Guest film directors the yacht week

Project Filmmakers

We’ve always been strong advocates of producing intriguing content to tell our story, so we wanted to expand our horizons with the Filmmakers concept to express our budding creative side.

By inviting guest film directors to join us, we’ll let everything that surrounds The Yacht Week be their muse to guide them in which ever way they wish - be that the inspiration of yacht life, the beauty of the destinations travelled or the intimacy of the
relationships forged.

Wanderlust by David Crabtree

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Think mid-20th century cinema and your imagination will become soaked in images of an impossibly glamorous epoch in time: a time when Anita Ekburg and Marcello Mastroianni frolicked in the Trevi Fountain of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. A certain yearning to recapture this age has been steadily infiltrating recent popular culture; think the cosmic success of Mad Men and Lana Del Rey’s fragment-in-time Kennedy-inspired music videos. Think The Yacht Week and the concepts merge into one; sea, sun, beautiful landscapes, unspoilt villages and countryside – the perfect blank canvas to leap into whichever generation bewitches you.

David Crabtree

David grew up in Texas and London and currently resides in LA. In 2014, he won a Clio Award for John Legend - Vevo Go Shows: All Of Me.

TYW’s media collection has for years charmed and captivated an international audience. Moments caught in time are filtered through the medium of film and photography, shared and treasured among TYW community. There’s this enduring sense that once you’ve experienced TYW you’ve been blessed with a sensation that you can’t describe or communicate to others.

This is exactly what happened when Director David Crabtree pitched his idea to Erik Biörklund (TYW Co-Founder) to capture the magic of TYW on film.

We caught up with David Crabtree and Sean Conaty, the Director and Cinematographer respectively, to ask them about the filming experience.

Grace Kelly and Ella relaxing on the beach

Grace Kelly and Ella relaxing on the beach

What is it about TYW that particularly caught your eye as the perfect platform for filming?

Sean: Dave directed it and gave me a really great pitch on it. He’d been wanting to do a project like this for a long time; a movie that was both naturalistic and fashion motivated (Aristocrazy, Heidi Klein, Love Brand & Co. and Taylor Morris Eyewear collaborated on the project) in such a stunning location. It became a perfect storm of an opportunity.

David: When I originally got in touch with Erik it was more or less the idea that they have this incredible environment and that the whole business is based on this concept of wishfullness. I immediately saw the parallel between that and The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I know in their heart of hearts, is exactly what the creators of TYW are trying to achieve.

We managed to get Danny Capriati on board, a former TYW hostess from Cape Town, who is a stylist now so we brought her out with us during the shoot. She sourced a whole load of clothes from London boutiques. Thanks to her, sartorially we were able to encapsulate this 1950’s vibe.


An Emmy Award winning cinematographer based in LA, Sean has an extensive resume including work with Mercedes-Benz, The Killers and Ben Harper.

The video explores TYW through classic movie scenes being re-enacted. What inspired you to approach the direction of the video in this way?

Dave: The concept was to make an original piece inspired by 1950’s/60’s Mediterranean cinema. Something that would feel current but also timeless, like a dream you once had. Or a dream someone else had. That sense of meeting someone who had visited paradise and is trying to remember it, feeling their nostalgia. 

Visually, we were looking at films like To Catch a Thief, Purple Noon, Roman Holiday, and the world of The Talented Mr. Ripley. These films feel timeless, free from modern constraint or pressure. The characters float through society, adrift, searching for meaning and identity in the place of perpetual sunlight and fair weather.

I wanted it to seem as if Tom Ripley could walk onto our set at any given moment. These characters are isolated in paradise, they only have each other – to them there is no outside world. I never wanted to see a cellphone.

Henry as Cary Grant in To Catch a Theif (1955)

Henry as Cary Grant in To Catch a Theif (1955)

The play on light and shade in the video is particularly spectacular. Why did you decide to make light and shade a key feature and what challenges did this pose to you during filming?

Sean: Well, we were literally working with nature, so we didn’t have much control over the lighting and the locations, it became about scheduling, Dave and I are both photographers and we prefer natural light photography. We wanted an organic feel; we wanted moments to happen and to capture the moment. We let our actors inhabit the space, everything evolved naturally and beautifully.

