Tim Tadder recently shot a second campaign for Tecate. Between the super models, over the top wardrobe, International travel, intense CGI, wild animals and cultural differences, the shoot was a production and logistical monster and one of the biggest shoots of his career. He could not be more excited. When he showed me the images and shared the back story, I thought it was the perfect case study to showcase Tim’s International experience and ability to bring the diverse talent together to pull of such fantastical imagery.
Rebecca Bedrossian, one of our contributing editors interviewed Tim about what it took to make this project happen.
“Shouldn’t art make you think of the process, the complexity, the decisions, the use of light and shadow,” ponders Tim.
The rich, dense images that Tim created for the Tecate Zodiac Calendar beg for attention. Of course, you’re probably thinking beer plus calendar equals hot girls. And don’t get me wrong, there are incredibly beautiful, elite models in his shots—but there is so much more to this story.
“Life’s too short to do what is expected,” Tim says.
In other words, it’s not your run-of-the-mill, put a girl in a bikini on a beach and call it a day. The agency, Olabuenaga Chemistri in Mexico City, was looking for more and trusted Tim to elevate the production and create this illustrative narrative based on the zodiac.
An epic fantasy, if you will. “So I’m left with translating these mythical signs into a human sexy form and turning the characteristics of that form into a visual that sells beer,” Tim explains. “It was a really amazing project.”
This was not the first time Tim had worked in Latin America, nor was it his first time working with Chemistri. He developed a strong relationship with Hector Colin, head of art at Olabuenaga, working on another Tecate calendar built around the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Hector knew that Tim would take the cultural differences, including language, in stride—he already believed in the team. And he knew Tim had once lived in Latin America.
That trust meant that Tim had more control over the budget than in the past, and he didn’t take this lightly. He spent six weeks living and breathing pre-production, putting together his dream team. From Marco Marco, an amazing costume designer who “made everything per stitch,” to Italian hair-and-makeup artist Hair Gio Campora. Tim says, “I put talented people together to make this as magnificent as it could be… I worked with wardrobe on costumes and the sketches, collaborated with the agency, directed the set designers, decided what would be shot and what would require CGI. I couldn’t work on other stuff—I lived in this project.”
Then it was four days on location in Los Angeles fast and furious, he shot three models per day. Two months of post followed, where Tim directed CGI and the retouching, integrating all the moving parts and aligning the aesthetic. In the end, he’s thrilled with the project. Tim’s images are different—they stand out.
For instance, take the Pisces image. “It’s intricate… Think about the task at hand,” Tim urges. “Could I fly to Greece and shoot underwater in some ancient ruins and drop in a few sharks?” Well, in a perfect world he could, but with just four days to shoot, Tim created this diverse landscape of imagery—from the wireframes to the lighting design—with his talented team.
“It’s certainly unique, and that’s part of the vision that I try to bring to everything,” he says. And looking at this final image, with its layers of complexity, you can’t help but think about his process.
“I’m thankful people believed in me,” Tim says.
See the images below as well as the Behind The Scenes Video.