French filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer Jean Claude Thibaut combines lush visuals with a studied elegance in his work largely for high-end fashion clients. Born in southeast France, Thibaut began making short Super-8 films while still in his pre-teens. He studied animation at the Annecy Animation Association (AAA) before pursuing graduate film studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
Eschewing higher education for hands-on experience, he returned to the French film industry as a DP on such features as Barracuda, Tomorrow’s Another Day, and Vidocq, as well as second-unit work on the original The Bourne Identity. His short film Lethal Wings, featuring an early score by Alexandre Desplat, played at over 70 international film festivals, winning the Audience Award at the Beauvais Festival and receiving the 1994 Philip Morris award for best film in its class.
Thibaut directed his first ad for Armani’s l’Oréal division on the strength of his second short, South in 2001. TV spots and branded content for predominantly fashion clients quickly followed, including work for Hermes, Estee Lauder, Lanvin, Rick Owens, Miu Miu, and Dolce & Gabbana.
In 2008, he formed the Paris-based production company Advancedroom, where he produced a series of short films for Armani Jeans, The Tip, starring Megan Fox, and Housekeeping, with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, which received over 5 million views their first week. Through Advancedroom, he also produced the feature film For Lovers Only, starring Stana Katic and director Michael Polish, in 2012.
Most recently, Thibaut wrote and directed a series for Louis Vuitton—When L.A. Is a Man and When Hong Kong Is a Woman—that used gender as a lens through which to interpret these legendary cities. These dovetailed with his Peninsula Moments campaign for Peninsula Hotels, also shot in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. That campaign received the 2012 Bronze Excellence Award in Branded Content.