We love your latest music video I Can’t Wait which also works as a fashion film too. The narrative is non-linear and emotionally engaging – can you tell us please how you evolved the story. Did you storyboard everything in detail or did the narrative evolve in the edit? Please tell us about the creative process behind it.
The song I can’t wait talks about a man’s desire for a woman. I didn’t want to be redundant and just make a sexy film since the lyrics and voice of the singer already are. So I decided to give a new meaning to the title by turning around the story and taking the point of view of the woman. She can’t wait to get out of a relationship. Once I had the story, I developed the scenes with a screenwriter friend.
I really wanted the film to look very cinematographic and to keep in mind that it was a music video I shot a video of the group Panama Rockets singing which I projected in a scene with the actress. I wanted this projection to be quite abstract so I shot it very close up and not always centered in the frame.
I didn’t storyboard the film but I did a mood board with pictures that showed the atmosphere, style, decor, casting that I had in mind. After finding the dream location, I was able to do the shot list in details. I listened to the music also for the rhythm of the actions so the edit matches the written story.
The story is a love story between a young woman and an older man. Yes, he’s wealthy and older than her but he’s a good man and she once fell in love with him. But she grew up and now feels that the environment in which she lives no longer suits her. In order to find herself she decides to run away.
Were there any major challenges with producing I Can’t Wait and if so how did you resolve them?
The casting was the most difficult thing because I had written the story with an actress in mind who was not available for the shoot. I had to reconsider the character and it took a long time to find the right girl. When I saw Jazzmine Berger, I knew it was her and we even moved the shoot to have her available.
The location could have been another problem but the production company Superette did an amazing job and found exactly the decor that I had in mind : the Château de Janvry near Paris.
Are your fashion narratives in response to a brief and a creative team’s script or do you write them yourself?
So far I have written all of my fashion narratives but I would love to have a creative team to develop scripts. I’m actually working on that. Two brains are always better than one.
Your work has focussed on fashion – with brands regularly coming back for more. And now you have shot a music video. What sort of work would you like to pursue?
I’d like to do more music videos. I love the format which is almost like a short film and of course I love music. I’m actually in contact with a group that I love who I might work with. I don’t want to reveal their name for now because of superstition…
I really want to do more comedy too. Fashion film are just an excuse to tell a story. It’s not just about pretty people and pretty images, I really want to tell a story. I’m working on different projects that I’m co-writing with agency creatives for brands who do sunglasses, scarfs, bags… I would like to do commercials with kids and older people who are such a treasure in casting.
I don’t want to be stuck in one field, there’s so much I would like to explore. Why not direct in English and in Italian (I have italians origins)!
Your short film Wicked Wind picked up a lot of recognition including the Louis Vuitton award. It’s intriguingly mysterious not least because of the characters. Please tell us about the narrative.
I met Vic Moan, the singer of Wicked Wind at his concert. He’s a very interesting man with an incredible physique. I immediately wanted to do a film with him so I suggested to shoot a short and to use the song Wicked Wind as the soundtrack of the film. What touched me the most is that people thought Vic was an actor when in fact he was the singer. Vic doesn’t need to play a character, he is a character in real life.
The story: A man at a complete loss wakes up after a night spent in his car. In the emptiness of his life, he wanders in the streets of the city of Berck, until he meets a wandering and mysterious young woman and finds himself linked to her destiny…
I wanted to shoot in the north of France on the beach and I wanted to have an angel involved in the story. That’s how it started. I like the idea that a sad person who meets someone even sadder takes upon himself to make this person feel better.
How would you describe your visual language?
It’s hard for me to talk about my visual language… I would say that I have a quite poetic way of seeing the world around me. I like to sublimate things and I believe that beauty can be authentic too. There are a lot of others aspects of my personality that I haven’t explored yet. I’m working on that.
Do you have any key creative influences?
My every day life influences me. Atypical characters inspire me. My neighbor, for example, who is 72 years old is very clothes conscious and wears her hair everyday in a bun like in the beginning of the century. She has beautiful white hair that she probably never cut. I like to imagine a story around that.
I love photography, the work of Alessandra Sanguinetti and Vivian Maier comes to my mind. The movie Paris-Texas, Une nuit d’été en ville, A Woman Under the Influence. The actress Monica Vitti…Writers like Stefan Zweig, Dorothy Parker.
What are the key lessons you’ve learnt about film making?
Having a production company that trusts and supports you is essential and even greater when it becomes a wonderful relationship which I’m lucky to have with Superette. And of course to follow your instinct, to listen to others but to always keep in mind what you really want to do and most important to love your subject.