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Photographer Erin Simkin shares her own ‘visual’ Narrative

Erin
Erin Simkin

For Erin Simkin, the journey began eight years ago.

“Color, location and people are what drive me to create,” she said.

And create she has.

The impeccably talented photographer from Vancouver has maneuvered the trenches of action filmmaking with Dominic Purcell, Stephen Lang and Danny Glover. She’s been on set in the depths of an abandoned subway station in search of paranormal sightings with Rose McGowan and Christopher Lloyd. She’s shot for leading magazines and brands such as Toronto Life, En Route, The Grid, Peroni, Grolsch and Sephora.

Simkin’s vast list of achievements have propelled her to the top of the photography industry. Her creative and technically versed work has refined qualities and characteristics that rope in viewers time and time again.

Whether on-set photography used for film marketing and P&A, portraiture, lookbooks, editorials or branded imagery, Simkin drives her craft forward with a photographic passion that reveals itself in each and every image she captures.

“My style is very clean, colorful, bright and with an air-like openness,” she said. “I’m very much inspired by natural light, as I feel there is an inherent beauty to it that artificial lighting can’t quite match without a lot of work. I love exploring new places, meeting new people, and capturing and combining all of that in one image in order to tell a visual narrative.”

With color as the catalyst driving her vision, Simkin’s images embody texture and a dynamic use of interesting spaces. She’s most recently shot for the films “Lower Bay” (with McGowan and Lloyd) “Gridlocked” (with Purcell, Lang and Glover) and writer-director Joey Klein’s romantic drama, “The Other Half.”

“There are always great locations that we get to shoot in, amazing costumes and beautiful lighting to tell the story of the characters,” said Simkin, who shoots primarily with the Canon 5D Mark III. “I love photographing people. Each person has such a different history and tells their own story through their facial expressions, their style, hands, their energy and I love being able to document them in their world and in their work.”

Applying the same approach, Simkin photographed for the feature film, “Mean Dreams.” Due out later this year and directed by Nathan Morlando, it stars “The Book Thief” Sophie Nelisse, Josh Wiggins (“Max”) and Golden Globe nominee Bill Paxton, of “Titanic,” “Apollo 13” and “Aliens” fame. According to Variety, Paxton plays a corrupt cop and Nelisse stars in the role of his daughter. After stealing drug money from her father, Nelisse goes on the run with Wiggins’ character.

Filming commenced in Sault Saint Marie and Simkin said, “The pure beauty of the landscape and light paired with the incredibly talented actors all combined seamlessly into such beautiful imagery.”

“Mean Dreams” features the work of cinematographer Steve Cosens, a five-time Gemini Award nominee who won a Leo for his cinematography in Keith Behrman’s “Flower and Garnet.” With “Mean Dreams,” Cosens shot using ambient lighting, which provided a challenge for Simkin to match her still camera shots with that of the motion picture camera.

Simkin shot for the film using a lower shutter speed equipped to capture images in low light scenarios. “The resulting images I was able to capture was worth the challenge of shooting in low light constantly,” she said. “The photos I was able to get while working on the film were extremely poetic and it allowed us to capture the delicate and subtle natural light working that far up north.”

For TV, Simkin shot for the CBC’s “Baroness Von Sketch Show,” a new comedy due out this summer. She was hired to shoot set stills and create key art for advertising the show.

“The cast of incredibly funny and talented women made this project so enjoyable,” she said. “We went for a “Vanity Fair” Hollywood style gallery shoot and both the cast and the producers loved the final images. We had so much fun creating the style of the gallery shoot, yet I still made sure to stay true to the characters and the visual tone and style of the show with its various sketches and characters that our cast played.”

Simkin worked again in the comedy genre in writer-director Matt Sadowski’s 2014 romantic comedy feature, “Pretend We’re Kissing,” that starred Dov Tiefenbach, Tommie-Amber Pirie and Zoe Kravitz. With a huge filmmaking presence in Toronto, the tax-friendly filming location is often used as a simulated location rather than as its own true setting. The Canadian theme resonated with Simkin, who currently resides and works in Toronto.

“I got to work with some amazing actors on a really fun film that heavily featured Toronto actually as Toronto,” Simkin said. “Many native Torontonians commented on how they had been living here for x number of years and they’ve never seen Toronto shot the way that we showed them, which was exciting because it meant that we were able to show a new side to the city which is relevant to the story as the main character [Tiefenbach] falls in love and then views the city in a different way. Working with Zoe Kravitz was a real pleasure, as she was so driven and fun to work with as her character was an extremely memorable one.”

