Marie began creating cinemagraphs as part of her major project at university, graduating in 2013 with a first-class honors degree. She has since been working on freelance photography and design projects, and most recently as the photo-editor and videography assistant for an Ibiza-based wedding and portrait photographer. She shoots with a Canon 5DmII before organizing, editing and retouching in Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop CS6. Marie’s cinemagraphs combine layers of still photography and video, creating detailed, dream-like scenes with an illustrative quality. Some of these were exhibited at the Free Range Art & Design Show 2013, and as part of the first Motion Photography Prize at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, Central London where she was shortlisted by Saatchi in partnership with Google+ from over 4,000 entries submitted from more than 50 countries (see articles on Londonist and Complex).
Interview with Marie
Would you like a cup of tea?
Yes please, milk and one sugar in a little vintage teacup would be lovely.
The greatest influence on your cinemagraph style would have to be?
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has always inspired me creatively, but even more so when I began to make cinemagraphs. Like Wonderland, they seem extraordinary and almost impossible; I felt intrigued and enchanted by them from the first moment I discovered one. Sometimes I take inspiration from children’s’ fairytales and stories, and I often find myself drawn to the forest to create images. I also adore the Harry Potter books and films, and like to make my artwork similarly dark and haunting yet beautiful, intricate and magical.
Did you buy, or were you given your first camera?
My dad has always been really into photography and I remember being given my own little camera when we went on family holidays. When we got home we would get all of our films developed and I’d put my pictures in a little photo album – most of them weren’t that great but my parents seemed to like them and I loved having my own camera
Any neighbor have the pleasure of watching you shoot this cinemagraph in the middle of the night?
Afraid not, it was just me and my tripod out in the fog at 1am on a cold winter’s night.
You’ve been on assignment in Ibiza for a while. What did you miss most about England?
I missed my bedroom – the walls are layered with creamy pastel floral wallpaper which I have patchworked onto the walls as I couldn’t decide on just one pattern, and a sprinkling of fairylights. I have also collected bits of lace, trinkets and heaps of photographs which wouldn’t fit into my luggage allowance so I had to leave those behind. I didn’t miss the rainy view from the window!
Can you remember the fist time you saw a cinemagraph, and your first attempt at one?
Yes, the first cinemagraphs I found were by Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg a couple of years ago and I thought it was such a lovely idea to create something in-between a photo and a video – they reminded me a little of the moving photographs in the Harry Potter series. Using online tutorials I taught myself how to create them in Photoshop; once I’d got my head around it, my first attempt was a washing line of clothes floating in the breeze.
When you see cinemagraph work from other artists, is it your first response to focus more on the story or technical elements?
I love finding other artists creating cinemagraphs, as I feel like it’s still a relatively uncommon and exciting thing. I do initially focus on the technical elements, because I love really smooth, subtle cinemagraphs in which you can’t tell where the movement begins and ends. But I find that in general, I’m more drawn to images which tell a story, especially in cinemagraphs because they have so much potential to convey a message or emotion when thoughtfully composed.
Hollywood just called, and they are flying you in to shoot promotional cinemagraphs for a film featuring 2 celebs. What is the film, where is the shoot, who are the celebs and what is the selected motion?
I would’ve loved to shoot cinemagraphs for 500 Days of Summer, so perhaps something similar to that – like a rom-com-with-a-twist meets travel movie. The location would be in Paris because it’s my favourite city and looks so beautiful in photographs. As for the characters in the cinemagraphs, I’d go for Zooey Deschanel or Emma Watson, and David Tennant – I can imagine they would fit in well with the type of image I’d like to make. The motion could be a woman scribbling letters, underneath a ticking clock surrounded by blossom whilst waiting for someone to arrive. Perhaps some of the blossom could occasionally float down around her. Or you know, if One Direction phoned and invited me to shoot in California, that’d be all right wouldn’t it.
Adventure, how would you define it?
Exploring new places or rediscovering old ones with no real plan. Something you look back on and think “wow that was great”. Going somewhere that inspires you to make more things.
Ask me a question.
If you could make your own cinemagraph of anything, what scene would you create?
My first dog Douglas, just staring at me. I'd give anything to experience that connection again.