The Rose by any other name…
There’s a young man by the name of Andrew Brauteseth, who apart from being an acquaintance just so happened to be an exceptionally talented photographer… Andrew and I had met not once but twice to discuss working together and doing something beautiful. Usually these meetings entailed highly energized chatting backwards and forwards about ideas and concepts and how to execute our shared creative vision, I think people nearby could be forgiven for thinking us bees! As is often the case it took us nearly a year to actually produce something, but I do believe it’s something pretty special. Something that is worth sharing.
Andrew is fascinated Photography and Motion Picture (films), which he describes as having: “a close but tense relationship. Like bickering brothers”. In his critique of the imagery we created on his blog, Guy With Camera, he mentions the difficulty that a lens person experiences when switching between the two mediums. He points out that whilst a photographer may create a film scene that is “intensely art-directed and meticulously framed” it often lacks: “that sticky stuff which binds reel to reel and audience to screen: a proper story. The model might be hot but she’s not acting, she’s been sexy up a tree trunk. There’s a big difference between tugging emotional strings and filming a fashion editorial cut to The XX.”
In a previous post a showcased some of the exceptional work that Karl Lagerfeld created for the Pirelli calendar in which some of the most recognized faces in fashion incarnated Greek gods, however his recent foray into short film is an example of anemic plots featuring over-indulged models trying to be Hollywood (so says Andrew anyway). Which is why when he decided to experiment with moving stills, he instead followed a road laid by some proven photographer-directors he admired: the Aveillan’s and Darlings of this world. “Bruno Aveillan because of the sensual dousing of motion and metaphor in ads for Louis Vuitton and Lanvin. And Jeffery Darling because of his gift for these wandering snapshot montages. Just take a look at the work he’s done for Diners Club.”
So The Rose was born as a tentative test of his ability to work within the medium. As it so happens Andrew really enjoyed the experience, as did I. (I’ll say nothing of what it felt like to stand on a bitterly cold, windy Noordhoek beach at 6pm on a Friday night I think? to capture that elusive perfect shot! . For my part, the challenge as a stylist is to come as close as humanly possible to achieving the image the director holds in his mind’s eye of what a scene should like. It’s no mean feat trying to look into the abyss of a photographer’s mind. And then where possible you temper that creative vision with your insight and understanding of what can in actuality be achieved with the sometimes very flawed medium of fabric. Fabric, that harpy, who at once entices you with her beauty and then at the same time frustrates you with her inability to perform as you wish.
I have posted a few select stills from the shoot here, but if you would like to view the film then you’ll need to click on the link and then you can also read further commentary by Andrew. I do believe that we achieved “a crossover between the eye-meltingly sensual language of the classic french perfume piece mixed with a Parisian charm and mystery you find in french films like Amélie”.