Ann Street Studio walk us through the House of Secrets
The inventors of Cinemagraph, Ann Street Studio‘s Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg are the highly sought-after exponents of a dreamy, magical photographic vision, thoroughly modern yet tinged with nostalgia. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes Q&A session, they lift the veil on their creative process, their special relationship with Chopard, and share details on the making of House of Secrets.
How did you come to work with Chopard on House of Secrets?
J: Our intimate relationship with Chopard has developed over a long period of time where we have been able to become a part of the brand and live and breathe what they believe in, from the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival to the diamonds adorning Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars. We have walked through their Manufacture in Geneva and seen the incredible artistry put into each one of their pieces. We wanted to create something as special and meaningful for the brand to mirror the quality we had discovered. We took this intimate tie to cinema as inspiration and decided the Cinemagraph story we wanted to create for this legendary house should be cinematic in nature, should tell more of a story than beautiful diamonds and timepieces: it should be a glimpse into another world, a House of Secrets.
K: It started through an introduction in Paris almost two years ago with the idea to create something together. We saw how film is such a key part of Chopard’s world and we knew we could bring our own cinema-inspired vision to life in that world.
What was it like working with Chopard?
J: Working with Chopard was like living in a beautiful castle. Everything sparkles, from the jewelry to the events and the people within the company. They took us into their magical world and taught us how luxury and glamour can exist everyday and then gave us the creative freedom to bring to life our vision for an exclusive Cinemagraph series inspired by this great brand.
K: Chopard has taken us from Geneva, to Cannes, the Oscars, all the way up to 63rd Street in Manhattan, and finally to a legendary estate on Long Island where we shot Chopard Secrets. It’s been a lovely experience to live and breathe that world.
Cinemagraphs: what do they mean to you personally?
J: Cinemagraphs to me are living photographs, a moment in time that can actually breathe, allowing your senses to experience and delight in the small instances that make up our lives.
K: A Cinemagraph is a challenge to create something that is visually striking with the added depth of time. It’s seeing life in a way you can’t see through other mediums.
How are they created, how do you get inspired to create them?
J: More and more we look to movies as inspiration for cinemagraphs, to think in terms of “cinematic moments” rather than photographic ones. The deeper we go into this new art form we created almost 4 years ago, the richer we want the scenes, the more depth we look for in the emotion conveyed, or shall I say, trapped. Other times you just look around at the beauty in the world we live in and find subtle ways to mark this era of life, if it’s the rain falling over a cityscape in Paris or friends over for a summer dinner party.
K: We capture a moving image and then isolate which areas of movement we want to keep in order to draw the viewer’s attention to that, or tell an added story. We’re inspired by everything from classic paintings, photography, TV and movies.
What was your favorite jewel in the collections presented in “House of Secrets”? How would you wear it and for what occasion?
J: I love Chopard’s timepieces, I think they are so very elegant. For Lady Argyle we had her in the Chopard IMPERIALE gold watch which, to me, shows a refined and confident woman. I also love wearing men’s pieces, and I found Chopard’s Classic timepiece to be perfect in its simplicity and elegance. I would wear that piece as an everyday staple.
K: Everything about the racing collection speaks to me. I love the look and inspiration, and the character, IMPERIALE, who is based on that collection was the most fun to create and envision. I was also so pleased on set when the actor who played him got very deep into character and had the entire crew in hysterics!
Do you have a jewel secret?
J: I think we all have secrets, but if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore….
K: To me, jewels have their own secrets, from their earthly origins to the people who possessed them before you. An object can carry the resonance and memory through generations.