European Commission

Advertising Photography

  • Client:

  • European Commission
  • Photographer:

  • Elisabeth Verwaest
  • Director of Photography:

  • Sam Ostyn
  • Production Company:

  • Bounce Rocks
  • Local Production Support:

  • Progressive Productions
  • We Provided:

  • Production,  Location & Casting Services

In the autumn of 2017, we were able to take part in a campaign made for a truly noble cause. The European Commission declared 2018 to be The European Year of Cultural Heritage, which aims to promote discovering and celebrating the diversity of Europe’s cultural heritage. In order to promote this initiative, the European Commission worked on photography series and campaign films in collaboration with various countries. The shoots capture such stories in which the given country’s culture has an important role.

The Belgian company Bounce Rocks got in contact with us for the production of the Hungarian part of the project. Next to production support, we supplied locations and talents for the production. We photographed two scenes independent of each other, one about the world famous Kalocsai embroidery and the other one which features Vivaldi’s most famous composition the Four Seasons.

We were thrilled that the decision fell on presenting Kalocsai embroidery, which thanks to the campaign, others will be able to get to know one of our nation’s most significant folk art prides. In the scene an elderly lady embroiderer introduces the secrets of making Kalocsai embroidery to a young rockabilly style woman. The embroiderer - who people just call auntie Vera  - is a true folk art master in real life as well, and has been embroidering and painting the Kalocsai motifs for the last sixty years, keeping its tradition alive. On the photographs and footages we can see auntie Vera’s own embroideries, the beauty of which enchanted the entire crew. It was an exceptional experience getting to know one of the greatest masters of the Kalocsai tradition. Also, the photo shoot gave us an opportunity to get an insight into the process of creating these embroideries.

The photographs were shot in an authentic house located in the Hungarian Open Air Museum in Szentendre, which is only half an hour’s drive from Budapest. This museum is home to the country’s largest outdoor collection, which presents the Carpathian Basin’s folk art and architecture, as well as its village communities’ home culture and lifestyle. Thanks to this location the campaign not only depicts an authentic representation of Kalocsai folk art, but also shows what is its authentic environment.

The location for the other scene was an elegant and cosy villa in Budapest. The photographs portray a young woman sitting on her sofa who listens to Vivaldi on her mobile phone in the company of her cat. Working with animals is always a big challenge, which is why it was key to find the sufficient cat, which can be instructed and is perfectly calm and photogenic as well. We were sent countless cat nominee applications as a reply to our open call. The one we finally chose is a therapeutic cat, that was unbelievably calm throughout the bustling shoot.

We are proud to have been able to work on such a noble campaign as this one aiming to preserve and popularize European cultural heritage.

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