Simkin’s photographic journey has included her work for Lindsay Mackay’s family drama, “Wet Bum” (also known as “Surfacing”), that received seven international award nominations. She also worked as photographer for the documentary, “Sweet Daddy Siki,” which covers the life and times of Siki, one of the first African-American pro wrestlers.

“I had the chance to visit with Sweet Daddy Siki for a few hours in his home and was asked to photograph his story, his history, and take his portrait. He was so gracious and open to anything, including putting on his old wrestling costumes, which added so much to the portrait that we took,” said Simkin. “I felt like I was opening up a time capsule and meeting an icon.”

Simkin credits her mentors in the still photography world including Kimberley French (“The Revenant,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Brokeback Mountain”) and Cate Cameron (“Arrow,” “Bates Motel,” “The 100”). “Their help and advice and support have been invaluable,” she said.

While also a long-established portrait photographer, Simkin worked with Elle Ziegler of Blissful Back, a Toronto-based retailer of yoga and meditation support accessories and contoured pillows.

“We have a family business and needed our images to tell the story of my father and I’s amazing relationship, and the uniqueness of our father-daughter business,” said Ziegler. “Erin’s best quality is her ability to tell a story though her lens. She captures vulnerability and honesty in her portraits by making people feel completely open and comfortable in front of the camera. She made decisions based on the locations, sunlight, shadows, props and backgrounds – things that we never could have predicted and things that I didn’t even notice – that resulted in stunning images.”

Talia Chai, founder of Talia Chai Wellness, echoed similar sentiments. Simkin shot portrait, lifestyle and blog photos for Chai’s wellness brand. The shoot featured a combination of people and interior spaces.

“I think Erin has a fine-tuned, expert eye when it comes to photography,” Chai said. “She multitasked effortlessly, working the lights, me, props and of course the camera all at once. She was in complete control of her environment and knew exactly how to take advantage of natural elements already found in the space. She has an incredible eye for detail, lighting, color, shadow and uses these elements both strategically and intuitively to create absolutely stunning images that stand out.”

Simkin’s other photography experience includes her shooting key art for Brendan Canning’s new forthcoming album, for a Samsung Vue social media campaign and boardroom wall photography for Accelerated Connections Inc. She’s shot at events for the Toronto International Film Festival and Russell Peters Live at the ACC, as well as for the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Peroni, Samsung, GAP, Scotia Bank, Women of Influence, Women of Action, the Jewish National Fund, Sharp Magazine, Flare Magazine, Canadian Cinematographer and more.

For more information, visit: www.erinsimkin.com

 

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‘The Most Dangerous Women in Hollywood’ is a Virtual Reality Production that will Transport Viewers to the Next Level

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Virtual Reality Group MightyVR, Momentum Entertainment and Sports Network, Interpix, Inc. and Replay Collective are pleased to announce the production of “The Most Dangerous Women in Hollywood,” an unprecedented 360 degree virtual reality movie and game series.

Viewers journey on a fully immersive experience by wearing a headset that allows the virtual reality experience of trying out jets, sports cars and choosing one of “The Most Dangerous Women in Hollywood” to join up with and get away from the bad guys. Headset options range from high end models such as the Oculus to a $20 Google Cardboard set.

“We believe the entertainment industry is on the verge on a complete shift in media consumption because of virtual reality and, soon, augmented reality,” said Replay Collective producer Siddharth Ganji. “As storytellers, we are always looking at how technology will shape storytelling, and there is no doubt that VR is the next big evolution in this arena.”

The exciting new project is dedicated to all of the daring stunt actresses who provide audiences with an array of thrills including flying military planes, racing sports cars and more.

Dallas Santana is directing the project, which is scheduling to film this month in Las Vegas. He is the creator, director and producer of “Destination X Hawaii,” “Destination X California” and “Destination X Puerto Rico.”

Starring in “The Most Dangerous Women in Hollywood” are the selectable and delectable Olga Safari, a model and actress known for her role in Thomas J. Churchill’s “Check Point,” Jennifer Irene Gonzalez, an FHM cover girl and former Miss Taiwan, Tara Rice, a model and actress who has appeared in “Piranha 3D,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and “Entourage,” and Michelle Watterson, a leading MMA fighter and model.

Producing the project along with Ganji are Replay Collective’s achieved line producer Varun Verma and producer Raghav Murali. Replay Collective produces engagement-driven content and is known for producing viral YouTube videos for artists such as Trisha Paytas and Ricky Dillon.

“With MightyVR, we are working on an action-oriented, interactive short. You choose a character and make consecutive decisions in an effort to “stay alive,’” Verma said.

Murali explained, “Virtual reality takes consumer engagement to the next level. Rather than just feel involved, consumers can in essence attend events minus their actual physical presence.”

