Celluloid Satire: Amsterdam’s Denham Remake Another Iconic Movie With An Indigo Twist
During Amsterdam Denim Days 2015, Denham launched the sequel to their much debated and very well-executed brand movie, Denham Psycho, which parodies coffee connoisseurs in the backdrop of American Psycho. “Instant vintage kits, crunchy denim and a Peruvian vicuña all feature prominently in The Jeanmaker,” the press release reads.
For the second movie in Denham’s Explicite Remake series, Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator forms the reference point for the deranged denim designer who, like the antagonist in the five-time Oscar-winning movie, is completely obsessed with perfection, which leads to his downfall.
We got in touch with Denham-founder Jason Denham (JD) and director Hugo Keijzer (HK), who has been the creative brains behind both brand movies, to find out why they chose to satire their own industry.
First of all, we love this kind of clever promotion. But, when the first movie went viral, we noticed that not everyone shared our enthusiasm. How have stakeholders (customers and consumers) reacted to the movies?
JD: “Denham Psycho was an experiment in storytelling that we feel created a new genre in brand communication. We engaged with a huge audience in a non-direct, creative, entertaining, educated, and comedic fashion. We poked fun at our own industry and at ourselves.
This was a brave move that our audience approved of. We provoked a reaction and sure there were some interesting comments posted (mostly by American Psycho or coffee fanatics) to advise us how we could have made the film even better. The stakeholders are thrilled with the results and we think that our customers are too.”
So, Hugo, how did you get the idea to do Denham Psycho and now The Jeanmaker?
HK: “I don’t like advertisements but I love brands and I love film. I try to combine these two to create something that people actually want to see, rather than something that marketeers love to make.
I love the collaboration with people like Jason because it reminds me of the time I was doing music videos with artists; a true creative partnership. It’s not that difficult to come up with great stories to tell about a brand as long as you’re honest, self-reflective and, least of all, scared of the controversial.”
What was your goal with the movies?
HK: “To have fun, mainly. With The Jeanmaker, we tried to create a film that is sort of a critique on overly pretentious advertisement. Brands that consider their product holy and their designers Gods. Last time, with Denham Psycho we had a laugh with people who buy complicated denim, now it was time to look at the brand and company itself.”
Why did you choose American Psycho and The Aviator as the references of the movies?
HK: “We looked for typical ‘American heritage’ films to reflect the same process that Denham uses to create their products; taking a heritage American product like denim and using this as inspiration to create contemporary and innovate fashion. Both American Psycho as The Aviator feature highly conflicted characters which I find always more interesting than your typical ‘boy scout-hero’.”
What can you tell about future movie projects?
JD: “We hope that you are as excited about this as we are. There is a pattern evolving. Remakes of iconic film moments brilliantly reimagined by our genius director.”
If you haven’t done so already, watch The Jeanmaker below. You can also watch Denham Psycho here.