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Marc Travis - FILA Interview

Date: March 19 2008

By: Sneaker Freaker

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We were lucky enough to catch up with Marc Travis from Fila to talk about not only this awesome short film, but the new White Line Collection and what it is set to do for Fila in the coming seasons. Before going ahead to read this interview we suggest, if you haven't already, checking out the short film here. Viva La Fila!!!

You guys are hitting strong with your White Line collection, which is the vintage line of the brand. What can we expect to see in the range?
Back in the day the Fila collections was split into two main areas White Line Tennis and White Rock Ski. What you expect from the Fila Vintage Collection, authentic track tops, original polo’s and knitwear taken from our archive and some great new footwear.

Give us some insight into the awesome Fila Viral Film that we had running as our “video of the week” on Sneaker Freaker, how did it all come about?
Danny and Tamer both starred in The Business in 2005 and the film was a Fila Vintage sportswear fest. The film sparked a cult following and there was a natural connection between the boys and the product so we got them involved officially as brand ambassadors. We’ve done some great stuff with them over the year and thought making a short film would really engage with our consumer and their fans.

What is the process to get the film from storyboard to video? It’s evident just how much work went into creating such an original concept.
We found a real gem in the form of director Marcus Jones; he grew up with the Fila brand in the 80s and loves the gangster genre that we were wanting to re-create. So, in our first meeting to discuss Fila producing a gangster spoof starring Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan, I just saw his eyes light up and his brain kick into gear with loads of creative ideas. The concept was pretty much sorted in that first meeting but what makes the film is the clever script writing that subtly references the brand’s heritage and product throughout. The benefit of working with Danny and Tamer was we got the whole thing shot in one long day and than it was over to Marcus and his team for the edit.

The film seems to juxtapose what Fila, as a brand, was all about? It generates a Mafia-style gritty background to a stylish high-end sneaker brand. Can you tell us where the concept arose and what you wanted to portray to consumers with the film?
The concept arose from a creative brainstorm with our team – we wanted to make the most of having Danny and Tamer on-board and we had some great new ‘trotters’ with a stone washed leather treatment. From there it sparked some ideas about how much fun you could have creating that authentic ‘worn out’ look. The benefit of working with two British actors that are known for their cult following and hard hitting movies meant it all fell into place. What did we want to portray, that as a brand we are evolving and hopefully show that we are having a bit of fun along the way!

How important was it for you to keep the viewer guessing as to the final reveal?

Very important, we wanted the product to feature but we wanted to create something that wasn’t overloaded with branding and product references, the priority was it stood up as an engaging film in its own right. So the final twist at the end naturally integrates the product into the storyline and gives the film a humorous ending while hopefully giving a real viral appeal.

Back in the day The Fila White Line collection was achieved without advertising, relying always on excellent word of mouth. Is it a matter of changing with the times with the release of the film?
The film’s purpose is exactly that – to generate word of mouth; we’ve just evolved with the times and are using the power of the Internet as the harness. Hopefully fans of the brand and Danny and Tamer will enjoy the film, have a laugh and forward it onto their friends…creating talk ability for Fila and the film. We’d love to know what people think and hear their Fila stories – they can become a fan of the brand on facebook…http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fila-Vintage/8463377877

How strong do you think your vintage line will be compared to the offerings we are now seeing from most of the larger sneaker brands? How do you cope with the competition?
There’s a lot of good competition out there, we are just concentrating on doing our own thing and getting it right.

Fila was the quintessential heart and soul of the 70’s playboy culture. In an era where “luxury” sports such as tennis, motor racing, yachting and golf gained huge success, Fila were on top of their game. How do you guys plan to bring Fila back to the forefront of street culture?
Enough with the tough questions… As I said earlier it’s about evolving, being proud of your heritage but not being afraid of change. How do we get to the forefront of street culture? We’ve gone back to our heritage, found a modern twist and we continue to work to our strengths; good quality product with an Italian fair for design. If it’s good enough people will buy it.

What can we expect in the coming months from Fila? Are we going to see a John Travolta - in - Pulp Fiction type comeback here?
The reaction to the film has been outstanding so never say never!

Thanks Marc

For more on the Fila Centre Court, peep the New Release section here http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/sneaker-releases/Fila---Centre-Court/

www.fila.com/zz/eng

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