Film Corner: Femmina Alfa

Fashion News Live’s Angie Andera sits down with producer Fernando Pipino to discuss his latest film.

Producer Fernando Pipino will be showcasing his film, “Femmina Alfa”, at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival in July.

FEATURE FILM:

Tell me a bit about the inspiration behind the film. What made you want to tell this story?

In words of Jhony Cubides, one of our directors, the inspiration came from many places. The first thing was to give the most important role to the woman, as our client´s (Gina Vargas) strength is women’s clothing. Secondly the style of this campaign looks really modern, almost futuristic, so we had to think of something that could fit inside the brand’s parameters and transgress a little bit. Feminism, sex and ‘gender domination’ is a topic that’s been around for a while and everybody can relate to that, so we took that path and I think it worked just fine.

Can you describe your favorite scene in the film and/ or your favorite memory making it?

I think the best scene is when she (Florencia Alzieu) puts our male model (Juan Cartocio) in the set so she can add it to her collection by taking his picture. Touching him gently but at the same time looking at him like a fierce wild predator looks at its helpless victim. Just that scene almost works as the perfect recap of the fashion film.

What kind of equipment did you use to make the film? 

Well we gave some thought to the equipment to use. We wanted this film to have a more cinematic style than our previous works so we finally decided to go for the Red Dragon Camera. Given our low budget, our production staff really measured up to their task. We got a slider, the car support for the camera, a steady-cam, Carl Zeiss lenses, lights, sound equipment, sets decorations, and they even made acetate cards with male models figures. The funny thing is that you can almost not see those cards—we used them in the background of the scene where she sits and enjoys her “prize” in a screen—but we thought it was a nice detail. That’s something that we like to: small imperceptible details are sometimes the difference. The client (Gina Vargas) gave us free will for this production in almost every aspect so it was great.

How long did it take to film everything?

We actually did it in just one day. It took from 9 a.m. to 3 or 4 a.m. of the next day to prepare and dismantle everything. We only stopped for lunch and dinner so it was a long and heavy day. Everybody, from assistants to models, put the best of themselves forward with a smile in their face all day long.

Where can people go to learn more about the film?

As our website (www.crestacine.com) is having some issues and its being remodel we recommend you to go to our Vimeo https://vimeo.com/crestacine to see our style and evolution. We do have to mention Jorge Velez, the other director of this fashion film, and also an important member of this crew, who decided to go back to his hometown in Colombia and is no longer with us for the moment, but who was an essential part of Cresta’s works.

What do you hope audiences take away after watching your film?

We do hope they appreciate the effort and creativity that distinguish us. Fashion films are not marketing campaigns. They are messages, concepts, and ideas in which the directors or teams and the brand campaigns work together for something in particular.

“REEL” PERSPECTIVE:

What’s harder: getting started on a film or bringing it to completion?

Getting started is the easiest part once you have a general idea of what you want to do. The hard part is painting the canvas. Once you start problems also start: equipment that doesn’t work, delays, fatigue . . . all that kind of stuff rises to the surface. Also if you are working with an associated production team you have a whole bunch of different people with a whole bunch of egos giving their point of view, so things may get heated.

What is the one mistake most filmmakers make, regardless of experience?

I think biting off more than you can chew. Sometimes, mainly when you are starting in the film business, you have to know your limitations.

How has filmmaking evolved since you first started? Any surprises?

The fashion film industry has gone wild since we started, but as long as technology keeps going forward, the filming industry will keep evolving. Surprises? You always learn things and face new problems in every production. That is the fun part of this job.

What advice do you have for any young/aspiring directors who want to get started?

Study, work, talk to people, travel, and open your mind. Give yourself more and more perspectives.

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BEHIND THE CAMERA:

When inspiration is waning, what do you do to come up with fresh and original ideas?

You tend to go to your references, art, videos, music, and photography. Try to get inspired by those things that made you do this in the first place.

What/who were some of your major influences when you first started out?

Jhony Cubides: Hitchcock and Tarantino are my references, inspirations, and guides.

Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways besides filmmaking?

Our Director Jhony Cubides is always producing new stuff recording every moment of his life and making videos of them, from his tattoos to his daughter´s birth, so, yes, he does express himself constantly and does something we really like about him.

What is your favorite part of your job? What is the most challenging part?

The best part is getting to work with amazing people. Cresta is almost a family. We are co-workers and friends at the same time. We support each other and try to maximize every aspect of ourselves. The most challenging part is not giving up. When you start it is easy to feel frustrated because sometimes you don´t get as much activity as you’d like, but that´s until the wheel starts moving.

What’s next for you? How would you like to see your career evolve?

We´d been selected for several festivals and as we think that the fashion universe is the right path for us, so we think you will be seeing more of Cresta.

What do you wake up looking forward to?

To keep creating, working, and studying. You never stop learning. The secret is to enjoy yourself in this path.

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:

Current City:

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Education:

  • Director: Jhony Cubides: Bachelor in Cinema and TV Direction and Production in Buenos Aires Comunicación (Argentina).
  • Director: Jorge Velez: Bachelor in Realización Audovisual in UNITEC (Colombia).
  • Production: Fernando Pipino: Bachelor degree in Communication in Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina) and postgrad in TV Production in Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain).
  • Production: Ruben Jorgi: Bachelor in TV Production in TEA (Argentina).

3-5 most important skills needed to be a filmmaker:

Creativity, patience, leadership and most important: teamwork.

My top 3-5 favorite films are:

Mine are Star Wars of course, The Godfather, Inception, Saving Private Ryan, and Rocky. Our director Jhony has a different taste so he chose Strangers on a Train, 8 1/2, Hotel Budapest, and Inglorious Bastards.

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