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arranges. He knows how sculptural the interplay of light and shadow can appear. This is as true for a picture as it is for the body of the car, which creates a distinct physiognomy with its convex and concave shapes and the resulting nuances of light and dark. “The light was very important to me,” says Rankin. “And it was very complex. I wanted it to be sophisticated and a bit mystical.” H He and his team needed two days to build the set in the large studio hall. Glass office cubicles, monstrous gears, a halfpipe — a lot of heavy equipment being moved about. The filming took another two days. At the end of it all, Rankin then shot the portraits for the print campaign for the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+. “Normally these photos are taken before making the film. I deliberately shot them afterwards. That way they embody what we want to say in the film. And they do. They appear bright and multilayered, almost a little anamorphic.” R Rankin is an obsessive portraitist. Born in 1966 in Paisley, Scotland, where his father worked as a merchant, he took his first portraits among his family circle. He studied at the London College of Communication and quickly established himself as a sought-after fashion photographer who could satiate the hunger for glamour with poignant portraits of celebrities and models. For 20 years, Rankin also shot films. “For about five years, they’ve even been good,” he laughs. The perfectionist considers both disciplines to be highly diverse. “Photography is more like poetry, and filmmaking is more like writing novels,” he says. It is much more difficult to make a good film than a good photograph. “When I press the shutter release, I usually already know: This is going to be a great picture. I probably haven’t taken a single bad photo in the last ten years. Filmmaking, however, is like a treasure hunt. Only at the end do you know whether it has succeeded, because all the parts fit together like a puzzle and it looks like the landscape that you imagined. Like a wonderful sunset with all its shades of color.” Those are the moments on which Rankin focuses all his strengths. For which he summons the unexpected. And breaks some rules. “I’m an enthusiastic person,” he says. “I get the best from people.” And after seeing the fully edited AMG spots, he found them to be more than successful. “I don’t know why exactly, but I could watch them again and again.” “The pictures encapsulate what the film is also saying: They’re supposed to show the complexity that successful people are exposed to today.” 66


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