Direct this: Vulture talks to Ivana Bobic
Director Ivana Bobic is set to release her latest short film In The Night in the wake of the 10th London Short Film Festival. Vulture chats with Ivana about literary lingerie models and her work with artists S.C.U.M, The Jezabels and Stella McCartney.
VM: Ivana, you have a background in fashion and illustration. What made you interested in directing?
IB: There’s nothing quite like it, it’s such an immersive experience to watch a film. I love that you can create a whole world with picture and sound and take people on an adventure. Making films is chaotic and risky but the chance to tell stories, work with talented people and travel the world is amazing. It’s a total dream job for me.
VM: You’ve directed three short films so far, Frankie Teardrop (2009), The Priest (2009) and your latest In the Night which screened at the 10th London Short Film Festival, NewFilmmakers LA, Palm Beach International Film Festival and won runner-up prize for Best Drama 2013 at The Lab Film Festival. Was it a conscious decision to wait five years to direct another short?
IB: Between Frankie and In the Night I worked mostly with Stella McCartney. We made tons of films together and it was a really exciting time. I was shooting constantly so it was a great chance to develop and learn about fashion. There’s a very intuitive, fine art in visualising a brand.
I got the thirst to get back into fiction again so that’s how In the Night got started. In fact, Danijela Dimitrovska who starred in the film was one of the models I worked with at Stella McCartney, so the two worlds really collided.
VM: In your video for Stella McCartney’s Lingerie AW2010 Collection, you film the model reading ‘The Great Gatsby’ (F. Scott Fitzgerald). Do you take a lot of inspiration from literature?
IB: Kim Noorda (the model) picked it out from a pile of books, so that’s all her! Of course, literature is an amazing source of inspiration. Reading is like directing in your head.
VA: You recently directed the video for The Jezabels’ latest single, ‘The End’. How did you get to know the band?
IB: I met Hayley Mary at a friend’s party. A lot of Mezcal and talking went down. The Jezabels were just about to record their album so it was great to talk ideas from such an early point.
VM: What was your inspiration for the escapist plot line of the video?
IB: I talked to Hayley in general about our work being soft on the outside but secretly dark and tough underneath. So when they got in touch about the video, we wanted to do something that had that double-edged feel.
I was thinking about famous movie endings. We all know how things are supposed to end: the bad guy gets caught, the femme fatale dies a horrible death, the guy gets the girl etc … But every now and then, there’s a twist. This was all about a girl and boy being in an unlikely situation and helping each other out. My inspiration was somewhere between Buffalo 66 and Enter the Void.
VM: Whereabouts was the video shot? We would love to know which city skyline and/or rooftop we’re looking at.
IB: We shot in London but I wanted it to have the universal feel to it. The skyline was in East London where you get to see the whole of the city. The wind effect was for real!
VM: Who played the hold up maestros in the video?
IB: Matthew Vant. He was street cast and had done some acting before. He really got into the stick up scene and even ate a hot dog without telling us he was vegetarian. Nutter.
VM: This isn’t the first music video you’ve directed. You have a longstanding creative relationship with the London based group S.C.U.M. How and when did you meet each other?
IB: I met S.C.U.M when they had just started. They were really young but made this mad, loud noise that blew my mind. Their manager Sean McLusky was really into the idea of live visuals and got me on board. We experimented and rehearsed non-stop and went to some awesome places together. My favourite show was in Paris.
VM: Can you tell us a bit about your latest short film In The Night?
IB: In the Night was a short film about a sleepless Serbian girl and an unlikely encounter in the city. I wanted to explore the strange place between dream and reality and make something that was a physical experience to watch. Films are so close to dreams that there’s a lot of scope to play with fragmented, cryptic narratives.
VM: In The Night was shot on location in Belgrade, Serbia. What made you choose Belgrade?
IB: I was born in Belgrade and had always wanted to make a film there. It’s a beautiful place that I had never completely figured out, since we moved to England when I was really young. I was lucky to work with some brilliant creative people so I hope to go back again.
VM: Do you plan on working with The Jezabels or any other Australian artists in the future?
IB: I would love to work with The Jezabels again! They were really cool and trusting and we had a great time making the film. I’d love to make a super psychedelic video for Tame Impala … my friend Leif Podhajsky did their album covers so I know their aesthetic is super daring. I also think it would be cool to work with Cloud Control.