Hennessy X.O 'Life Is The Greatest Odyssey'

By Christopher Anderson

Once in a while (in a lifetime?) a truly special commercial brief lands in front of you that you just can’t believe is real. This was one of those.

Creative Directors Alexander Kalchev (CCO), Alexis Benbehe, Pierre Mathonat, Art Director Matthew Massé, and Producer/Art Director Quentin Moenne of DDB Paris invited me to collaborate on a genius project for Hennessy.

Damien Chazelle (Babylon, LaLaLand) would be directing a 7 minute long film with cinematographer Linus Sandgren. The film was to span decades of memory and time and one of the central characters would be a crowd of 200 extras that would cross paths with the protagonist on the journey of his life. They proposed that I dress up as a photographer in this crowd as an extra and photograph a print campaign from the perspective of being inside the crowd, looking at my fellow extras as individual backstories in this epic journey. I had no requirements of images that must be covered but instead was given freedom (or rather they insisted) that I interpret this in the way that I saw it and make photographs of these worlds as if I were making personal work….I know, can you believe it?

If you look closely at the crowd in the film, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of a photographer acting as if they are a photographer in order to be able to photograph what the photographer character might have actually photographed if there had been a photographer in the crowd.

– Christopher Anderson