In tandem with the movie and game series, the new initiative includes a 360 degree video, an HD short video, a companion picture book and e-book.

“The Most Dangerous Women in Hollywood” will be released on MightyVR’s distribution platform as an app that may be purchased. It will be also be available online, for smartphones and its book releases will be sold by Amazon.com and Borders.com.

Filming VR of course requires a specialized approach to production. The end result is a product that is entirely VR. “We have a special GoPro rig provided by MightyVR that we will be using. It’s an interesting approach to production where we have to pre-light everything in such a way that we don’t see any stands or lights,” said Ganji. “When the shooting takes place, everyone needs to disappear from set, and it will only be the performing talent performing the action.”

Murali noted that most virtual reality camera rigs are created using multiple cameras such as the GoPro, which are fitted and film in a way where images overlap. “The stitching of these images creates the three dimensional 360-degree effect,” he said. “Most VR software requires the stitching to be done in post, but there is also software being developed that allows real time stitching, enabling filmmakers to watch their content in real-time.

A VR-focused, immersive production means there is no fourth wall to hide behind during filming. “No crew or equipment should be seen by the camera. This requires lots of rehearsal and planning, making it a rather different experience to traditional filmmaking,” said Verma.

Ganji, from Mumbai, India, sees this dynamic new technology as having many valuable, inventive uses. “A strong benchmark for what is coming is to look at the video game industry and how immersive and interactive those games/worlds have become,” he said. “On the flip side, I have a 79 year-old grandmother who has never visited me in the U.S., and probably won’t be able to because of health issues. I’d love to be able to visit her, pull out my phone and let her experience her own journey of wonderment as she literally walks down the Santa Monica beach. The possibilities for technology are so vast, but what this boils down to is finding a human connection to the content.”

That human connection could also expand to immersive training materials for a variety of industries.

Said Ganjji, “Imagine you’re a newly-hired electrician and your company is training you. I see VR eventually entering into entirely non-entertainment related industries as a tool for training. Look at how many companies are gamifying their businesses now to increase employee productivity. VR completely aligns with that goal, and, I believe, will have huge market potential for hiring and attracting young generations.”

The technology is also one that presents an alternative to 3D. “I think VR is next level 3D,” Murali said. “Rather than simply being shown a world from one perspective in 3D, one gets to experience the VR world in full 3D.”

For more information, visit:

http://www.mightyvr.com and http://www.replaycollective.com

 

Stunt Performer and Actor Carson Manning Attaches to Superhero Film ‘Time Man’

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Stunt performer and actor Carson Manning, who has daringly delivered stunts for more than 70 different film and TV titles such as the highly anticipated “Suicide Squad,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and FX’s “The Strain,” has attached to play the leading role of Michael in “Time Man,” an exciting upcoming feature film written and directed by Travis Grant. 

Now in development, “Time Man,” will take place in a present day, urban New York City or Chicago-type city setting. The drama-filled, action feature film will tell the tale of a middle-aged, disgraced superhero named Michael, who is looking to redeem his name. Similar to many superheroes, Michael does have an expected heroic ability, however, the nature of his is presently under wraps. 

No stranger to action, Manning has employed his expert stunt work in recent releases such as Henry Nader’s “Shoot the Messenger,” Allan Ungar’s “Gridlocked,” Columbia Pictures’ “Pixels” and “RoboCop” (2014) and Sony’s “Pompeii.” His stunt performing and utility stunts for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” led to a 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble. 

Manning’s acted in Fox’s “X-Men” in 2000, in Universal’s Oscar-nominated “The Hurricane” starring Denzel Washington and he performed stunts for New Line Cinema’s “Shoot ‘Em Up” starring Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. 

After reading the script for “Time Man,” Manning immediately knew he wanted to be a part of this high-concept, highly original superhero story. “The character Michael is multi-dimensional,” Manning said. “At the beginning of it, you can’t figure out who this guy is. I had already done all of the superhero films and thought ‘Wow, this is really different.’ The writing and the scenes were so compelling.” 

Standing apart from the formula of superhero studio films, Grant, who is previously known for known for “Nick Ryan,” “Maybe Tomorrow” and “Paper Trail,” meticulously worked to create an original superhero story. 

“I loved superheroes when I was a kid. When I first sat down with this, I felt like there was a bit of a hole. They’ve [the studios] glossed over character moments. They’re trying to make a big budget tent pole film,” said Grant, of his initial ideation regarding filling a gap in the current marketplace among superhero movies. “There are other superheroes you can explore that aren’t DC or Marvel properties.” 

From this inspiration, Grant created “Time Man,” who is known as Michael in the story’s opening. On the character himself, Grant said, “He was looked up to as a shining beacon for the city. He became obsessed with one bad guy he couldn’t catch. He made a poor decision and that cost him everything – his powers, friends and family. He became a loner, about as far as rock bottom as you can get.”

