Quad's Bruno Aveillan has made his mark with stunningly opulent films for Cartier and Louis Vuitton. Now, he returns to the world of luxury brands with "The Legend of Shalimar," a tremendouly expensive-looking film produced out of Quad for Guerlain. The film promotes the "Shalimar" perfume that was created by Jack Guerlain in the 1920s, when he was inspired by the bittersweet tale of the Indian emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The gardens surrounding the mausoleum are known as the "Shalimar Gardens."
The five-minute-plus film, which premiered in Paris, plays with that story a little bit, putting the gorgeous Mumtaz Mahal (who also, for some reason, happens to be played by white model Natalia Vodianova who has been the face of Guerlain since 2008) inside a palace, and her husband on a treacheous journey through arid landscapes and snowy mountains as he attempts to reach her. His journey's shots are juxtaposed with sensuous images of her reposing on a big white bed, or in a bath, until he reaches her in a dramatic climax that features the Taj Mahal rising out of a lake.
The film was shot with a crew of 100 people in Jaipur, Udaipur and Agra in India, using a Phantom camera. It is backed by a beautiful score by legendary composer Hanz Zimmer ("The Lion King.")