Interview with Filmmaker and Photographer – IrrA
HEY IRRA! THANKS FOR TAKING TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS IRINA IVANOVA IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Irina Ivanova – IrrA is Filmmaker and Beauty & Fashion Photographer.
As filmmaker I am working on studio funded and independent projects from music videos & commercials to films, series & TV shows. I am creative straightforward and my work is personal. As photographer I am primarily working with brands & artists on beauty and fashion editorial content. My clients range from brands & local magazines, A-list actors, artists, producers & directors to subjects that I have encountered throughout my travels.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN FILM MAKING AND PHOTOGRAPHY?
At first I intended to be a photographer fully motivated to become just that. Upon school graduation I worked as a full time assistant photographer for the Playboy magazine in my home country.
One thing led to another and I was graduating from the Film and Television Academy in Sofia with a Bachelor’s degree in Film Cinematography.
I became a (almost) fully-fledged freelance cinematographer without ever planning to become one. Later on, I graduated from the Film Academy in London with a degree in Film Directing & Producing.
It was a little bit of a windy road to where I am now but I have successfully been a freelance filmmaker and photographer now for a while and “Life in a Day” 2020, which is by the way one of the biggest crowd sourced documentary films, produced by Ridley Scott, directed by Kevin Macdonald, “The X Factor Bulgaria” and “Your Face Sounds Familiar” are one of the recent projects I worked for and England, Spain and Bulgaria are some of the countries I have worked with. Well not the country itself, but people living there.
DO YOU PREFER WORKING INDOORS OR OUTDOORS? DO YOU PREFER ARTIFICIAL OR NATURAL LIGHT?
Always evolving, or it’s over! I am so in love with learning new aspects of my craft and challenging myself.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?
In terms of photography what I love doing the most is creating a discussion about what is happening around the world and to provoke some debate with my pictures. Nothing more than this. It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like and it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are. I don’t want people to look at my photographs and appreciate only the light and the palate of tones. I want them to look inside and see what the pictures represent, and the kind of people I photograph.
When it comes to filmmaking – cinema is rich and unique art form that uses many complex languages. I love film because it is creative expression and is trying to make sense of the world. I also love film because of its process, for the delight of the technology. Things we build and connect and then switch on, and they hum or glow, and do things. There is a comfort and beauty in the mechanics of the camera. A logic, an order, a reassurance and a sense. Film is hard but it changes us and with its challenges and makes us better able to understand and forgive.
WHAT YOU THINK, DO GOOD PICTURES HELP IN BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND?
The camera has no opinion, no emotion, it just renders — and so the emotional components of a picture to be good live on each side of the camera.
I seek what lies beneath surface beauty. What interest me are intimate human complexities – the darkness as well as the light. I have to be open and truly present, and if I am lucky, grace descends. My best works are an honest collaboration, and when the viewer also connects, I feel the circle is complete.
IS THERE A PERSONAL PROJECT THAT YOU DESIRE TO BEGIN?
Depending on how lockdowns and life go this fall, I might try doing fully scripted 5-10 minutes short film. I think more than anything I want to create something fun to watch, which is visually a little weird to echo all the layers of craziness we were feeling. In terms of the themes, I want to play with the sense of one’s inner world in contrast to the realm of public information, and also one’s public/social media. I would love to move more in that direction.
On the commercial side, I have a few new projects coming up in the beauty and fashion area, which always is my comfort zone.
I can’t wait for everything to get back on track with the industry – I miss the frequency of being on set. It is one of my favorite things: collaboration of all the special minds that make up our teams.
CREDIT Photographer: Irina Ivanova - IrrA Model: Aida Albiar Dopacio, Mary Lee, Maria Gargallo Antich, Anton Kasabov Agency: AQ Models, Fifth Artists, Mira Model, Esther Carbonell MUA Artist: Manet Palacios, Peluquera Barcelona, Esther Carbonell Retoucher: Viktoria Skopichenko, Elena Fratea, Location: Studio 101 Barcelona