I am not an extrovert. I’m a trained extrovert, in the sense that I forced myself to become comfortable with public speaking, with debating, with meeting new people in unfamiliar social settings. But it doesn’t come naturally to me – I have no small-talk stamina to speak of, and I never learned to speak out of my diaphragm, so during high-traffic times like fashion week and the month of December, I inevitably lose my voice. As such, a would much rather be at home, reading in my kitchen window and catching the secondary decibels of raucous social interaction spilling out of comedy clubs and pizza parlours on the street below. When I find myself in a group dinner conversation at the end of a long work day, energy conservation takes priority over dominating the conversation.
Unless, of course, the topic is systemic racism. I always have room for that (and dessert).
In sitting back, you notice the smallest things between people: how friction manifests in facial cues, how the pauses speak louder than the clamour to make a point, how different permutations of expressions can careen discourse from civil to nervously heated. Then, you retrospectively appreciate all the seemingly involuntary twitches of actors who can so artfully recreate those small pauses and translate them into the most profound emotions.
Now, that was not a precursor to a declaration of “getting out more” as 2018’s star New Year’s Resolution, though my agents tell me that I really should. More so food for thought, and some cognitive context for my first motion work of the year: a speechless short for Tiffany & Co. that you might have seen floating amongst the Presidential/Superbowl/Kylie-baby noise this week on GRAZIA and/or VOGUE.
For reasons I can’t remember, I read the script of Manchester by the Sea before I got around to watching the film on a plane to or from Singapore, and the first half was honestly a very, very slow read. It wasn’t boring. It just wasn’t eventful. I understood the use of monotony as a foil for trauma, but couldn’t really visualise the impact of monotony on its own. But then, several Oscars later (and if you haven’t watched it make that a New Year’s resolution, if nothing else), we understand that it’s the awkward, pained in-betweens that made it powerful.
For most of last year, I thought I was creatively frustrated by the attention span (and so timing) limitations that come with directing fashion shorts. And yet, I feel that my focus in this piece, though only for thirty seconds (“a sense of what might have just happened, or is about to happen“), speaks much greater volumes than a lot of my slightly longer pieces have. In hindsight, this is stripping back is why I found the process for [There’s No Space Left in C#Minor] quite so fulfilling. Less is more, after all.
ROSIE COPPINI @ CHIC
SYDNEY DAVIS @ IMG
LAUREN ARROW @ IMG
SAMEERAH OSMAN @ CHIC
MARLO HSIEH @ CHADWICK MODELS
KYRA TAVERNIER @ THE MGMT
CANRAN YANG @ THE MGMT
PHOTOGRAPHER & DIRECTOR MARGARET ZHANG
DOP CHAD HENNEY
LIGHTING ASSIST PATRICK MACKEY
DIGITAL OPERATOR ANDY STEVENS
HAIR STYLIST RICHARD KAVANAGH
ASSISTED BY LISA FULGINITI
MAKE UP ARTIST NADINE MONLEY
ASSISTED BY SHAUNA CROWLEY
STYLIST MARGARET ZHANG
SOUNDTRACK BEDE BENJAMIN-KORPORAAL