The film will contain flashbacks, ultimately telling two stories at once. “‘You’re kind of seeing who he [Michael] became and also his fall. It’s reverse arcs at the same time. They converge at one pivotal scene at the very end,” Grant revealed. 

The audience will find that the villain will play a very important role, as Grant also noted the character is integral to Michael getting back on his feet. Furthermore, alongside Manning, actor Ryan Barton (“Co-Ed”, “Owl River Runners” and “Nick Ryan”) has been cast. 

Manning’s vastly impressive achievements as a stunt performer and actor have spanned nearly three decades and dozens of distinguished productions. Due to his wide-spanning, world-class experience in filming stunts, Manning is a person who can make judgment calls concerning safety, and recommendations pertaining to what realistically can and cannot be done budget wise. 

In addition to starring in “Time Man,” Manning will also be coordinating and performing his own stunts, too. “To me, having an actor who is able to do all or most of their stunts is invaluable,” Grant said when describing Manning’s type of talent. “You’re not limited as to how you can shoot the scene. You can tell a story within the fight.” 

Manning’s tour de force stunt performing and acting has also been engaged in many acclaimed TV series that have had international viewership. He acted in all three parts of ABC’s Primetime Emmy winning “Storm of the Century,” which was a miniseries event from writer Stephen King. Manning performed stunts for seven episodes of the Gemini Award winning action adventure series, “Mutant X,” six episodes of Syfy’s hit series, “Alphas” and for three episodes of The CW’s Primetime Emmy nominated “Nikita.” 

Last year, Manning’s stunt performing was seen in Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain,” The CW’s “Beauty and the Beast,” Syfy’s Primetime Emmy nominated “Defiance” and “12 Monkeys,” Global Television’s “Remedy” and the History Channel’s “Gangland Undercover.” 

The action-packed, feature film “Time Man” will allow Manning to utilize both of his specialties at once as he delves into the mindset of his new role as Michael. “Time Man” is projecting to shoot this year and release in 2017. 

For more information, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0543248/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 and 
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3807026/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2

Dynamic Australian Actress Delivered ‘a significant amount of drama’ on the Venerable soap opera ‘Home and Away’

Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015
Jessie McLachlan

Arriving as one of today’s finest actresses, Jessie McLachlan has delivered outstanding character portrayals in film and television over the last decade. The Australian native played Anna in Tom Simes’ feature drama, “Run, Broken Yet Brave” and Rachel in the FilmOut Festival Award winning feature drama, “Newcastle,” written and directed by Dan Castle.

She starred as Monica in Antonio Oreña-Barlin’s short drama, “Suburbia,” that was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award, and has dispatched her talents to TV including in Village Roadshow’s reality series “The Shire,” 7 Network’s (Australia) 13-time award-winning comedy drama “Packed to the Rafters” and Nickelodeon’s 12-time award-winning family drama, “Dance Academy.”

Chief among McLachlan’s flourishing acting career was her 27-episode recurring performance as Samantha Braxton on 7 Network’s romantic drama, “Home and Away.” Created by Alan Bateman, the series has collected more than 40 awards and has broadcast since 1988.

“I’m really proud I got to be a part of it, in some way,” McLachlan said. “I’m proud of the Australian industry, and it is a testament that a show has been running for so long.”

“Home and Away” follows the lives, loves and heartbreaks within the fictitious coastal town of Summer Bay, in New South Wales, Australia.

The role challenged McLachlan to carry out the antagonistic, Samantha, who was a troubled member of one of Summer Bay’s surfing gangs. An aggressor, Samantha was a character best known for creating conflict, and one opposite of McLachlan’s own persona.

“It is the beauty of acting morphing into a completely different person, whom is definitely not like myself,” said McLachlan. “It is always a challenge playing a character whom is a complete opposite to you, and the way in which you conduct yourself in life. I always like to reflect on a personal experience, and encapsulate that raw emotion and feeling I had and use it in a performance to make it as authentic as I can, but with this character I was very challenged in the beginning in learning to be angry at everything and everyone.”

Starring as Samantha in the series from 2010-2011, McLachlan said of the character, “It is hard enough to be a teenager now days let alone have hardship or social issue’s amongst your family to overcome. I think at heart she is good, but when your family has a blurred line between what is right and wrong, she was easily influenced.”

Australian Actress Christina Collard (“Dracula: The Impaler,” “The Girl’s Guide to Depravity”) recognized McLachlan’s dynamic acting in “Home and Away.”

