Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Jason Last Interview

An abundance of meaning may be concentrated into one picture. A whale of thoughts can be expressed by an image. The same as with a movement. By putting motion into static pictures, new perspectives open up for the viewer and for the artist as well.

With the current interlocking of fashion and movie, one of the most exciting new trends was born recently. It has evolved in front of our eyes into an entirely new media, a new form of visiual art, by creating an autonomous genre, fashion video.
I was asking one of the major and most exciting talents of the genre, about his works, his vision and the characteristics of fashion video. One of Jason Last's videos was mentioned on "The top 10 fashion videos of the season" list by The Business of Fashion lately. His works for Emanuel Ungaro and Complexgeometries are "classics" already, and his signature shaded aesthetic makes his videos easily recognizable.

Lights, camera, action...

Regards, Miska

Scenes from "119" film by Jason Last, styling and photography by Fabien Montique petrified and mirrored by Miska.


- Tell me your story, how did you become a "fashion video artist"? Do you only create fashion-related short films, or are you interested in experimenting on other fields of motion picture as well?
Jason Last
- I’ve always had a very strong connection to sound and moving image, and the emotion it can carry, or the story it can tell.
Fashion film is something that has come out of my passion for video and filmmaking, as well as my love of fashion imagery. It is a combination of both things and is derived from my mind and sensibility as an artist, a director, and an image-maker. Fashion film combines the mediums with which I want to work and create: art, fashion, & cinema.
It was a natural progression.

For me, it is broader than just something being directly liked to the fashion industry. It is the use of fashion imagery, clothing, models, lifestyle, that can take on a cinematic form, whether it be narrative, experimental, music video, video art, or feature film. I am very open to the blurring of lines between the labels and genres that exist in film and art. I am always interested in experimenting and trying new techniques and expressions related to film and video.

"Skyburial", film by Jason Last, art direction by Jaime Rubiano

- What do you think about the growing spread of fashion videos? Do you think, that video is the future form of fashion editorials?

It’s really exciting. What an effective and beautiful way to present clothing and create fashion images. Moving images allow an audience to somehow interact with the pieces and to understand a brand or an editorial as not only image, but also sound, and dialogue, and narrative. It extends the emotional connection one can have with images. I think fashion videos have, and will continue to have, a strong presence in editorials online, etc for sure.
But yes, it is the future.

- Do you imagine static images or movements while working?

I’m always thinking of how I can push the images I am working with and the potential that exists within video.
When I am planning a shoot or coming up with an idea, it moves. That relates to the choices I make of models, clothing, etc… I’m always thinking in moving image.

"When You're a Star", film by Jason Last, art direction by Jaime Rubiano

- What are the unwritten rules of making fashion video? (Supposing there are...) What are the dedicated special ingredients of the genre?

What’s so exciting about fashion images, is that there aren’t many rules or limitations. I suppose there are trends to think about, but what I believe makes fashion interesting as an art & an industry, is that it is always changing and quite open to being pushed in different directions. Fashion welcomes a fresh and ever-changing perspective and art plays a big role in influencing that. The possibilities are kind of endless.

- As we know, fashion editorials are usually retouched before coming out in print. How much post-production is usually required to complete a video?

A lot. It varies between films, and what kind of campaign it may be, but a lot. The same rules apply to video as to photo, depending on what the desired aesthetic is. The thing about video post-production is that there are endless options, so that can mean a lot of work…

- What are your characteristics, the unique features of your works? How is the signature "Jason Last vision"?

What’s unique about my work and my vision is my perspective. I come from a fine arts, video and film background, but I am very excited and moved by fashion imagery and the depth of it’s particular history, so my work has been informed by many sources and they all meet in the video work I make.

- How is the work with models? Are they difficult to instruct for motion picture? Or there’s no difference?

It depends. But there is definitely a difference…
I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing models who understand their movements and bodies, and who follow direction very well. There is an element of acting involved in modeling, even if they never speak, and any good model understands this. I’m careful with who I work… but for the most part I’ve worked with great subjects who understand and take direction well.

- Which was your favourite, or most exciting project so far? What kind of projects do you work on currently?

The AW09 Emanuel Ungaro films were a lot of fun and a great project to be a part of. I’m working on several projects and fashion films at the moment (and always…). Also collaborations with brilliant art directors & stylists like Jaime Rubiano and Fabien Montique. Experimenting with ways to take the darkness and dramatic nature of my films to the next level.

- If you suddenly supposed to tell a memorable movie scene, what would you say?

Derek Jarman’s The Last of England… simply brilliant... from narrative to imagery.

Maya Deren comes to mind: “Meshes of the Afternoon”.

Or Godard’s Le Mépris, Bardot in the garden in blue. Stunning with that hair, those eyes and that attitude…

Or the scene from Clueless where she goes for her driving test…

- Who are your professional role models in terms of fashion, visual arts and cinema?

Too many to name…. I live for this. And I am continuously moved and influenced everyday by the lives, the stories, and the work of so much brilliance I can only aspire to.

- What are your plans for the future?

Work. And continue to grow and be present within the fashion film genre. It’s the future.

Please, do not copy or quote parts of the interview without permission!


Anonymous said...

I love this! Thank you!

Silverbeige said...

Very artistic... the works touched me. THX!

Silverbeige said...

Hi there, I gave you blog award on my site! Look :)

andrv1d said...

I like the interview so much, he became my favorite fashion video artist!

Miska Walks Miles said...

Always my pleasure.