Alexan Sarikamichian: Some Kind Of Fantasy Story
Artist Alexan Sarikamichian
Words Christian Ruess
Alexan Sarikamichian, born and raised in Argentina, began his career as a producer with more than 10 short films which got nominated in The Cannes Film Festival. He also produced feature films that had global recognition and gave him the opportunity to attend San Sebastian Festival. In music he found the possibility to produce video clips for a bunch of artists and in 2016 he started his career as a director. We had a little chat with Alexan. Oh, and our LOVE OF THE MONTH is always be found on our main page.
Tell us about COSMOS as a director, and how did you come up with that mixture between Fashion Film and videoclip?
COSMOS for me is special because it was filmed in a beloved place, Chivilcoy, a place where I used to spend my summers during my childhood. It is a memory I have really stuck to my grandmother’s love LALA, and the video is dedicated to her.
I wanted to film something that is visually beautiful. I approached fashion filming, because I worked a lot in video art, in the colors and costumes and I chose two models as actors. I have fun making videoclips and I feel i can really show my stuff in a very free way. On the other hand, if had done a short film, it would have taken me much more time and that was something I didn’t have, and i also think that some natural things you can accomplish in videoclips may not happen in a short films.
The format combination gave me the opportunity to do a project in a short and fast time because I wanted to show my premiere as a director.
What were the difficulties you had when filming?
As we were mostly outdoors and in a natural area, we were relying on the weather. Two days before shooting it rained a lot and we had to cancel. That was a big problem becuase the roads were very wet and muddy and we had to wait till it was dry again. I started looking for replacements and postponed everything for a week. Luckily everything went back to normal and I could work with the original actors, enjoying what we were doing during a lovely day. Contact with nature and the good energy the group had helped as well.
In COSMOS there is a magnificent photography work, do you get involved much in these aspects?
I do not have much technical knowledge, to me this means directing is a trial and error test myself, I produce, and we are a very small team. I work a lot with the director of photography, in this case Sebastian Ferrari understands the colors, framing and the story I want to tell.
I tried to make the colors work, and I realised it was completely different from what I had imagined and I had to do it all over again, but at the time of the shooting, I received Sebastian’s help, who has a similar view to my style, and we managed to get what I really wanted, he is a very talented person.
How was Cosmos financed?
In cosmos I requested the collaboration of the Department of Culture from Chivlicoy, Adrian Vila, is the manager at this time, I did it in a very short notice, but they were very helpful.
As I have some family in chivilcoy I received great support from them, they gave us a place to stay and even prepared a barbacue for the whole team!
What was the trigger to tell the story of three teenagers?
I was inspired by love, and I wanted to show something young, some kind of fantasy story. When I wrote the script I already had a lot of written scenes, but I knew some would be left out when shooting. Others scenes were transformed, because I believe there is something special at the present time when you shoot a scene.
It was a little bit of an improvisation work; I could see how the actors interacted with each other and the way the story started to flow. Some things we discussed with all the actors, for example: the characters attitude and the profiles they should have.
It was a very small team: one costume designer, the photograpy directorand two production assistants who took turns, plus the actors.
What aesthetic references inspired you?
I get inspire a lot in fashion, that’s why I chose to work with models such as Alex and Nicolas Lorenzon Ferrario and Stefania Koessl who worked in “El Clan” and I think she is lovely.
I get inspired by people and filming outdoors. They had a very strong look. When I met Alex I realized that he was special, he was one of the main motivations of the video. I thought he was like an angel and his charisma was beyond physical beauty.
Choosing the costumes was also a great inspiration to work with the fashion of the video, I chose special colors to go with the characters and with each of the locations and moments the actors were going through. As there was no dialogue, everything had to be visually striking to provide the image with more value than the soundtrack.
I really pay attention to the details. I received some comments that the videoclip had an aesthetic reference to “Los Amores Imaginarios” by Xavier Dolan. I saw his film a long time ago, as well as “Mommy”, and I found them amazing.