The Full Moon in Gemini is a fashion film screening at ASFF 2017. Noir Tribe, who have previously screened at ASFF for their film Ethetics, return to the festival with a short that has an editorial focus for Harper’s Bazaar. Amber Moelter, Director, discusses the piece in relation to her wider practice, and the notion of visual culture in today’s society.
ASFF: Where do you get your inspiration?
AM: This particular project was inspired first by the location, which was already secured by the editorial team for Harper’s Bazaar. There’s nothing like shooting on location, which often informs the story. After that we were specifically inspired by recent fashion feature thrillers such as The Neon Demon and Nocturnal Animals. For the majority of our work, we are inspired by what is happening socially, environmentally and politically.
ASFF: How does this film in particular differ or relate to your previous works?
AM: We have directed several other fashion films with an editorial focus, similar to The Full Moon in Gemini. The rest of our work has more of an ethical or social commentary, for example our ethical fashion series Ethetics, in partnership with the International Trade Centre, explores the marriage between ethics and aesthetics in fashion. We got political with the short fashion documentary Dressed For Protest to explore the politics of how fashion is used in protest, in partnership with Glamour and The Women’s March on Washington.
ASFF: What do you think is essential for a film within this genre, and how does yours reflect this vision?
AM: Fashion film is such an exciting genre. It combines art and commerce, with fashion filmmakers experimenting with the form and content, so there are no absolutes. Within the genre you can find narrative, documentary, animation, virtual reality, abstract art, and everything in between. As the genre develops the only main overarching topic of conversation that we’ve witnessed is the need for a narrative or concept; early fashion films were simply a photographer that decided to try filming a video on their DSLR or big budget perfume commercials. The consensus is that the genre has moved beyond that simple “video lookbook” and we must continue to keep pushing the boundaries to tell stories about clothing, beauty, and lifestyle.
ASFF: How do you balance form and concept? How do they relate to each other within your short?
AM: With fashion films, the emphasis is regularly on form. The beauty of the clothing is often the most important aspect to the client. What makes the difference between a fashion film and a campaign video or commercial, or even art film, is that it has a narrative or concept, as abstract as it may be. So for us, we are always trying to inject a concept, while capturing the most beautiful shots possible.
ASFF: What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
AM: We just wrapped a fashion film production in Colombia which will open the third annual Inexmoda BCapital show in October, featuring the I Am An Individual collection by Polite. Previous featured artists include renowned photographer Ruven Alfanador and Theatre Director Laura Villages. We are also continuing to develop our ethical fashion film series Ethetics (ethics+aesthetics) in Africa and abroad. If our schedule allows we are hoping to shoot the follow up to Dressed For Protest at the Women’s Convention in Detroit, an activist gathering to prepare for the divisive USA 2018 midterm elections.
ASFF: How do you see the future of short film and cinema as a whole?
AM: Millennials and Xennials are increasingly ignoring commercials and conventional marketing. We don’t like to be told what to buy, how to dress, what to look like. So, I believe that the future of short films will be funded and driven by sponsored content. Already you see large brands and corporations branding content and as they realize that entertaining, viral content converts into customer loyalty, they will stop with blatant old-school advertising strategies and invest in stories that may not even feature their product. From a fashion perspective, it doesn’t make sense to make a commercial trying to sell one particular garment, but to tell a story that appeals to your customer’s mentality that they will watch, remember, share, and earn their loyalty for years to come. I can only imagine that branded content will continue to expand in all forms of entertainment, because more and more we are looking for experiences and quality of life, over possessions.
ASFF runs 8-12 November. For more information or to book tickets: www.asff.co.uk
Join the conversation: @asffest.
1. The Full Moon in Gemini. Film by Noir Tribe. Starring Jordon Moon @EliteNYC. Shot on location at Silver Sands Motel, NY.