Our 10 days in Vegas were not typical. We didn’t get to the poker tables, Sean used an aqualung to swim in a three and half foot swimming pool, and at least 2 days were spent in a window washing cradle 60 floors up in the air. It was quite an adventure! With 10 principal models and about 30 extras, we shot a new campaign for Aria Resort and Casino in five different locations – the pool, the poker room, the sky villas, the fountain and the high roller Carta Privada. Each venue had it’s own story of ‘Modern Seduction’ to be told in photography and film. But the sheer size of the resort with the vast distances to be walked front and back of house, meant my own story was more like old fashioned exhaustion. We shot 14 hour days along side the crews shooting American Idol, and the knowledge that J-Lo was in their lineup had the local punters looking twice at our models. It was all part of the razzmatazz of Vegas, the goldmine in the middle of the desert where anything can happen and dreams can come true.
In fact we shot with $2 million worth of jewellery, borrowed from the casino and accompanied at all times by a well armed guard, who allowed an earring to fall into the pool for the sake of that story, in which a fully dressed man leapt into the pool to retrieve the piece for a damsel in distress. Good grief, would you buy a $2M necklace & earring set if one of the pieces had been wet…?!? The Sky Villa we shot in cannot even be paid for, it is reserved as a gift for those high rollers who breeze into town and win ( or lose ) a million or so at the tables. The Villa has a gym and a barber’s room, it has a toilet with a lid that lifts when you enter the bathroom and warms when you sit. That will really make you feel better. The high roller room we filmed has a minimum bet of $500. The casino tokens on the poker tables have trackable microchips inside them so the house knows the minute one is taken off the table. ( Actually the hotel uses similar technology for the minibar in the rooms. If you lift a box of chocolates or a miniature of vodka, without immediately putting it down again, you are billed for consuming it… ) So it’s another world. All they need is your credit card. The real red casino dice I was given by Father Christmas in the staff canteen on my first day in Vegas feel great in my hand. I’m going to enjoy playing with them and only having to worry that my choices are going up a ladder or sliding down a snake!