Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directs Vans Off The Wall | Landmarks.
Our shoes carry us through our lives. They are silent contributors to our memories and our experiences. Shoes protect us from the elements, provide comfort and we use them to define ourselves, to express who we are.
Vans Off The Wall embraces this sentiment and carries it as the through line in their brand’s identity. In their latest promotional film, Vans pumps the emotion and creates a narrative that highlights their edgy and alternative vibe. Miniac Films director John Christopher Pina directed the film.
Pina started as a music video director, directing videos for top pop artists like John Legend and Kanye West, but quickly moved into the commercial world. Pina is widely known in the commercial world for his lively yet emotive narratives. Pina frequently works with the German sportswear company, Adidas, which has won him a Canne Silver Lion, for Futurecraft 4D, and a Clio, for Climachill: Not Made For Normal. Pina’s work greatly carries an urban yet fresh feel that emanates within Van’s brand image.
The film follows a young couple as they navigate the valleys of their relationship. We first see the young couple passionately expressing their love in bed together. These tender moments are interrupted with raw portrayals of them slowly following out of love. Pina weaved an artistic thread that carried the film’s central narrative. By intercutting movement throughout the film with the use of unrelated cinematic shots; feet walking through the dessert, a horse running, a car driving, palm trees swaying in the air, Pina created an artistic interpretation of their journey back to love and how their Vans carried them back to one another.
Pina’s use of color highlighted a raw emotional rhythm throughout the film. In scenes of passion, it was bright and simplistic – naked bodies against white sheets. In moments of gripe, Pina used shadowing to create a more somber tone. As we track the journey, Pina varies the color to add interest and reference the struggle throughout. His use of sound also highlights the emotional arch throughout the film. Pina layers an instrumental orchestral that creates tension and frames the emotional atmosphere that builds to the closing crescendo. Layered over the music is a spoken word poem that tells the story Pina so beautifully depicts on screen, adding context to each scene. Pina's use of angles and use of visceral close-ups emphasizes intimacy, while his wide shots stresses the curves and bends within their journey. Pina’s final shot starts tight and ends wide to capture both the intensity and the drama of their reunion.
Pina’s work is a beautiful, lyrical cinematic depiction of love, loss, and of a passionate reunion that was made possible through Vans. The film emphasizes Vans tone and image more than it’s product, but still the viewer knows exactly what they are purchasing. They are not only purchasing their shoe, their purchasing the vessel that leads us to the essential moments in our lives.
Check out the full video here.
Check out behind the scene below.