Last fall, things were a little slow. I was cutting back on my day job and focusing more on OLO. Lots of people were losing their jobs due to the recession. Freelance work was scarce. There was an abundance of free time. Why not make a commercial?
Ashby Collinson was the original inspiration for Leisure Nomad. She’s often involved in projects but not necessarily ‘employed’ in the conventional sense. Every time I see her she has something totally different going on. She is always able to travel and be involved in amazing art projects. Chic always lands on her feet! Portland has lots of leisure nomads but Ashby is the one I thought of when making this fragrance. We collaborated on the perfume at first but ultimately I went a different direction with it. However, some of the ideas we had in the beginning did end up in the final version of the perfume. I knew she had to be in the commercial!
My friend Orland Nutt is a local filmmaker. He and Ashby have worked together in the past so it was just kind of a given that I would ask him to do this with us. I told him about Leisure Nomad and said, “Let’s make a fake commercial”. His response, “Let’s make a REAL one”! We both spent tons of time online checking out old perfume commercials. They are over the top! We were totally on the same page with our favorites. White Diamonds and Cody from the 80's were my inspiration. I wanted the commercial to be Ashby running in a field but the rest was up to Orland. I love how Orland is able to make beautiful imagery and maintain a sense of humor at the same time. Leisure Nomad is pretty but doesn’t take itself too seriously. I knew he and Ashby could convey that.
So, me, Orland, Ashby and Jonathan hopped in the car to find the perfect spot to film. We were looking for an open space so Ashby could flit about in her pretty white dress. We ended up at Rowena Crest. I had never been there before but it was exactly what I had pictured for this project. We stayed in that spot all day. The little oasis with cattails and water lilies and the herd of deer passing by were very happy accidents! Orland and Ashby did their thing while I carried around lipstick and bottled water. We explored a bit, filmed a bit, explored some more. It was like any other day trip except that Ashby was a little over dressed for a hike.
Golden Retriever made the music. I had no real idea what I wanted but I trusted Jonathan (my husband) and Matt Carlson to create something fitting the mood. So dramatic! They nailed it with the trippy synthesizer and over the top clarinet.
There was talk of extensive voice over but in the end we decided on the simple, ambiguous, “Leisure Nomad” at the end. I think it’s a cross between a Rasta and French accent. Maybe?
Thanks to everyone for indulging me on this. I appreciate being surrounded by such talented people. It’s fun to be able to express an idea and have people run with it!