“The role required an incredibly dynamic actress, as Samantha’s presence and demeanor caused a significant amount of drama throughout Jessie’s time as a leading actress on the series,” she said. “Her presence was felt in scenes that she did not even appear in, which is a huge accomplishment that further evidences Jessie’s many talents as an actress. Her character was the talk among critics and dedicated viewers alike, and has been hailed as one of the more memorable characters in the recent history of this long running series.”

“Home and Away” currently is the second longest running dramatic series in Australian television history. Sold to more than 80 countries, it has drawn huge audiences in locations such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand. The show is the most successful program in Logie Award history.

Of her favorite single portrayal, McLachlan says, “The first episode of a new season will always be my favorite of any show. It is when some questions that I’ve waited for a few months are finally answered, but also then all these new story lines are revealed, and the show becomes so juicy and the curiosity makes you tune in or binge watch it.”

Developing her talent early in life, McLachlan started speech and theatre lessons and became a National Irish Dancer when she was just 7 years old. “Every time I performed, from an audition or in front of my Grandma, it gave me a sense of euphoria, a high but a certainty feeling.”

Her talent and passion for performing hasn’t gone unnoticed in the industry as McLachlan went on to work for shows televised by MTV, ABC and Australia’s 9 Network. A do-it-all talent, McLachlan also was signed as a singer/songwriter to Island Def Jam.

She’s trained at the renowned Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler acting institutions in New York and Los Angeles, and studies the craft with the acclaimed acting coach Michelle Danner, who has worked with many A-list talents such as Chris Rock, Gerard Butler, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Rodriguez and more.

For more information, visit: http://jessiemclachlan.com and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6682925/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

 

 

 

 

 

Australian-Based Stylist Cat Sherwin Makes-Up Contestants for ‘The Celebrity Apprentice Australia’ and ‘The Voice’

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Cat Sherwin

Australian-based makeup artist and hairstylist, Cat Sherwin, has established herself as an invaluable styling asset to several contestants of the hit television shows “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia” and “The Voice” over a course of multiple seasons.

Originally from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, Sherwin has been recognized as an accomplished artist in the entertainment industry for over eleven years. Her work as a makeup artist and hairstylist spans numerous platforms, encompassing everything from film and television programs to live, red carpet events. Sherwin has made-up both reoccurring and guest talent appearing on “Sunrise,” “The Morning Show” and “ABC News,” and has obtained a lengthy framework of experience with distinguished networks such as ABC, Foxtel, Channel 7, and Fox Sports.

Sherwin’s involvement with Fremantle’s “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia” began back in 2011 where she worked as a freelancer/contractor on contestants appearing on Season 1 of the series. Based on “NBC: The Apprentice,” “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia” features host and CEO Mark Bouris and a remarkable cast of celebrities, all competing for their favorite charities.

“Working on a show that is being produced for the benefit of charities is enormously fulfilling, as you really feel that everyone is ultimately working together as a team, from celebrities through to production, to produce something that has a real tangible result and that makes a difference,” Sherwin said.

In addition to Season 1, Sherwin has also been a part of Seasons 2 and 3 of “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia,” working various episodes and with a wide range of contestants as well as other stylists. Regarding all involved, Sherwin commented, “[It was] great meeting so many different people and personalities from different backgrounds. There was a great sense of team spirit when working alongside other makeup artists.”

Behind the scenes, the show was known for its spontaneity, resulting in extremely early call times and frequent, last minute scheduling changes. Call times and locations for the following day were often not released until quite late at night the evening before, however for Sherwin this regimen, “Felt exciting. [She] felt part of the celebrities’ adventure.”

Over the span of these three seasons, Sherwin styled a number of famed celebrities. Some of the participators Sherwin worked with in Season 1, consisted of Jesinta Campbell (Miss Universe Australia 2010), former competition swimmer Lisa Curry, Didier Cohen (“America’s Next Top Model”), celebrity publicist Max Markson, and Australian politician Pauline Hanson. For the duration of Season 2, Sherwin had the pleasure of styling professional boxer and water skiing champion Lauryn Eagle, Charlotte Dawson (“America’s Next Top Model”), former football player Jason Akermanis, Nathan Joliffe (“The Amazing Race Australia”), comic Vince Sorrenti, and David Hasselhoff (“Knight Rider” and “Baywatch”), to name a few. Starring on Season 3 of “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia,” Sherwin correspondingly worked with Kym Johnson (“Good Morning America,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Entertainment Tonight”), Prue MacSween (“Weekend Sunrise” and “Australia’s Next Top Model”), competitive swimmer Stephanie Rice, Rob Mills (“Australian Idol”), and musician Brian Mannix, among others.

