest of the footage didn’t need much help. We tried a few ideas, but wound up reverting back to what is essentially an unedited two-cam clip for the final piece.