Sitting in his downtown Los Angeles office, crammed with studio lights and boxes labeled "hair clips," Campos noted that he and Tarantino started their company in 1996 with plans to make a film about his father's childhood in Nicaragua. As Tarantino's candy-bright crystal accessories fueled a successful business with freestanding shops here and in Milan, however, film projects took a back seat until two years ago, when Campos wrote and directed a lighthearted short called "Hollywoodwonderland," with Illeana Douglas as a Monica Vitti-like diva. Last year, he directed AFI singer Davey Havok and Internet personality Jeffree Star in "Tokyo Hardcore," a bizarre love triangle involving a rocker named Tommy Jet, his android girlfriend and a transvestite groupie. Douglas and Havok, like many who collaborate with Campos, are friends who work gratis. Nevertheless, top billing always goes to the accessories.
"It's just a new way of marketing, rather than being obvious with paid advertising," said Campos, who oversees a staff of three at a production unit, Fuchsia Revolution, housed within his company. "A moving image to me is more powerful than a photo on a page."
While filmmakers and fashion houses have been interacting at least since 1931, when Samuel Goldwyn first hired Coco Chanel as a consultant, the number of shorts made specifically to promote brands has increased recently. In 2006, for instance, Mike Figgis directed Kate Moss to seduce her mirror reflection in a black-and-white Agent Provocateur series called "The Four Dreams of Miss X." This year, Prada took a colorful flight of fancy in "Trembled Blossoms," an animated short about a wood nymph who charms bugs and fish to morph into psychedelic sandals and handbags from the fashion house's current spring collection.