“The Celebrity Apprentice Australia” contains a segment of the show called ‘the boardroom,’ where meetings among candidates take place in a series of what usually consists of three stages. In the boardroom, the host and his advisors debrief the contestants, who are separated into teams, the winning team ultimately prized with a reward while the losing team endures an elimination.

When asked to detail some of her favorite memories thus far, Sherwin answered, “Getting the contestants ready for the boardroom as the show progressed. Everyone got closer as time went on, and you really felt his or her crusade and tension and wanted them all to win. You really felt like you were living and breathing the excitement and anticipation with them.”

Regarding her styling techniques in specific when it came to readying the stars for the boardroom, Sherwin explained that, “The looks were much more glamorous.” In one of the episodes, Eagle had a 1950’s-inspired waved hair look. “Ensuring the celebrity looked fabulous and felt confident was really important in helping someone get ready to state their case,” Sherwin stated.

Due to many different challenges within the competitive program that required completion, the show often moved locations, allowing Sherwin the opportunity to create distinctive styles and looks. Furthermore, on challenge days, she had to, “Consider environments, locations and weather when creating a look to ensure that said look would look real and simple and hold up during a long day, whilst not hindering the celebrity and at the same time, making them feel great,” said Sherwin.

Similar to her work with a diverse group of celebs on “Celebrity Apprentice Australia,” Sherwin has provided makeup artistry and hair styling for an innumerable amount of competitors on Shine’s award winning series “The Voice,” an Australian reality show based on the original Dutch talent singing competition. During Sherwin’s tenure, “The Voice” was hosted by Darren McMullen. The show contains a structure of three competitive phases: blind auditions, battle rounds and live performance shows, where the ultimate winner receives a recording contract with Universal Music.

“It was really exciting to be part of an artists’ journey in pursuing their dream,” Sherwin said. “As the show progressed, how we styled them according to themed weeks and alongside wardrobe directly affected the overall appearance of how the public saw the artist.”

The different rounds allowed Sherwin to really showcase her unique talents as a makeup artist and hairstylist. “It was fabulous to be able to create some really adventurous and eye catching looks. As a performer, you need to stand out on stage, so the makeup can be much bolder and braver [on “The Voice”] than say a lifestyle commercial. Often on commercials and television you have to create something within a set of quite tight parameters. “The Voice” felt much freer and unrestricted, with opportunity to be really creative and incorporate the latest fashion looks into someone’s personality and style on stage,” Sherwin noted.

With television being such the visual medium that it is, while each singer ultimate stood out based on his or her vocal talent, the intricate work of the entire creative process mattered. Observing this process, Sherwin said, “Everything from staging, lighting and costumes to hair and makeup really helps add the XXX wow factor.” While the work of a stylist can tie together a performance, effectively bringing all of the pieces of the process together is what, “Ultimately will help a new star shine,” said Sherwin.

At times, styling was a team effort. On a number of occasions, Sherwin styled “The Voice” Season 1 winner Karise Eden and Finalist Darren Percival, among others. “It was great seeing Karise’s confidence build throughout the show,” Sherwin said. “All artists started with their own look, which was often quite low key. We worked to build and evolve this into something with more mega wattage, whilst also retaining their own sense of unique style. As confidence flourished, so did the style – it was beautiful to watch.”

Much alike the boardroom of “The Celebrity Apprentice Australia,” Sherwin fondly remembered styling contestants for the final battle rounds of “The Voice.” The battle rounds are considered the second stage of the competition, where coaches instruct two of their teammates to battle one another by way of singing the same song simultaneously.

“There was so much energy and excitement around them [the battle rounds]. Nobody had anticipated quite how much the first season would take off in Australia and all the excitement around it. It was really quite electric,” Sherwin reminisced.

Moreover, Sherwin recalled witnessing moments of impromptu singing from talent. “I remember watching one of the judge’s coaching sessions with Delta Goodrem, and hearing her burst out spontaneously into song, with no background music, no aid. It was really beautiful – she has such an amazing talent, to hear her voice in the raw was breathtaking,” said Sherwin.

After her miraculous work on “The Voice,” contestants continued to book Sherwin separately for private gigs. Sherwin stated, “Contestant Emma Pask booked me privately on a number of occasions for gigs. I made her up for an outdoor Toronga Zoo Christmas concert. The setting was breathtaking with the Sydney Bridge and Opera House in the background.”

When it comes down to styling contestants for such high profile shows where the pressure always seems to be on, Sherwin insisted that, “Hard work and creativity are important, and so is pulling in the latest fashion looks into something that complements the outfit.” However, the key factor in it all, is creating a look that is, “Wearable by the artist and will make them feel confident.”

There are multiple steps involved in the complex process that Sherwin takes in order to ensure that all of the contestants she works with, “look and feel fabulous, and ready for action,” commented Sherwin.

