Pablo Maestres’ fashion film for Delpozo’s Autumn/Winter collection is imaginative, fanciful and enchanting. The film is shot in a mid century modern designed house whose character runs in duplet with Delpozo’s capacious architectural silhouette design (inspired by Fritz Lang’s seminal 1927 Metropolis). The piece has masterful cinematography by Marc Miro, who has crafted each shot, so if paused, as a beautiful timely still photograph. Pablo has worked with Delpozo before and it’s easy to see why the collaboration has continued as Pablo’s design aesthetic runs in unison with the brand – delivering a surreal, immersive fantasy. I delved in the creative brain of Pablo to find out the methods and thought process of producing Winter Eclipse.
Winter Eclipse is an unusual concept, where did the inspiration come from?
I’ve had some of the details in Winter Eclipse in mind for a long time so I was really looking forward to filming this piece. However, I must confess that the main idea for this piece comes from a very old and embarrassing personal story. But seriously, I could find inspiration in everything. I’m big fan of taking screenshots of everything that suggests an idea for a possible film, or taking notes in the phone when I’m in the streets. When a project arrives, after reading carefully the premises, I build the story like a puzzle using my references and ideas. In this piece, we wanted to follow the line of the previous fashion film we did for Delpozo, finding a good way to introduce hints of humour and surrealism.
How do you adapt the production process when shooting a choreographed film?
Once we had the general idea for the film, we started writing the song. David Gracia, the composer, wrote it especially for the film. So while we were doing location scouting, he was writing the piece. It was recorded with the vocals of Lluisa Millán and as soon as we had it ready, we started with the choreographies. For that, we went to the final location: “La Casa Gomis”, to see in which part exactly we would shoot every part of the song. With this information, Sheila Jordá prepared the choreography according to the space. The entire week before shooting we were rehearsing with different parts of the team. The rest of the production process was the same as any other production work: just a lot of dedication.
The cinematography is exquisite and elegant, much like the clothes. How did you manipulate the equipment used to execute this aesthetic so superbly?
The one “to blame” for such wonderful photography is Marc Miró, our DoP. It was not an easy task. The idea was to shoot the film overnight. The house had glass walls and vaulted ceilings, so every shot had to be lighted from zero, so that we could hide every cable and every light. There are a lot of lamps in the film, as we wanted to create a cozy ambience, plus we had to lighten up the exterior (what you see through the windows). We also prepared some light effects for the end that changed intensity as the girls were dancing. The film was shot in one single day, so it was a little bit of a marathon to prepare the lights for every shot, however, it was the main priority for us. The combination of cold and warm light and the presence of smoke, were key to achieve the mood.
I wanted to create a surreal world where the dresses were the main focus, rather than the characters.
The score is so integral to the piece. How did you decide on the style of music used and how did you know when you had found the perfect track?
We wanted the music to be elegant, but with moments of intensity and changes that could bring in the magic at the end. All that brought us to references like Nancy Sinatra or The Shangri-las, so based on that we started to write the song. As I explained before, the song was written only for the film, so we worked on it a lot together with David Gracia, in order to make it fit perfectly with the intensity changes. We wanted a hit song, something powerful. I guess we knew it was the right song when we sat down to listen to it and it made you want to dance as if you were an old music star walking in a big house.
As you mentioned this isn’t the first film you’ve made with Delpozo. What established your collaborative partnership? How much creative freedom do you possess?
Last spring I received a phone call from Lara Ubago, producer of videos and photo sessions for Delpozo. She called me for a meeting and told me about the new fashion film they wanted to do for the new collection. I accepted right away! I love the designs of Josep Font and the project seemed very interesting. So we started working from day one, thinking about the idea for the first video. The first collaboration was a success, so they called me again for this season’s film. In general I have quite a lot of freedom to bring in my ideas, but of course every proposal has to be evaluated by Lara and the brand, to shape it all together.
Can you give any advice to filmmakers wanting to pursue a career in the fashion film industry?
Making a fashion film is like making a music video or a publicity film: the idea has to be adapted to the concept and it has to represent the brand. Every brand works with a different concept, so it would be completely different to develop a fashion film for another designer: the aesthetic is always a key, despite the style. In any case, there’s always a concept to explore beyond collections and fashion. I guess that if you want to pursue a career in film, fashion film or not, you just need to be perseverant and start doing things, shooting whatever, not stopping. This profession is above all very rich and complex and it requires a lot of observation and patience.
What charms do you have in store for us next?
Well, there is always something going on and there is always some project on my desk, but I prefer to talk about them when they can be shown!