Los Angeles, California - 2023
59” x 56” Unframed 74” x 71” Framed Edition of 12
39” x 37” Unframed 54” x 52” Framed Edition of 12
The hit movie Barbie is clearly not for everyone and not for the first time, a big Hollywood movie has divided and then commercially ruled. I am reminded, yet again, that the last reaction a creative wants to his or her work, is indifference. If some hate the work, others will love it, and vice versa. The British call it “the marmite effect”.
The film is so removed from the norm that it is difficult to base a critique on comparatives. But there has been much to admire in the relentless and global marketing campaign for Barbie and when I was recently in LA I had an idea to use the towering billboards in our own parody.
Sunset Boulevard is an iconic road and has rightly earned its place in the history of Americana. We have filmed here a few times on a Sunday morning and secured permits to close a section down for 90 minutes at sunrise. But on those occasions, we always worked with the sun and looked west from the section below Chateau Marmont.
But for this Barbie shot, the billboards demanded we shoot the other way and into the sun. This meant we had a very tight window of opportunity before the light was coming right at us at 180 degrees.
We want to have fun and tell stories.
Barbie has been a huge commercial success and in a city that judges all on success and relevance, there is no doubt that in this summer of 2023, Barbie has been the Hollywood story. It’s all so bizarre and so very LA. ~ David Yarrow