For more information, visit: http://www.catsherwin.com

Follow Cat on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cat_sherwin

 

From Brazil to Hollywood, Meet the Award Winning Cinematographer Andressa Cor

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Andressa Cor is a cinematographer from Brazil with over half a dozen years of experience in film and television. Her creative works have earned her the “New Filmmakers Program” grant at Panavision in 2014 and also the “Alfred P. Sloan Foundation” grant. Her AFI thesis film “Stealth” brought in awards from the 36th Student Emmy Awards, the jury prize at the Toronto International Film Festival and an honorable mention at the American Emerging Filmmakers Pavilion at Cannes.

 

On her own creativity, Cor said, “I stay curious about everything. My interest in subjects change almost every week. I obsess over a certain topic and learn as much as I can about it, til the next one comes. Because I am from Art school, more often than not I am obsessing over an artist. This happens to movies a lot as well. I take a certain filmmaker and watch a lot about him/her.”

 

Cor uses cinema as an exploration. She carries the camera with purpose. The rich colors within her frame bring out the emotion her story tells.

 

In her eyes, each film should have a style, and it’s the cinematographer’s job to translate that style into a language using the camera and lights. Ultimately, film is a collaboration, and as a result the cinematographer and director must be in communication. This is why Cor uses pre-production to “see what is the movie inside the director’s head and make sure my department is prepared to deliver that movie.”

 

Her film work has teamed her up with many great directors. She tends to seek out those who are like minded, and that she thinks she could build a friendship with. Three directors she’s had great experiences with are Bennett Lasseter, Diego Jesus and Andrew Crafa.

 

Alongside Lasseter, Cor has shot two films. One of them was the highly acclaimed, and highly awarded “Stealth.” The story follows a brave, young transgender woman guiding her way through life.

 

With Jesus, she also shot two films. “Incursion” was the first project they collaborated on. Using the camera as equals, they created a strong, unified and visually stunning film. The circumstances were rough, but things fell into place so well that they made another film entitled “Rosalia Marginal.”

 

“Some locations did not have electricity or generators and Andressa was forced to find unconventional ways to keep shooting in very difficult situations with limited resources,” said Jesus on “Incursion”. “She achieved this with ease, demonstrating an ability to improvise and problem solve as an exceptional Cinematographer under the most difficult of circumstances, while still creating beautifully impactful shots for the film that added a crisp, enlightening context that the documentary needed in order to truly impact our audience.”

 

Cor also shot two small projects with director Andrew Crafa. The first was a promotional piece for the 2015 film “Krampus” and the second was for the organization “I Have a Dream.” “Krampus” showcased Hollywood stars like Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner. The promotional piece featured 14 of YouTube’s top stars.

 

Regardless of who Cor works with she has great admiration for her directors. “That’s why they say directing is a lonely task. There’s this village of people working for them, and they need to direct all of us to the same place. Sometimes, they have a bit of trouble with this, because we are making movies, is a lot about the visuals and the mood, it can get hard to explain. Every director has a different process of communicating, and I try to let him or her tell me the way they want to tell me. ”

 

Three of the biggest project’s Cor acted as cinematographer for are “60 Eight”, “Campground” and “No Tomorrow without Merci.”

 

“60 Eight” was shot in Burbank, California on a Red Scarlet. The film is about a child who wakes up after an accident to find himself a 60 year old man. Cor made sure her cinematography reflected “the clash of two worlds.”

 

“Campground” is about a young girl with hidden superpowers. The film was shot in two segments. The first was filmed in the LA desert, and the second was also filmed in Burbank, California.

 

On “Campground”, Cor said, “The goal was to make the audience walk in her shoes with her, and understand her world as she guided us thought it. Lighting was very natural for most of the movie except for the lighting cue we had when she finally reveals her capacities. ”

 

Her work on “No Tomorrow without Merci” helped the filmed win the Award of Merit at the  2015 Accolade Competition, and the Award of Excellence at the 2015 International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality. It’s about a Jewish woman who decides to help an injured Nazi soldier. The goal was to shoot the film as realistically as possible using muted colors.

 

Two key influences on her work are Brazilian’s Cesar Charlone and Walter Carvalho. All the knowledge she gained from was completely unconscious. In fact, it took her years to realize her style of shooting was inherited from them.

 

“I didn’t know how much they influenced me until I recently rewatched “Central do Brasil” (Central Station) and saw that I had just shot the same set-up a week before!,” said Cor. “But instead of a little cabin, my camera was inside a car.”

