Ballantine’s has released the fourth instalment in its series of collaborations with unique talent from around the world who define the brand’s ‘Stay True’ mantra.
Filmed in late May, the project saw Ballentine’s production company Archer’s Mark and hyper-real photographer Benjamin Von Wong journey to Tulum, Mexico to capture a single, seemingly impossible, underwater image inspired by the natural phenomena of the Angelita Cenote and Wong’s Chinese heritage.
One month of intensive planning and research across three continents went into the film with Archer’s Mark bringing together some of the world’s most experienced divers, set builders and underwater film makers.
“The resulting footage is so epic and beautiful that it really does belie quite how challenging the shoot was. Logistically we chose to approach the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ sequences as separate entities, each with their own crews,” explained director Will Williamson of Archer’s Mark.
“It quickly became apparent that shooting something underwater would give us the potential to set ourselves some particularly special challenges – and plenty came up along the way. Once on set we knew that the idea we had proposed would blow people’s minds if only we could pull it off. The two main challenges became building the set as we had envisioned it and ensuring the safety of every single crew-member throughout. Without doubt the most enjoyable aspect of telling this story was the privilege of being able to explore one of the richest environments on the planet with the help of some of the most ingenious professionals I have ever encountered.”
Wong added: “For me, the process and immense challenges of creating images that make people question ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ is almost important as the image itself – I want to people to be inspired and to question what they’re seeing. Being given the chance to even attempt something so crazy and working with such talented people to make it happen, was truly humbling.”
Ballantine’s global brand director, Peter Moore, said: “From the first conversation we had with Benjamin, it was clear that this was going to be a truly special collaboration, particularly as he embodied exactly what it means to ‘Stay True’ to yourself, your passions and your heritage…we hope that it will excite and inspire viewers around the world.”
Previous Ballantine’s collaborations include British GIF-iti artist INSA and Africa’s leading DJ and producer, Black Coffee.