At Large /SHARE
A meeting of disciplines. Dance, stop-motion animation, music and movement were explored in the three finalist choices for this year's VAMFF Fashion Film Series: Shadow/Self, Kuwaii Remix AW 15, and Strangers in a Moment. Here, RUSSH chats with their respective directors, Laura Scrivano, Isobel Knowles, and Ramona Telecican and Andrew Kavanagh, about their inspirations, production processes, and how they give life to fashion through their films.
Laura Scrivano, Shadow / Self
How did the idea of incorporating dance into the film come about?
Geraldine Hakewill (co-creator and performer) and I have been friends and creative collaborators since we did a theatre show together in 2011, which was also heavily movement-based. We both love contemporary dance, and I’d wanted to direct a dance film for a while, so when we discovered that Bianca [Spender's] Spring Summer collection was inspired by dance it seemed like a natural fit. We wanted to create something that showcased the simple and elegant femininity of Bianca’s collection while also telling a story through light, shadow, camera and movement and so the concept was born through that.
What did you want to communicate with Shadow / Self?
Geraldine and I began by discussing thematic concepts for the film and the idea of shadows came up as a visual and storytelling device. I’m fascinated by the idea of our shadows - and was inspired the work of avant-garde film artists such as Maya Deren (Meshes of the Afternoon) and Chris Marker (La Jetée) who often played with the idea of multiple selves in their work. Geri was interested in the idea of the inner-critic, something I think most women hear very loudly, and how empowering it would be if you could somehow turn your shadow from a critic to an ally. As we talked a story and dance was born to communicate these key ideas: a woman’s struggle with her inner self-doubt and her dance with the darker side the feminine psyche.
Isobel Knowles, Kuwaii Remix AU 15
How did you come to work with the Kuwaii team for their AW 15 film?
I am friends with Kristy who started Kuwaii, and have watched her business flourish since its inception. It was very exciting to join forces and make this film.
Tell us about your use of stop-motion animation in the film? What effect were you looking to create?
I really love the texture of stop-motion animation, the way different paper looks up close and the way it can describe three dimensions with a bit of clever cutting. I think the texture of each Kuwaii collection is always incredible and I had a lot of fun matching paper stocks with fabric textures in this film. The dancing ladies are all about 15cm tall which makes a lot of the detail very small. It’s a scale that shows up the texture of the paper and really works to mimic the different weaves and knits in the garments. The most fun were the tiny shoes, the little straps no more than a millimetre wide.
What message did you want to convey with this film?
I know Kristy really loves to dance and it’s also a great way to give life and movement to something fairly simple. The collection was all about mixing and matching colours so I thought doing a similar thing with background colours and textures would be a good compliment to the collection. I wanted to show off several looks too so making a character for each letter seemed a good way to do it. And to me it reads as Kuwaii being made up of people really enjoying wearing the garments.
Ramona Telecican and Andrew Kavanagh (RADIOACTIVE GIGANTISM FILMS), Strangers in a Moment
Tell us about the inspiration behind the film’s concept?
Ramona: When I contemplated the collection, and Bertie’s track, I had the vision of an empty pool, water existing somewhere else outside of it, and women bound by repetitive motion. Out of that grew this idea of exploring the entire cyclical nature of us; how things affect other things and how we are bound by orbit.
How much of the film was influenced by the soundtrack by Bertie Blackman (Strangers in a Moment)?
Andrew: The fast rhythms of the music really influenced the shots we chose and the editing - particularly the shots where the girls flicker across the wall. The saxophone really suits the pool environment for some reason.
What reaction did you want to evoke from audiences?
Ramona: I want the audience to feel engaged with something that tells a story with instruments other than words. I want them to experience whatever it is that they feel when they’re watching it, so long as they’re immersed in it. We spend so little time getting totally washed over by things, letting things totally affect us, so I want to create work that is accessible and engaging enough that that’s all you want to do for that four minutes and 35 seconds - just watch and experience that thing.
The VAMFF Fashion Film Series can be viewed at official and regional screening venues across Victoria and nationwide until March 13.