Sitting somewhere between portrait doc and fashion film yet not fully belonging to either, Gabriel Juduc’s playful short This is Marta offers up a surrealist view of the intimate life of Marta Marghidanu. Imbuing the supermodel with the behaviour and personality traits and of a cat, Juduc explains how Marghidanu’s magnetic on set presence inspired this idiosyncratic hybrid short.

I was always interested in how we behave when we are alone with ourselves. We are different from what we show to others, when we are with friends, how we behave at work, most often how we are when we’re surrounded by other people. When we are alone we always behave differently, just because we do not anymore want to impress other people and we no longer censor our reactions. And such moments we will not tell anyone. This is Marta is about this topic. About how a model behaves in her intimacy.

I’ve always been interested to make all my videos using disruptive transitions, different frames, music and a lot of sound design.

Before this short film, I was working with Marta on a commercial video for a multinational company. It was a make-up tutorial that was intended to be dynamic and really playful. There on the set, I had the time to get to know her personally and it impressed me so much because she is really special, she gave all of us on the set her energy. She created a unique vibe on set because she laughs a lot and always wanted to hug the people who were in contact with her. If you ask my crew about that filming day, everyone will remember it. That was the moment when I saw Marta as a cat. It inspired me a lot for this short film, I thought about her when I was writing the script and I knew that this first film would be with her. I really do not think it would have come out like this if I used someone else.

The structure of the short film from my point of view was pretty simple. Every scene was made having in mind what cats do. They stay on the couch and sleep, they play with the ball, they play when they are alone and they want to be fondled. After that, I inserted a cat with blue eyes into my story and that’s was the script. So the script is my view of Marta and does not portray her life.

Regarding the images and transitions, I’ve always been interested to make all my videos using disruptive transitions, different frames, music and a lot of sound design and the most important to have all over the film the same chromatics. The voice over was an issue for me because I wanted to have a voice with a native British accent and I searched for that voice for more than a month. That was the most important challenge for this short film.

As for production, I filmed all the sequences with a Sony a7 III in 2 days and post-production lasted more than 1 month. Initially, the film should have been about 1.30 minutes long, but by the time I started editing the frames were far too good and so I reached a version which ran for 6.40 minutes. Then I appealed to my good friend Andrei Balasoiu to bring it to a final form as it is now. I personally would not have cut anything, but I knew that the earlier edit was too personal.

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