Director/DP Stefanie Soho, who shoots top car work and uber-hip stories for some of the world’s top brands, recently directed a spot titled,“Together I Am Strong” for Zalando and agency Kolle Rebbe. It has already garnered 3 million views on YouTube. Soho is represented in the US by Contrast Eye and in Europe via BWGTBLD.

“Directing a spot for a German e-commerce company during Covid-19 made me really appreciate having people around that you can trust,” says Soho. “Knowing they will work super hard to deliver the best they can.”

For Zalando, Soho shot with smartphones, GoPros and tiny speed drones, officially referred to by many as “toys.” “As a former DP, It is crazy what you can get out of this technology with the right cast, edit and a bit of a plan before shooting,” she says. “Directing this project took me off set, and demonstrated that one can create strong atmospheres and stories with quite simple means.”

In the spot, we see various people turning the isolating effects of the pandemic into creative conversation.  People exercise alone while reminiscing about being together. Complicating the spot was integrating some fun, creative animation into some of the scenes. The uplifting ad shows the world adapting to current conditions while working out at home.

“We needed our cast to shoot scenes themselves, so it was important they also felt like a “team“ and not like “cast“ only,” says Soho. “We needed them to quickly open up, show us their house, be willing to redecorate and learn how to shoot their specific scene. For me, connecting with the cast was a lot easier than expected. Being on video calls with them the whole time felt super natural and personal, probably because by now we’re all used to being on these type of calls."

"Videocalls and WhatsApp group chats proved both uber-productive and exhausting. We forget, being on set is such a blessing; sharing spaces, touch and laughter. What I found magical was the level of trust I experienced. Everyone involved, including client and agency, had the feeling that we are all in this together, being proud of the outcome.”