MEET THE JURY: ADRIANO ALARCON

 

Adriano Alarcon is the Creative Director of FCB Sao Paolo and a freelance photographer with a 16 year career.

He started working as a photographer when he was just a teenager under the influence of his father, also a photographer. In 1998, he re-started his career as an Art Director. Adriano has been working at FCB since 2011 for .

brands like SKY, Nivea and JVC. In 2012, he created the 5th most awarded campaign in Brazil. 
This year he will be part of Berlin fashion Film Festival 2015’s  jury. Let’s get to know him better!

 

#1
What do you believe are the main reasons for Brazil’s growing share in the world of fashion film today? How can a filmmaker be successful by working in fashion film in Brazil? Are there any films by Brazilian directors you’d like to share with us?

The fashion film market in Brazil is still very small; the work done here today is a re-telling narrative of European fashion films from 10-15 years ago, but now with contemporary photography. All this due to Latin countries having matured their fashion market at a later stage. Though this has now changed dramatically. To give you an idea, the fashion market in Brazil has quadrupled in ten years and reached 160 billion dollars in 2014.

During this period, the Brazilian market moved from the 14th to the 8th place, and it’s about to pass the Italian market, one of the leading ones in the fashion world. The same phenomenon has happened before in other areas close to fashion. Brazil is already the world’s largest consumer of perfumes, the second in hair products, and the third in cosmetics, behind only the United States and Japan.

"THE SEARCH FOR FILM DIRECTORS WITH EXPERIENCE IN FASHION FILMS HAS ALSO INCREASED"

The increased consumption of fashion products boosted communication investment for brands. Consequently the search for film directors with experience in fashion films has also increased. The fashion film market in Brazil is still at the beginning, therefore Brazilian directors need to work in two different ways to be successful in this segment:

1. Develop a leading and inspiring narrative, both intriguing and sophisticated, in order to attract the attention of a hungry fashion-drived audience;

2. Develop a less abstract way of speaking to this public. In Brazil, 80 % of investment in fashion film is made y department stores that sell to more conservative consumers.

ACERCA Kitchen, Art Direction by Adriano Alarcon, represented by FCB.

 

#2
How has your father’s work influenced you and how does being the son of a photographer affect you still? How do you think that that the photography and film industries have changed having witnessed your father’s career?

Being a photographer’s son substantially influenced me as a professional and as a human being. 

My two brothers and I started shooting when we were around five years old – all through my father’s encouragement who used photography to teach us lessons in life. My father died prematurely when I was 20 and so he didn’t see “the digital change”.

My brothers and I were taught analog photography. It was very slow and full of stages, something that was extremely important in my learning. The whole process took entire days. Before a photoshoot you had pick the subject, style it, decide on the most suitable Kodachrome, set up the space, lights, appropriate lenses, subject,  camera, and finally you could take the picture. After the photoshoot the process continued.

"BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER’S SON SUBSTANTIALLY INFLUENCED ME AS A PROFESSIONAL AND AS A HUMAN BEING"

The main change in the film and photography industries in the last 20 years has been the migration from analogue to digital, democratising the production of content in both industries. Today, more than ever, the major difference is talent. Access to high quality equipment with low investment has put everyone in the same 

pot, and it’s now necessary to push innovation, and highlight your talent and effort. As the historian and theorist of French photography Andre Rouille once said: “the photographic process is conceived as a way of release – by removing, cutting and simplification – the truth that is hidden in the visible reality.

THE MAIN CHANGE IN THE FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRIES IN THE LAST 20 YEARS HAS BEEN THE MIGRATION FROM ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL

 

ACERCA Hotel, Art Direction by Adriano Alarcon, represented by FCB.

 

#3
How did you turn yourself into an art director after being a photographer for more than a decade? What were the biggest challenges?

To be honest, it was a change imposed by life. I had been working as photographer since the age of 14, but at 20, when my father died, I had to work double shifts, part of the day as a photographer, and the other at an advertising agency as an Art Direction assistant to contribute to my monthly budget. I worked over five years in both

 areas until the day I decided to work definitely as art director. It certainly was not an easy time for me, but I couldn’t give up on either options until I was sure that I could support myself working on one area only.
The good thing is that this time prepared me for the challenges ahead.

 

#4
One can say the style of your work is fairly theatrical: would you agree with that? What would you say sets your work apart? Would you say that there’s something intrinsically Brazilian in it?

Yes, in part I can agree with that. I would say that half of the campaigns I have created and produced are rich in characters and consequently in costumes and scenery, which ends up bringing in a theatrical language. Particularly I like to research  the characters’ concepts,  

creating the basic characteristics that determine their personalities. I like to be involved in the art direction of the scenario, the general concept of the environment, and find small details that help me shape a character or a scene.

"I ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE BEST WAY TO TELL A STORY, SOMETIMES THROUGH BEAUTY AND SYMMETRY, SOMETIMES THROUGH CHAOS AND DIRT"

I think the biggest bright spot in my work is the conceptual composition of the image. Of course after so many years working with the composition of a scene, first through photography and the last 15 years in art

direction, I’ve developed a natural ability to see beyond aesthetic composition. I always look for the best way to tell a story, sometimes through beauty and symmetry, sometimes through chaos and dirt.

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#5
How do you see the future of art direction/marketing? Specifically in relation to the fashion industry and fashion film?

The fashion world is totally visual, so art direction will always be fundamental to the fashion film market. Today, more than ever, the visual design is the identity of a campaign, the face of the communication, how the public will recognise a product, brand or event.

To stand out in the ocean of bytes and shared information you have to be remarkable, and art direction is the first step to finding a unique personality for communication, transforming images into immortal symbols.

 

#6
What are your aspirations for the future? What are your expectations from Berlin fashion Film Festival?

I want to work intensely the next two years along with the FCB creative team; we aim to keep the agency at the same creative level achieved in the last three years, so we will have a lot of work. And personally, I want to intensify my efforts in the development of art.

Regarding BfFF, I have very positive expectations of what I will find. I hope to see much pioneering work, trends and news. Knowing that I will share this experience with renowned professionals and seeing works of very high creative level makes me very excited.