- Friday, Jun. 5, 2015
The residents of Europe’s darkest town discover a path to enlightenment in a new web campaign directed by Peter Dietrich for Grey Berlin and electric apparel maker Lunative.
Dietrich, represented in the United States by A Common Thread, directed five spots featuring real-life citizens of Tromsø, Norway’s northern-most town, which experiences a “polar night” of no sunlight lasting three months each winter. Lunative hoodies, sweaters and jackets, which feature electroluminescent strips, make the prospect of facing that long, dark winter a bit brighter.
Dietrich introduces viewers to a Russian fisherman, whom he discovered working on a rusting boat in the city’s wharf, the members of a death metal band, a retired couple, a parish priest and a pair of local beat cops. Using disarming skill, he gets his subjects to open up and share their impressions of Lunative’s light-up apparel and life in Tromsø—with results that are offbeat and comedic. The priest becomes philosophical in discussing the town’s unusual geographic position. “Darkness in itself does not exist,” he asserts. “Darkness is just the absence of light.”
“It’s obvious that they aren’t actors,” Dietrich observes. “What you get is natural, non-acting, no performances.” Noting that his interview with the gruff Russian fisherman occurred “at three o’clock in the morning, in the freezing cold,” Dietrich adds, “We had some fun doing this.”
Although Tromsø has a population of more than 70,000 souls, Dietrich says that it feels isolated from civilization, something he sought to capture in his stark, artfully-composed imagery. It provides an ideal contrast to Lunative’s brightly hued, light up apparel. “If you need to survive a long dark winter, it makes sense to wear this kind of clothing,” he says. “We took that very sensible idea and gave it an ironic twist.”
“Our intent was to prove that long, dark, Scandinavian winter nights feel shorter when you’re you are wearing glowing gear,” Dietrich adds. “Our approach was to blend suspense, mystery and humor. Visually, it is a mix of strong, cinematic images and a documentary style of shooting.”