April 15th, 2023
DIRECTOR OF CANDY WRAP
Anastasia, tell us a little more about yourself. Where did your desire to be a director come from ?
It is possible that I will let you down by revealing that I am not one of those people who was born with the ambition to work in the film industry. Absolutely not. When I hit 30, I discovered that I had a passion for movies, and in particular, directing.
I had a strong desire to take a different route in my professional life and make the transition from the corporate sector to the advertising industry. That’s how I found myself enrolled at a film school. The rest was easy to understand. For the very first time in my life, I got the feeling that I was at the right place, and I knew what to do.
What were your reference and your inspirations for making Candy Wrap ?
In the Mood for Love, the fantastic film by Wong Kar Wai, had a major influence on me while I wrote Candy Wrap. Because I wasn’t writing about a similar topic or trying to copy the film, all I can say is that it was a huge source of inspiration.
I guess “Candy Wrap” is my impression of that fantastic movie after the fact. Visually, we only made an effort to avoid giving the impression that we were completely out of alternatives, such as with respect to potential settings. The essence of low-budget films is that they need the crew to be extremely adaptable and inventive. That was the same with the Candy Wrap.
Why did you choose this mother-daughter relationship for your story ?
I wanted to show two cases that were very similar but also very different in the same person. And instead of showing two different aspects of one person’s life, I separated them into “kid” and “adult” segments. That’s how the idea for mom and daughter came about.
It was risky not to draw parallels between mother and daughter, but I only had 15 minutes and a very specific topic that had nothing to do with parent-child issues. This trick would not work in a feature film, but it works perfectly in a short film.
We feel that you have mastered your subject. There is a certain malice in your narration, because we feel the character’s uneasiness in the face of his daily life and his attempt not to give in to an extra-marital affair while those of the mother are not taken into account by those around him. How through the characters do you play with the viewer’s emotions ?
The work with the actors must have been an important part of the project can you tell us more ?
Professional actors performed this 15-minute story, and we did a fantastic job of revealing each character’s backstory from childhood to the first time you meet them. I really think that a director’s partnership with actors is critical to the success of any picture. I was looking for actors who could relate to the characters they were playing. It was, in my opinion, the best approach.
They pushed the character just a little to the level I required without creating a completely new persona for them. Again, for a short film, this is the only option.
The footage is well produced, the framing is beautiful and composed and certain staging ideas have the luxury of bringing a bit of originality to a more classic general aesthetic. How does your staging manage to find its originality ?
Almost every stage was meticulously planned and drawn out prior to the shoot. It looked great on the storyboard, and our amazing team made it look exactly how we wanted it to. That’s what gave us the spirit and freedom to try something else, as we knew we had a solid plan. And I’m sure that’s where the originality came from: nothing stops you from trying, dreaming, and punking around a little.
Also, the fact that it was my first piece and I’d never done it before helped me a lot here: I didn’t have any samples or stencils and had to rely on intuition and a “why not?” attitude. But, once again, we dared solely because it looked perfect on the storyboard. The rest is down to good fortune and incredible teamwork.
Candy Wrap won Best Romance at the Red Movie Awards what does this symbolize ?
This honor makes both my team and me extremely thrilled. That was exactly our intention: a tiny romance narrative rather than a drama. That prize is a reflection of how well we performed. You have no clue how much enthusiasm and inspiration it provides us to keep working, especially since this is our first piece of work.
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Is it complicated to produce a film today? What were your constraints ?
Producing a film is not something you can do quickly or with a relaxed attitude. However, if you have a team, everything changes. Timing was one of my Candy Wrap constraints. This film was shot with a very strict timeline during a very uncertain time when Russia started the war and I was relocating. We weren’t sure what would happen until the first day of shooting.
When there is a war, making a film is the last thing on your mind. It was a case of take it or leave it. Again, thanks to our professional team, we were able to complete it. Now, however, my main constraints when working on the next project are network and connection. I recently relocated to France and will need to establish contacts in the local film industry.
What is your next project ?