Deconstructed Portraits is a portrait series that Josep Prat makes of his friends.
Spinning over you
by Josep Prat.
When Emi me called me to propose I directed Reyko’s video, I think we both had in mind a video with a strong motion graphics and illustration component. Finally, I ended not including any illustration or animation at all. And I think it’s precisely the process between these two points what made this project so special to me.
In the beginning I had considered the possibility of mixing real image with animation, more or less in a 50%-50%. But the idea of using only one of the two seemed to me more and more interesting as I started going over the proposal in my head: I thought about going from 2D to 3D and to generating “constructed illustrations” to appear alongside Soleil and Igor, the two members of Reyko, integrating them in the same composition.
Other references I used for some of the poses and shot compositions were this photograph by Josep Massana and this moment of Grace Jones’ Living My Life video, directed by Jean Paul Goude.
As for the idea and the concept, all the video is centred on one premise: placing Soleil in a totally Surrealist and labyrinthine world, where her character roams in that state of “love hypnosis” the song transmits. It’s about, thus, playing with the idea of a geometric perfection that at the same time ends up as an illusory, hypnotic and labyrinthine game. I also liked the way in which this whole universe fitted the almost whispered and dreamy tone Soleil uses to sing the song.
One of the first steps to follow was to start sketching, composing and looking for colours. It’s the usual process I always follow to create my illustrations. I also wanted to give the piece some brush strokes inspired by artists I love, like Oskar Schlemmer, Magritte, Jean-Paul Goude or several 80s artists. Taking all this as a base, Alexandra Jordana, the Art Director, started working and digging deeply in these ideas to be able to make them come true.
One of the parts I wanted to give more protagonism to were the sets that were going to hold dances. Since we had only one day to shoot, I had to select two main sets amongst the many ideas I had in mind. I ended up keeping the set with the discontinuous lines for the first part (which was like the entrance to that illusory world) and the set full of geometric figures for the second (where those lines had already gained body and soul). Apart from these two big sets, we also opted for setting up other smaller ones, like the lips or the giant pentagram ones.
When it comes to photography, responsibility of Elías M. Félix, we wanted to give the whole piece a “plastic” look, highlighting the shines and taking advantage of all the colour and texture range we had. Cris Quer, custom designer and stylist, made it very easy for us by creating different looks full of vinyl, colours and patterns that perfectly fitted the aesthetics and sets we had prepared. I loved as well being able to have Tuixén Benet as choreographer, since she perfectly integrated in the dance steps the concepts of geometry and robotic/mechanic points.
The two first images are some of the first sketches-tests I used to start working with Alexandra Jordana. After that, she made some sketches to help us visualize the design better in relation to our possibilities. The truth is that I loved them and I just couldn’t leave them out of this insight (Imágenes 3 y 4).
Despite the fact that I had directed some video pieces before, the shooting of this project was quite different. This time, we had a very tight schedule; devoting more time than we had thought to one scene meant discarding another. And for that reason I had everything studied and drawn almost second by second, as, to me, all shots were necessary.
In fact, to be able to shoot everything I wanted, we had to use two cameras, so a lot of the time we shot in parallel in two different sets and I had two monitors together, one for each camera.
For all these reasons, I can affirm that, up until now, this has been one of the projects I’ve learned the most from and I have fantastic memories of it thanks to the amazing work and dedication of the whole team.