Can you remember when you first held a video camera?
I clearly remember when I got my first still camera. I was fourteen, it was fitting the size of my hand perfectly, I looked into it and realised I could choose what to look at. So many things were painful to me when I was a teenager that it helped a lot. My camera became my favourite companion. I started travelling with it. I wanted to become a reporter. So, in the end, instead of isolating myself, the camera opened me to the rest of the world. And I grew up with it.
What is a childhood image burnt into your mind?
My grand mother laughing when she sees me cheating while we are playing dominoes together.
Can you tell me an iconic director or DOP whose work you got very fascinated by? — What did you feel when looking at their films?
John Cassavetes fascinated me the first. He had this way of filming that put light on the complexity of our emotions.
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
Not at all. We have to work hard to show a different way at looking at women and at the world in general.
What was your first film shoot?
Freshly graduated from the London film school, I started as an assistant camera in London for a DOP who specialized in music videos. Very cool experience.
What do you love most about directing?
Creating a original piece with a crew of talented people
What do you most hate about directing?
When people expect you to have all the answers, but I learnt to say I don’t know with no shame anymore. It loosens the pressure on myself and on the others.
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about // who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
I would start the same way, only I would try harder to show things the way I like it, without trying to please other people.
Statistics show that only 1 in 10 of the big money jobs i.e. womenswear-, beauty and perfume campaigns are shot by women. Is there just no qualified female fashion image makers out there?
There are a lot. These statistics show that things have to change and that women should be more trusted by decision makers, who sometimes happen to be women too. We need to be more united and braver!
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long in hours/days/years did it take you to make a living?
Make a living took me two years when I started but I went through long terms of unemployment along the way. This is a very tough and competitive industry. I would say that after 5 years, I got enough experience and it was very nice to feel confident in what I was doing. I allowed myself to take more risks and go further. As for becoming a master of a craft, will I ever be? I have the feeling that photography and directing is a never ending search, which makes it so fascinating and one of the reason I chose them both.
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
Who is your female fashion designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
What do say about the charge that all fashion imagery is predominantly sexist?
I agree. Models are still far too unrealistically skinny, their body language is still too fake, and forced into attitudes expressing submission to men: mouth slightly opened, body arched to highlight their bum, finger in the mouth... Even worse when they act like little girls in foolish attitudes. When I see these same attitudes in some women directors and photographers images, it makes me want to shout loud. It became so banal that we don’t even question it anymore.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect fashion image making?
Surge of feminism is omnipresent for a long time in society but it is urgent it enters fashion industry at last and for reel. I don’t see it yet
When I look at your work, my favourite is “Un certain Dimanche”. What is yours?
I like it very much too. Teenagehood is one of my favourite subjects. My last photo series with my young cousins reflects very well what it means to be a teenager girl. I could be very close to them because they know and trust me. I love the result. Teenage hoodis the time when we change from girl to women. It is a very fragile but decisive moment. Same for boys becoming men.
What was your relation to beauty/fashion prior to working in this industry? Has it changed?
A a young girl, I was fascinated and wanted to be like the women I saw in magazines. It seemed to be the best place to be. So, I went for it. Now, I want to see this world change for more authenticity and sincerity.
We should stop aiming for fake. It is as if we are scared of not being beautiful enough. And we are wrong.
What makes you feel comfortable on set?
People getting along while working together. It is very important for me to know that everybody is happy to be here, and expressing themselves the best in their own craft.
How important is your team?
That important. I love when we are able to create something together and that everybody is able to put her/his best into it.
What qualities do you value in a client?
When she or he is able to say what she/he wants as precisely as possible. It helps me a lot. If not, my job is to help them find what they want, but it gives us less time to improve.
What qualities do you value in an agent?
Availability. I hate people saying that they are always “so busy”. Either they are just showing off or suffer a lack of organisation.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given and what advice would you have wished for earlier on in your career?
Never underestimate yourself. Came from an agent Julianne Hausler in NYC. Great person.
What is your next big project or goal for your career?
A new feature film project thatI am currently writing and aiming to direct too.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to accomplish?
Keep improving to make sense with my work