Strawberry Frog commissioned Danny Clinch to film and photograph Mila Kunis as the new face of Jim Beam. Shot in Kentucky where the bourbon brand is based, Danny captured some tender moments between Mila and Jim Beam’s Grandson, Fred Noe.
Are you concerned that you’ll lose your artistic voice or creative control when working with a commercial client? How do you overcome that obstacle?
I would hope that a client will hire me for what I do. What I’m good at. Then we all know I am the right person for the job. I feel like I am a good collaborator so, in the end, my goal is that we are both very happy with the result.
You’ve worked with numerous celebrities before. Was Mila as down-to-earth as she seems on film?
Mila seems to be a naturally curious person. She was genuinely interested in Jim Beam and she got really excited about being there and asking a lot of questions. She didn’t need to act interested because she really was.
How do you capture the “real” person behind the celebrity in both your portraits and your videos?
I like a relaxed set. I want to be prepared so people know what to expect and can just have a good time while working hard and also getting things done.
You’re both a photographer and film director. How do you extend a single moment into many moments? Is it a natural process for you or is there more strategy involved?
I think they feed each other. Still photography informs my filmmaking and visa versa. It’s still storytelling at the end of the day.
Do you have any fun behind-the-scenes stories that you could share?
Well Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s grandson was showing Mila around the grounds and kept walking past the tasting spot. Mila was like, “Enough already…when are we gonna get a taste of the good stuff?”
Now be honest…how much bourbon did you all drink down in Kentucky?
Ha! Well I had a bit of a cold comin’ on and I decided that a little Jim Beam may be good for what ailed me. When Fred and Mila poured some bourbon straight out of an 8-9 yr old barrel, I went for it. It was 130 proof and let’s just say it was a nice kick in the ass.
How do you take your whiskey?
Straight out of the barrel!