Scorsese’s return to the casino

In 1995 acclaimed director Martin Scorsese made one of his best loved films, the intense crime drama Casino. And earlier this year he revisited the casino format with a multi-million dollar advertisement for two Asian casinos that featured some seriously heavyweight names.

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The Asian Las Vegas

Although Casino was based in the famous American gambling hotspot Las Vegas, his latest advertisement, which is entitled “The Audition”, travels much further afield by being filmed on location in Macau.

Macau is frequently known as being the Las Vegas of the East with its reputation for high stakes gambling in the many opulent casinos that are crammed into the tiny enclave on the southern coast of China.

Although recent reports have stated that Macau has actually overtaken Las Vegas as the world’s premier betting destination, the enclave has recently hit hard times with revenues falling due to corruption and the rise of online gaming. Sites such as Slotocash now offer a variety of games such as Builder Beaver that enables gamers to enjoy playing casino games from the comfort of their own home. And this is why Studio City casino in Macau has recruited the hotshot director to increase their profile on the international gaming circuit.

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Big budget, big names

With the massive amounts of revenue gained by casinos, it’s little surprise to find that the overall budget for the two-day shoot was a staggering $70 million.

And what pushed this phenomenal figure so high must be the heavyweight cast involved. Favoured Scorsese actors such as Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and even Brad Pitt are all featured in this glossy, yet humorous short film.

It’s a testament to the director’s appeal that such actors would agree to sign up for such an advertisement. But thankfully the director’s skill, along with a watertight script from Wolf Of Wall Street screenwriter Terence Winter means that the advertisement manages to surpass traditional advertising methods to deliver something engaging and appealing.

All of the elements that we come to expect in Scorsese’s filmmaking are present including beautiful cinematography, razor-sharp editing, a choice selection of vintage music, and of course, some wonderfully witty dialogue.

It’s not the first time that the director has worked with advertising companies. In the past he’s produced memorable adverts for the likes of Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel, and with film revenues being hard-hit by online piracy, there’s a good chance that we may see more Scorsese-directed advertisements yet.

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