Mr Porter x Belstaff: On the Road #2, directed by Cale Glendening
Mr Porter editor Jodie Harrison on the short film series by Mr Porter and Belstaff
Words by Ryan Thompson
Mr Porter recently teamed up with Belstaff for a short film series entitled ‘On The Road’, shot by the young Tennessee-based director Cale Glendening. The second film in the series profiles JG Francis, founder and owner of classic restoration specialist Mercedes Motoring. Here, Harrison chats about how the film came to fruition…
‘I really wanted to do a film on roads. There’s something romantic about certain sections of road that guys are familiar with. My husband is a real motorhead and actually gives me loads of ideas for Mr Porter. He’s like my barometer of what the Mr Porter man is about: he’s really into cars and clothes; he likes all elements of lifestyle. We were talking one day about how he loves to drive this certain section of road when he goes back home to Callander in the Scottish Highlands, how he knows every little nuance of the surface and its indentations, the bends, everything. It’s one of the most beautiful roads in the world. I thought, surely there are loads of guys - perhaps all guys - who have certain stretches of road they are almost intuitively connected to, and that was the thinking behind the piece.’
How did you go from having a kernel of an idea to finding JG Francis?
‘Finding talent is something I’ve learnt to do at Mr Porter. Jeremy [Jeremy Langmead, previous editor-in-chief of Mr Porter] and I decided from the very beginning that we would shoot real guys doing real stuff - so it’s aspirational but also relatable. I just had to learn how to connect with different people, use my contacts better and use other people’s contacts, too. I basically had to build a lot of different bridges. Now I’m at the point where I know a lot of really cool people all over the world who can tell me, “We should be shooting with that guy”, or “This guy is so cool”. JG came about really randomly, though. There’s a girl we know in LA who runs a blog called Porn for Women (@pornforwomen; thepfw.com). Her Instagram feed is basically just a stream of handsome men doing cool stuff. I was speaking to her because she often re-posts a lot of Mr Porter’s shoots and she put me in touch with a skateboarder who then put me in touch with JG because the skateboarder had bought one of his Mercedes. We went to his garage in Glendale and it was amazing - so many beautiful cars so fastidiously kept. I’ve never been to a garage where you could - theoretically - eat your salad off the floor. Then we went out to the desert for two days with a director called Cale Glendening, who is very young and very talented, and who I think is going to do amazing things. He’s recently finished working on a documentary with Kevin Costner.’
For an interesting insight into the production process, check out Cale Glendening’s blog post about the film at caleglendening.com/blog/view/bts-belstaff-x-mr-porter-on-the-road-2