Having only four hours with Elton John and an XM Satellite Radio spot to shoot, creatives at Mullen in Wenham, Mass., relied on the directing talents of Dave LaChapelle to get it right in one take. In the spot, the pop star walks through what is seemingly his home—actually pal Wayne Newton’s palatial pad in Las Vegas—with a portable XM radio (the Delphi MyFi), kisses his dog, checks out his kitchen and rides to work in a limo with geishas, all as house staffers stand by. “The choreography was complex,” says Tim Cawley, gcd and copywriter on the effort, but he says it worked because John and LaChapelle know each other and felt free to add to the script. For example, the kiss between John and his canine friend was unscripted, and a giant hotdog on the wall was “LaChapelle having a lot of fun visually,” Cawley says. John was available for the spot, breaking Nov. 15, because he’s hosting a show on XM radio.
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