Last year I had the pleasure of working with a true artist and amazing model, Shaun Ross. Shaun isn't the type of model just to stand there and put on clothes. Instead, he feels the character he is meant to play. He wants to understand your end goals, the story you are telling, and wants to become part of the art. He is happy to contribute his own creative ideas and lend his body to enhancing the expression of the final piece. I had never really worked with a model like that before, and it was great to have him on this project.
Together, with my incredible creative team, we created a fine art fashion film entitled "Le Naissance" (meaning the birth). The idea behind this video piece is the birth, life and death of man. As you watch this piece you can see how Shaun is born from the dust of the earth, explores his surroundings, discovers death, and develops into modern man. In the end he despises the constraints of being a man confined by modern norms, and instead decides to return to the earth. The earth welcomes him back and he becomes one with nature again. I could go more in depth on the concept, but I think you should experience it yourself and draw your own conclusions.
I thought that Shaun was a beautiful blank slate for this piece. He is an African American with albinism, meaning his skin is void of pigment. For me, this means a gorgeous pale palette and intriguing presence around this model. Shaun has appeared on the cover of many major international magazines and has recently become the face of Ford vehicles for the slogan "Be Unique".
Last year I entered this video in the WPPI awards, and got a PERFECT score.. 100! I got a beautiful award and stood up in front of a few thousand people to receive this honor. It was amazing! I felt like I was at the Grammy's! Ok, maybe not that glamorous but still wonderful.
This video was shot over a two-day timer period. The first day we shot half of the looks using the Canon 5D Mark II and a cinevate slider. On day two we utilized a Phantom Camera. The Phantom shots were captured at over 1,000 frames per second to give us that stunning slow-motion (and very surreal) effect. For shots where we needed more exotic angles and mobility we utilized the 5D. I absolutely love the surreal effects achieved by shooting with such a high-speed camera. You can slowly explore and enjoy a single moment in time.
I hope you take a moment and enjoy the video, and I recommend you view it at a large resolution to enjoy the detail on the shots. I am very proud of this piece and hope you enjoy my avant garde fashion film!
Although this was shot as a video piece, I also captured a variety of stills that ended up running in Papercut Magazine in this past issue (Oct 2012). Below is a small sampling of some of the images that I captured in between directing the piece. You will see several of the motifs and stories I mentioned above about the life and death of man appearing in the images below!