Sorry to dart away from such an issue, but speaking of film I thought it the perfect opportunity to ask you about your interest in the moving picture. How did you get into filmmaking?
I think my fascination with it began from toddling age. My mother filmed my entire child hood, so I was always around cameras, wires and tapes. Looking back at the home movies it’s clear to see I was obsessed with film from a young age, I would stand in front of the TV while entire films played and refused to move! By the time I was around 7 I began directing my mother in short films about me being a ballerina and so on (I was going to be a famous ballerina back then ha-ha). I never got on with school, the whole system and me just clashed. I was a top student, great grades and always good. But I hated it, and left school age 14. I spent the next 2 years wondering what to do with my life, and while I was thinking about this I would make little films. Just for fun. I soon realised my talent was staring me right in the face and got myself on a media course in college. With no qualifications I then managed to get myself into Ravensbourne University in London. I don’t regret it and it was a great experience, but I learned that uni and London were not for me.
Are you a film lover full stop? Or do you have a particular penchant for a certain style of filmmaking?
I love films, although surprisingly I don’t watch many. I don’t watch much TV either. My DVD collection is shamefully small for a film maker, but this has never hindered my film making so I’m not worried just yet. I love editing to music! So music videos are a favourite of mine. I am a very sharp editor and haven’t had the chance in the past few years to really show it off. But that should change in 2012!
Your YouTube channel (ScarletSaintOnline) is a fantastically personal space it seems. Is creating your videos a cathartic process for you?
Definitely. Something that I love about making films, and any form of art really, is that you can make something good out of something bad. I’ve created some wonderful films out of feelings of anguish. I think the reason I enjoy the editing process so much is that it is like putting a puzzle together. A puzzle with no right and wrong. Sometimes when my life is hectic I can be the puzzle master and relax with some editing. Ha-ha I’m such a geek aren’t I!
As a regular viewer of your YouTube channel, it’s clear to see you enjoy making the films you publish. Where does the inspiration come from? Is it just ideas you have, or is a lot of it in reply to requests from viewers?
I make films that I would enjoy watching, and that I sense the people who watch me would enjoy too. I’m also an obsessive documenter, I film everything of any significance in my life. Yes, even dyeing my hair! I have a list of films to make but I try to only go back to the list when I am fresh out of ideas. Keeping the films and inspiration regular is important to me too, I like to be a few steps ahead of everything. I’m planning my films for the week around Valentines Day currently :)
What is the process of creating one of your films like? Do you storyboard or set out what you want to do, or just film it? I know it must differ from film to film, but roughly how long does it take to create one from filming to publishing?
The films and vlogs that are currently on my YouTube channel, some of those I will just sit in front of a camera with a vague idea of what I want to achieve and ramble until I get there. There is lots of footage of me sitting in silence thinking. Thank god for the power of editing! I film everything at very high quality, colour grade it and compress it. So what may be a 3 - 4 minute film can sometimes take a day or two to actually finish and get online. The only time I story board things is when I shoot music videos, ads or drama. But even then I only use them as a guideline and they are never set in stone. The best things are spontaneous!
Your editing work is immense. Whether you’re trying to convey comedy or a more poignant emotive moment, you always seem to make the right choices. What do you use to edit your pieces?
I use Final Cut Pro to edit my films nowadays. I began on Windows Movie Maker, then moved onto Sony Vegas Pro, dabbled with Avid, then finally settled with FCP ha-ha. I’m a messy editor! But I find it easier that way; I chuck all my footage on the time line, if its particularly long I’ll snip away at it before rendering, but usually I will colour grade it and then render. Then the snipping begins! That is the most fun for me. I have a good ear for how things should flow and I’ve always been good at picking up on things that should be cut and so on. Once I have sliced and diced I add my intro and ending screen and we’re away!
Your recent “My Secrets” video is very moving indeed. In it you share some very personal things about your past. It’s a very brave piece, was it hard to shoot at all? You handle the subject matter superbly in my opinion, and I just think the whole film is enchanting… Not sure that’s the right word, but I loved it!
It was hard to shoot actually, not because of the content, but the sunlight! There was a beam of sun and it some how managed to pop up in my eyes and on the paper constantly! You can see it sometimes but I think I got around it pretty well. I can’t take credit for the idea of the My Secrets film, as these are tags on YouTube and hundreds of people have done them. I tried my best to make mine memorable however and I hope it worked! I actually had a break in the middle of the film, you can barely notice but I left to write some more pieces out when I realised the film would not be long enough. Editing it was a little more emotional, but whilst filming I was really focused on holding the paper in the right place and trying to pick up the correct piece next :)
As if all this wasn’t enough, you also have experience as a photographer. May I ask where that particular aspect of your creativity comes from?
It came out of the blue really, I got a reasonably cheap SLR camera when I was around 17 and began experimenting. My eye for the lens with filming helped so much, and I found I really enjoyed the editing process in that also! I invested in a Canon 7D when I left uni and that is now my main film and photography camera. I only began working with models on real shoots in 2011 but I am loving it so far. I shouldn’t say too much yet but there is a possibility my photographs will be on a magazine cover soon. Which I am very excited about!
Do you find that your work behind the camera as a photographer has helped or influenced how you work as a model?
Definitely, and via versa. I love using real people in my photography (non professional models), and I love giving people who deserve it good opportunities. My experience as a model comes in especially handy for shooting with real girls, as I can hop right in next to them and help them with poses.
What is Kiera-Rose like on set? As both a photographer and a model?
When I’m in charge on a film with a cast and crew I’m usually very focused. I’ll be telling people what to do and running around like a headless chicken trying to keep control! When I’m on set as a model I just giggle and have fun, I stay professional but it’s relaxing sometimes not to be the one dealing with technology!
What projects are you working on at the moment? Be it modelling, photography or filmmaking?
I am making a film to a cover of ‘The Beast’ by the very talented Natalie Lungley. I approached Natalie after listening to her on YouTube and was over the moon when she agreed to let me use the cover. This is my first real film in almost a year and I’m so excited! I can’t wait to stretch my wings, and also to show my new YouTube viewers what I can actually do. I have no idea when it will be finished however as I’m taking my time with this one to get it perfect.
Finally, what are you hoping the next year has in store for you?
In 2012 I hope to finally release a clothing line which I have been planning for years now. I also would like to continue my photography and modelling and improve as much as possible! I’m also hoping that by the end of the year I will be in a position to finally fly the nest and make a home with my boyfriend.
Could we please end with Bernard Pivot’s famous questionnaire:
What is your favourite word?
What is your least favourite word?
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love?
Rain on windows
What sound or noise do you hate?
My alarm clock
What is your favourite curse word?
Bastard (It makes me giggle for some reason)
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Primary school teacher
What profession would you not like to do?
Stop motion animator
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Sorry, we made a mistake. You can go back.
Once again, massive thanks to Kiera-Rose for her time and wonderful contribution. She made this piece very special to me indeed. I’d love to work with her again in the future on any project she’s involved with. It was a pleasure and a delight getting to now this lady. For much more information please go and check out her sites pages and channel.
All photos used in this piece were provided by Kiera-Rose, and the credits are below:
1) Photo by Pirate Photography
2) Photo by Claire Steele Hair & Make-up by Fern Lianne Kent
3) Kiera-Rose during filming
4) Photo by Ana Gely A
5) Kiera-Rose on her YouTube channel
6) An example of Kiera-Rose (Dolly Bones) photography/Hair & Make-up