I think we can all agree that Ridley Scott is one of the most influential filmmakers of his era. He and his brother burst onto the scene creating commercials before then graduating to feature films. My first job in Hollywood was working at RSA and Scott Free as a runner, then as a temp, and then as an assistant. It's safe to say there's a big soft spot in my heart for the guy who used to call me "the intern who smiles all the time."
He's creative, cordial, and sees the world in some unique and thoughtful ways.
Scott is one of the only filmmakers still creating work that demands to be seen on the big screen. That's why it's so interesting to see him deliver a new video for Hennessy that takes scope and scale to the next level (and debuts on the small screen).
During a commercial break...?
The Seven Worlds
The commercial is called The Seven Worlds and takes on the seven notes you get when you taste Hennessy. The more exciting part is the visuals, and incredible story Scott puts on display. It's easy to forget that Scott is a true master when it comes to visual experience. His work has defined much of science fiction and even the modern sword and sandal epic. There are many imitators, so it's lovely to see the original master back at work.
It's easy to take Scott for granted. He's never won a Best Director Academy Award, and lately, his career has been defined by revisiting old work like Alien and Gladiator .
Still, it's exciting to get anything new and exciting from Ridley Scott. Scott has taken on famous brands before, his Apple '1984' commercial might be the most famous advertisement of all time. Scott hasn’t personally helmed an ad in 15 years, though he did produce a 2016 Super Bowl ad for LG directed by son Jake Scott .
This commercial is filled with homages to Moebius, which Scott has always used to inform his visual cues. Even in grounded movies like The Martian .
Scott recently explained why he was drawn to this project, stating:
"I was attracted to this project because I was inspired by the potential for art and entertainment to bring this story to life. Hennessy has a great product, and I was lucky enough to have the freedom to interpret this and create something amazing. I think people will be stunned when they see the film."
It sounds like Hennessy is on the same page as well. Here's their press release for the project:
The Seven Worlds are creative interpretations of each tasting note, described by Hennessy’s Comité de Dégustation as illustrations of Hennessy X.O’s taste and feel: Sweet Notes, Rising Heat, Spicy Edge, Flowing Flame, Chocolate Lull, Wood Crunches. Culminating in Infinite Echo. These seven notes are envisioned by Ridley Scott as individual worlds each brought to life through wonderous and extreme physiography. Complementing the idea that ‘Each drop of Hennessy X.O. is an Odyssey’, legendary director Ridley Scott creates an epic sensory voyage that explores seven notes in a surreal narrative. Welcome to Ridley Scott’s take on this multisensorial odyssey. Welcome to The Seven Worlds . Check out the breathtaking video directed by Ridley Scott.
What we get is an incredible journey across space and time. There are so many captivating images here we hope to see expanded on in whatever Scott works on next. So without further ado, check out this VFX-driven fever dream and allow yourself to disappear into the mind of Ridley Scott.
Want to Go Behind The Scenes?
If you're intrigued by how this all came about, Hennessy created a behind the scenes look at the commercial. Honestly, it's so wonderful it's hard to call it anything but art. It breaks down how the advertisement came into existence and featured an interview with Ridley Scott talking about coming back to the advertising world.
If you care at all about Hennessy's "seven taste notes" here's what the company has to offer:
Sweet Notes: The palate is warmly embraced by flavors of candied fruit – the faint sweetness of oranges fused with the subtle tartness of apricots.
Rising Heat: The intriguing sensation of an intense, rising heat slowly reveals the complex taste of eaux- de-vie that have patiently aged in oak barrels.
Spicy Edge: A strong spicy note tantalizes the palate with a distinct peppery flavor.
Flowing Flame: A wave of warmth grows, crests and then breaks; the mouth is awash with the sensation of an immense roundness. A robust presence, full and voluptuous, is felt.
Chocolate Lull: There is the gradual discovery of something familiar. It is the well-rounded flavour of a rich, dark chocolate. Slightly sweet and silky smooth, it gently caresses the palate.
Wood Crunches: A striking sensation is suddenly felt – the vigorous ebb and flow of oak notes interlaced with vanilla. With their bold and complex taste, they make their powerful presence felt and then vanish.
Infinite Echo: The evanescent oak notes leave a long, omnipresent finish in their wake, echoing the subtleties of each flavour and sensation that has preceded it, as well as the complexity of X.O’s blending and long aging process.
The credits for The Seven Worlds are as follows:
Director: Ridley Scott
Production Company: RSA Films / 75
Producer: Debbie Garvey
DOP: Dariusz Wolski
1st AD: Raymond Kirk
Production Designer: Marc Homes
Costume Designer: Charlotte Law
Make-up: Polly Earnshaw
Editor: Jim Weedon
Managing Director: Kai Hsiung
Executive Producer: Debbie Garvey
Creative Agency: DDB° Paris
Executive Creative Director: Alexander Kalchev
Creative Directors: Pierre Mathonat, Alexis Benbehe
TV Producer: Quentin Moenne Loccoz
Managing Director: Xavier Mendiola
Managing Director: Emmanuel Guiraud
Executive Producer: Annabelle Fournier
Post Production: MPC
Head of CG: Carsten Keller
Creative Director: Ryan Jefferson Hays
3D Supervisor: Boyo Frederix
2D Supervisor: Rod Norman
Head of FX: Selcuk Ergen
Executive Producer: Tomek Zietkiewicz