Camille Saint-Saëns has long been a composer I have appreciated. Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals is used a lot in popular culture. Admittedly it may be one of the most popular pieces today written in 1884. Because it has fallen into public domain, the music licensing required is the purchase of a performance of the music. Audio Network, the British subscription service had an excellent recording of the movement for an affordable price.
The FFT tasked me with making something different. My immediate boss said, “show Roland Garros through your eyes.” They are accustomed to a typical tennis highlight. I was challenged to make something new. After reviewing rushes of my dailies, the idea to use Aquarium struck me. A tournament like Wimbledon all matches well. White uniforms, green grass, no logos. The French Open was more challenging. There are more colors, shot compositions are not as clean. That’s when it hit me to make the footage black and white, boost the contrast and make my own avant-garde French Film. The music and the black and white clips were a hit. My employers were pleased with one FFT employee comparing it to something from Cannes. There’s admittedly a great lack of tennis in the piece but that’s okay. The intention was to show the atmosphere for patrons, be a little arty and be very French.
The FFT used this piece to close out the year 2017 on social media. It ends with the words, “see you next year” in French.