The Argentine Actress Turned Chanteuse Premieres Her New Single
Inspired by the mysterious quiet of artist Cecilia Paredes’ “photoperformances”, the video for Mia Maestro’s single “Blue Eyed Sailor” depicts a perpetual metamorphosis. The visuals are the product of a directorial collaboration between Academy Award-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and new media artist Juan Azulay, while the track itself was produced by the Björk and CocoRosie cohort Valgeir Sigurðsson, and arranged by composer Nico Muhly. Covered in ornate body makeup, Maestro is camouflaged against matching backdrops as she sings at once about the breed of butterfly that inspired key visuals in this clip, and of a bygone romance with an enchanting character who transformed repeatedly over the course of a courtship. “You see a body trying to morph into a background, an exile intending to blend into a foreign context,” she says. Having initially carved out a career in film, appearing in features such as The Motorcycle Diaries, Frida and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the Argentine notes that songwriting is an art form she now prefers over acting: “Writing songs feels a lot more personal—I’m more vulnerable when I’m doing music. I’ve always believed that there’s a deep connection between singing and showing a glimpse of your spirit.”
STATS FROM ON SET
Number days spent shooting
Favorite camouflage scenario
Black, swallowed by the forest.
Total time spent being painted
Total time spent washing paint off
Amount of soap used
The usual. Paint was water-soluble.
Hardest thing to do whilst covered in paint
I was actually naked when I walked to the bathroom in front of 150 people at Mirada Studios.
Total number of butterflies filmed (both painted and real)
Over 100? I tend to exaggerate.
Total number of articles of clothing worn
One pair of shoes, one skirt, one white shirt.
Total number of make-up artists needed to apply the body paint
Humorous on-set moment
While lying naked in a blue bliss, one of the backgrounds fell to the ground and almost killed me. Thankfully we had a good bottle of mescal to wash away the scare.
The Photographer Serves Up a Slice of the Biggest Names in Women’s Tennis
Santa Barbara-based photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks today presents the culmination of his year-long project for the Women’s Tennis Association’s Strong is Beautiful campaign, a dazzling short featuring a split-screen rally between the likes of Serena Williams, Li Na and current world number one Caroline Wozniacki. In all, 40 of the biggest names in the women’s game were documented in Nicks’s dramatic smoke-hued film. “It takes so many elements to reach the top of such a competitive sport as tennis––strength of character, incredible discipline and will power," says Wozniacki. "For me, Strong is Beautiful was able to capture the inner strength of players in a beautiful way.” Shot with a 600-frames-per-second Phantom EFX camera, in temperatures over 100ºF, the stars were captured fresh from battle in between rounds at tournaments across the US. Seeking to champion each player’s unique strengths, Nicks highlighted their signature strokes in slow motion. “There are things your eye doesn’t perceive,” he explains. “Once you slow it down you realize how extraordinary the shift of weight or position of the racket is.” Proclaiming it to be the best project he has ever worked on, the enthusiastic Nicks held nothing back, even taking a ball to the neck in the effort to get the perfect shot.
STATS FROM ON SET
Indoor court, Cincinnati, Ohio; hospitality tent, Indian Wells, California; GMT Studios, Culver City, California.
Combined grand slam titles
30 (Serena Williams: 13; Venus Williams: 7; Maria Sharapova: 3; Kim Clijsters 4; Francesca Schiavone 1, Li Na: 1; Ana Ivanovic: 1).
Number of balls used
Lobster ball machine, athletes’ own hitting partners, and a brazen (ex-UCLA tennis player) producer hand-feeding balls.
Athletes' own rackets and shoes. Serena did the whole shoot while wearing a boot on her foot as a result of a post-Wimbledon 2010 injury.
“Night Jogger” by Those Darlings; Johnny Thunders; Green Day (requested by Serena Williams).
One kilo each of various colored pigment; chalk dust and diamond dust.
Six captured in slow motion.
Time for the dust to settle
The Pop Prodigy Debuts His Smokin' New Video
A cast of bright young things gives new meaning to conspicuous consumption in Tom Vek's latest video "Aroused," directed by Saam Farahmand. "It's a nod to the way in which smoking is used heavily and quite innocently
in art and fashion," says the indie music anti-hero. "In the video, it represents feelings of being
overwhelmed and extremities—both of which tie in with the sentiment of
the album." Released earlier this year, Vek's sophomore effort Leisure Seizure marked the end of a five-year mysterious hiatus for the self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and sees him hone a more controlled interpretation of the much-adored inventive pop that marked his 2005 debut, We Have Sound.
How did the concept come about?
It was a blank canvas for Saam, and ironically it is an idea I wished I'd had, so I'm pleased it was for my track.
Why did you choose to collaborate with Saam?
We are friends and we argue about films a lot, so it seemed a good idea to risk destroying our relationship and invite him to direct a music video.
What is the connection with the song and the words that feature?
Saam has preoccupations with fashion's self-awareness in the 1990s and how it forced personality and character to the surface. He asked me to develop "couture propaganda" that harmonized with the song and the album's sensibilities, which is where the text in the video comes from.
What makes a music video stand out?
I've always maintained that a music video that can be described in one sentence will help people digest and pass it on.
Director Saam Farahmand
Producer James Waters
Choreography Jennifer White & Leah Mckesy
Editor Tom Lindsay
Hair & Makeup Dorita Nissen
Director of Photography Will Bex
Styling Nova Dando