One of the things that really struck us was the enchanting caves scene; the darkness yet the characters’ faces are still illuminated with this light that seems to come from nowhere! How did you manage this?

Sean: You know the funny thing is, I’d been to the caves the week before during a wedding trip, so I told everyone about them. I had to think ahead based on what I knew about the lighting. For example in the film when Henry is looking up to see the light the only way it was possible was by a small natural window through the rocks that allowed the sunlight to come through.

There are so many dimensions of this video that really distinguish it from the work that TYW have published before. Can you expand on this?

Sean: Dave sent me some TYW videos ahead of time. The notion was: be aware of the branding, but that we didn’t need to use them as an influence or as a reference. It was so liberating to think: we can do something different here, we weren’t trying to make another seasonal video, we are looking at things with different eyes.

Gregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (1953) / Jude Law & Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) / Erik & Ella in Wanderlust (2014)

Gregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (1953) / Jude Law & Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) / Erik & Ella in Wanderlust (2014)

The TYW routes are home to some epic film-worthy scenery. Where did you film the different scene? What is the most enchanting place that you stumbled across whilst making the video?

David: Hydra was amazing, the place is like another world, they don’t allow scooters on the island people are walking around, weaving in between horse drawn carriages!

Sean: For me it was this tiny place called Leonidio. It’s this inner city that I would never have found had I not been scouting the week before. This town, it was incredible, it looked as if it was just frozen in time. We managed to get there and it ended up being this magical convergence of everything; the light was perfect, everyone was just so into it! As a filmmaker, it’s just so fun when you experience the same thing that the actors are experiencing, it infused a certain joyfulness into the footage.

When we were waiting for a taxi to pick us up, we went to this bar and this guy turned up and started playing the guitar and then we found another guitar. Suddenly we were all playing guitars together. The locals gave us bottles of wine, shots and everything, we were all singing and dancing together. When we tried to pay, they wouldn’t let us and told us it was all free. It just completely embodied the spirit of Greek hospitality. They thanked us for coming and bringing our work to their town. It was so mutually enjoyable.

The video and dialogue reflects the ultimate escape from chaotic city life, but what is the inner story of the video and what message are you hoping to communicate to viewers?

David: It’s more of a mood than anything else – a sort of exploration of nostalgia. We tried to create this sensation, you’re watching the film and you’re completely immersed in it. The next minute you’re out. These two people are reminiscing about a relationship that happened in this beautiful place, this relationship that didn’t work out and you don’t know why. The ending is very open ended - I like to keep things open to interpretation; it enhances the dreamlike quality of the piece.

Sophie re-enacts Grace Kelly in the Hitchcock romantic suspense movie To Catch a Theif (1955)

Sophie re-enacts Grace Kelly in the Hitchcock romantic suspense movie To Catch a Theif (1955)

We understand that your work is attracting a lot of attention and that you’ve recently acquired a sweep of awards. Can you tell us more about this?

Dave: Yeah, I’ve recently won a Clio, this was in October, it’s an advertising award for a video I did with John Legend and Sony. We shot it in New York and the video did well enough so we won this film music award!

What’s next for you? Can you give us any hints as to what your next video will entail?

Sean: I’ve just finished a project for Mercedes-Benz, which I’m really excited about!

Dave: I’ve got some projects planned for December, but I’m not sure how may of them will come through. Right now I’m shooting with Nick Jonas and Megan Trainer. There’s a plan to do something with Rick Ross and then perhaps Iggy Azalea.

Interview by Laura Goodson.
’Wanderlust‘ was filmed on The Yacht Week Greece. Special thanks to Aristocrazy, Heidi Klein, Love Brand & Co. and Taylor Morris Eyewear for dressing the models and Dream Yacht Charter for supplying the yacht.

Behind the scenes

Feeling Creative?

If you are an outstanding filmmaker who believe that the The Yacht Week is the ideal platform for your artistic expression we would love to hear from you.
Please note that this is a highly competitive program with limited spots and no financial compensation.

Requirement: We provide maximum freedom, and we encourage you to make a project that can be taken to film festivals. If you are proven then it increases the chances for collaboration. We look for the next Wes Anderson, do you have what it takes? Projects can be short films, features, documentary, but the budgets are limited

If all this seems like it's something for you, then please submit you interest here.

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