Academy

The inspirations behind September's "Academy," shot by Steven Klein and styled by Camilla Nickerson.

Released on 8/24/2009

Credits

Starring: Steven Klein and Camilla Nickerson

Transcript

00:01
(soft bells chiming)
00:04
(crowd noises)
00:10
[Dennis] I'm the creative director of W Magazine,
00:13
and my job is to assemble the team that works on the shoot.
00:18
And ultimately to be responsible for the content.
00:23
What you see on the pages is the result
00:25
of a lot of planning, a lot of discussion.
00:28
We have a very short time to do
00:29
the story, at the most, two days.
00:32
And in those two days, we generally
00:34
are shooting 10 to 20 photographs.
00:37
A lot of stories we do
00:39
tap into cinema, tap into movies.
00:42
That's very different than doing fashion pictures,
00:45
which only exist to show clothes.
00:48
There's no question that in this story,
00:51
you could see traces of Ingmar Bergman.
00:54
Even in the character, Lara Stone resembles
00:58
some of Bergman's leading ladies,
01:00
whether it's Liv Ullmann or Bibi Andersson.
01:02
And that's not entirely unplanned.
01:05
Her beauty is mysterious.
01:08
There's an intensity to her.
01:10
We knew that she had the dramatic depth
01:13
to carry off this role.
01:16
Steven Klein is a photographer
01:17
that we work with quite a bit.
01:19
I think one of the reasons is
01:20
that Steven has a very strong point of view.
01:24
Steven is also one of the most cinematic of photographers.
01:30
His use of sets, his actors,
01:34
his lighting, it is incredibly sophisticated.
01:38
It is not a case where you
01:39
walk on a set and let things roll.
01:44
As in all shoots, there's a lot of scouting done.
01:47
We wanted a academy-like atmosphere,
01:50
but we wanted one that also had a military aspect.
01:55
One of the great things about the Armory
01:56
is now it's being used for art installations.
02:00
There's theater there now,
02:02
and that turned out to be a perfect location.
02:05
It was fortunate that we were able to work there.
02:10
One of my favorite images in the story is the opening image.
02:14
It's the kind of image that everybody
02:16
will bring a different interpretation.
02:19
It allows you to think in a new way,
02:22
see things in a new way, and to me,
02:25
that's absolutely the hallmark of a great photograph.
02:30
We're a magazine about photography,
02:31
so for me, the most important thing is
02:34
that we expand people's horizons to challenge people,
02:38
and that's what we are trying to do here.
02:41
I hope that that's the thing
02:43
that distinguishes the magazine
02:45
and also is why people are drawn to our magazine.