Behold my new brain space: a long overdue consolidation of my photography and directing portfolio, my image-making, and aggressive opinions. I started this site at age sixteen with a name of no substantial meaning, and no intention for the site to be the driver of an unconventional and marginally bizarre career to date. Over eight years, I’ve intermittently toyed with the idea of striking off in some new direction. Of course, there was always something less abstract that required my attention – say, exams and work and a mortgage. But, we do need to evolve.
Our digital universe is both overwhelming and overwhelmingly homogenous. All identities are branded, and branded identities are insincere to inevitable and varying degrees. What were once media authorities, now react to the impulsive inclinations of shorter and shorter attention spans. That is not to say that I am some shining beacon of innovation and newness. Far from it. To continuously broadcast your own visual and written perspectives is numbing at best, regardless of whether you’re able to separate what is personal, personable, and private. That said, I figure that toppling my own infrastructure can only force reinvention and… evolution.
So, ladies and gents: bear with me while I make functional tweaks over the next couple of weeks. And fear not, you’ll still be getting all that hashtag content. Perhaps even more frequently (dare I say it) now that I’m not paralysed by the sheer number of platforms we all feel pressured engage in. But, essentially:
This is Margaret.
2.0, if you will.
Now, onto the good stuff and Venezia, Italia for the first time in a decade. My last torrid affair with La Serenissima, La Dominante, The Floating (Sinking?) City, was as a 14-year-old touring with a chamber orchestra just before Christmas – when the colossal significance of playing in the San Marco Basilica and Chiesa della Pieta didn’t quite register on the cultural appreciation spectrum of 2€ pizza slices the size of my then-torso to emotional stirrings in response to Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, lost in the tumult of my adolescent ignorance.
This time around, it was to direct this short motion piece with Jaeger-LeCoultre by day and live a strange and exhilarating gown-and-updo life by night, punctuated with gala dinners and red carpets (from which I categorically surmised that I am not built to be a lady).
As it goes, this is one of the few projects I’ve gone into with absolutely no idea as to what the result would be. Two scout days; a shoot day time-kept by a tray of rendez-vous watches as a constant reminder of how little time left we had to capture the miscellaneous cats and gondoliers cameos I wanted; a 20-minute voiceover session with my friends’ father on the fly at Hôtel Costes during fashion week; and a week debating with with my producer whether or not the accordion was culturally perceived today as French or Italian (for the record, the true origins are the latter), but did it really matter because the script was a caricature Manhattanite and I was playing tennis in heels.
And then, the visual challenges.
The large majority of Venice, for all its narrow alleys and early Gothic architecture, spends a lot of time in shadow over the course of a day. A glorious moment of rich orange and gold and green rounding the corner of a canal will fade to grey by the time you frame up. Drop pins certainly won’t help you – though the whole city is connected by waterways, there aren’t always debarkation points around your perfect bridge or church or square (at least, not without high risk of tumbling into the abyss). Consequently, my hours of location scouting on foot, all the while humming my iuxta crucem lacrimosa‘s and dum pandebat Filius‘s, was largely in vain – aside from the incidental discovery of the best squid-ink pasta I’ve ever had (no small claim), and greater justification for a second serving of said squid-ink pasta on my Health app step count.
All that said, this was for sure one of my favourite motion pieces I’ve worked on to date.
But worth the wait.