Filmmaking is something that Cor has been fascinated by since she was young, but it wasn’t until she grew older that she learned about the position of cinematographer. She entered film school wanting to direct, but through her early works she started to gravitate towards the visual side of  the process. Once her desires were focused, she set off to film as much as she could while in school.

“The best cinematography work that I like happened because the DP and the director are at the exactly same page,” said Cor. “I do believe a cinematographer is as good as his or her director. And I see with renowned cinematographers that they work get better if they are working with the directors they align ideas better and collaborate together. For example, every Roger Deakins work is stellar. But his masterpieces, in my opinion, happened when he was working with the Coen Brothers. ”

Making a good film is all about trust for Cor. As long as she continues to work with people that understand that, her work will continue to grow and visually stun.

‘Can’t Sleep Love’ Video Merges Director Alon Isocianu’s Imagination with Pentatonix’s Superb Vocals

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Director Alon Isocianu

Pentatonix’s music video for “Can’t Sleep Love” is a bona fide hit with more than 13 million YouTube views to date. Directed by the great Alon Isocianu, the “Can’t Sleep Love” video is a sensory stimulating masterpiece featuring the amazing talents of the five member a capella pop group, Pentatonix (RCA Records).

The video’s stylized color palette coupled with an innovative set design entices viewers to make visit after visit. No other treatment of the two-time Grammy Award winner’s piece could have been better imagined.

And imagination is Isocianu’s forte. An already internationally established music video director, Isocianu flexes with one his best career deliveries in “Can’t Sleep Love.” Revered, celebrated, and achieved, Isocianu’s effort creates definite anticipation for what lies ahead in his illustrious career.

Familiar personal themes establish a hypnotic, but relatable atmosphere to audiences. We’ve had those feelings. We’ve been down that road. We’ve been there those restless nights that bring on an unwanted dawn. “Can’t Sleep Love” hits the target without exception.

“The overall concept loosely revolves around the idea of staying up at night, not being able to sleep because all you can think of is someone you’ve fallen in love with,” says Isocianu. A careful examination of the brilliantly written lyrics reflect that – and more.

“Primarily the different colors and pattern designs are meant to distinguish the spaces from one another,” Isocianu said. “Each band member in Pentatonix brings a unique voice to the group, so I wanted to highlight that by giving each “vocal instrument” and each band member their own space. So while the designs don’t relate to the song’s lyrics or tone in any specific way, they do relate to the vocal arrangement.”

Chemistry between song lyrics and set design firms the tone for a unique blend. From the band’s idea of sitting on a couch in a multi-patterned room came the rich vision that eventually manifests itself throughout the video.

“I then took that idea and expanded on it, by creating multiple rooms, each with their own “hidden” dancers,” Isocianu said. Different dance styles are purposed to highlight the different vocal skills of each band member of Pentatonix.

An undeniable flair is reached through the vibrant colors and repetitive patterns in an acceptably excessive, theatric splash – a vibrancy rarely seen is achieved through the skillful director.

The individual Pentatonix vocals deftly harmonize to a finale with all the group’s members in the same room. The culminating effect is an impressive display of vocal talent and extraordinary directing skills.
From his directing of videos for Kelly Clarkson, to Shawn Hook, to Finger Eleven, to Meaghan Smith, and countless others, music and film enthusiasts both see Isocianu’s prolific prominence.

And thus it is with Pentatonix, who this month captured their second Grammy Award for the song “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

“Pentatonix were great to work with,” Isocianu said. “They’re very humble and fun, and very collaborative. As performers they each have their own style which is really fun to watch. They each bring a distinct sort of vibe individually, yet when they’re performing together they seem to groove in a cohesive way.”

The list of Isocianu awards and nominations is extensive. And, it will no doubt expand.

The year 2015 saw him win the East Coast Music Awards “Video Of The Year” (Meaghan Smith’s “Have a Heart”), and a Berlin Music Video nomination for “Best Visual Effect” (The Angry Kids’ “Battle”).

In 2012, Isocianu received a Much Music MMVA “Pop Video Of The Year nomination for Victoria Duffield’s “Shut Up and Dance.” In 2011, his music video for Candy Coated Killahz’ “Neon Black” was nominated for the Much Music MMVA “Post Production of the Year.”

Through it all, Isocianu is a director skilled in bringing feeling to his work through the extensive use of explosive colors, patterns and a degree of welcomed quirkiness. It’s established him and set him apart from others as a uniquely skilled craftsman in his trade.

Check out more from Alon at http://alonisocianu.com.

Watch “Can’t Sleep Love” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFCxiKXtKTI

Watch Behind the Scenes footage from the video shoot:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/post/idsa.d884c134-58b2-11e5-8c4d-bf308b75a147

And experience the interactive “Can’t Sleep Love” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_Riq4wZ3aY