The director for our short film entry for InStyle magazine’s Film InStyle project was Amanda Boyle, whose innovative and emotive direction has been previously called upon for Skins, Misfits, Sirens and Cast Offs. With her first feature film in development and an exciting ‘Transmedia’ project brewing with the National Theatre, she is the one to watch.
We want to say a huge thank you to Amanda for so deftly absorbing what our brand director Georgia Fendley and Creative Director Emma Hill wanted the film to be, with the very open InStyle brief of ‘style’.
What inspired you to get involved?
Initially when I was first approached about the project I wasn’t sure I wanted to make a film about style. I just didn’t want to do something that was formulaic – where style is artifice or a label. What inspired me was the freedom Eilidh MacAskill (InStyle’s editor in chief) and Georgia Fendley gave me. This enabled me to speculate about style and redefine it for myself. I’m always on the lookout for projects I can author, stories I can make my own. Instyle and Mulberry have allowed me to do that, no strings attached – amazing!
How did your initial ideas develop into the finished film?
I began by brainstorming what ‘style’ was with writer Michael Lesslie. For us it was the aesthetic choices we make to express who we are, the way we interact with those choices and the way those choices affect the people around us. We imagined how style might be explored within a relationship between two people. This then became the story of two people having to share a flat – how their personal possessions might become a way for them to baffle, fight, flirt and fall in love. The idea was then shaped with production designer Jacqueline Abrahams, focusing on what their objects might be, what those objects would say about the two characters and how the scenes might develop aesthetically. We were interested in looking at one character’s choice of objects, and what these might mean to the other.
Jacqueline and I carefully chose each of the characters’ possessions with an archaeological precision, then worked out how the characters could animate them, and how this animation might develop both the story and their relationship. It was fascinating starting with objects first and the process continued as I engaged the costume designer Chloe Richardson – who in turn responded to the objects by starting to define what the characters would wear. At the same time, the look and tone of the piece had started to evolve with Ula Pontikos, the director of photography.
In many ways it’s a celebration of the style of everyday life. It’s about looking at things afresh and seeing what’s in front of you.