Happiness – Credits
Production. Filming & Editing: Tony Donson
Music: Tony Donson
This summer (2013), 19 year old Tony Donson completed his first year of his Creative Direction BA at London College of Fashion (LCF). Alongside making fashion films such as ‘Happiness’, Tony creates his own music, you can hear through his SoundCloud profile Hot Blonde.
What is the background of the video you submitted?
For the Moving Image module of the Creative Direction course at LCF we were asked to choose an image and interpret it in the form of a film. The image I chose was the cover of Viviane Sassen’s book ‘In and Out of Fashion’. I like to use concepts derived from psychology in my work and for me this image evoked a condition called ‘the nothing feeling’ – a state of emotional numbness sometimes experienced by people suffering from bipolar depression. The film explores the journey from this feeling to finding inner peace.
The goal of the character in my film is to achieve ultimate happiness. Her story is told through objects with symbolic value. Everything seen in the video is there for a reason; everything has a meaning. The model’s lack of clothes, for example is meant to convey human vulnerability. The pineapples symbolise happiness, they evoke positive emotions and are said to cure depression when eaten. The flowers symbolise birth and other powerful moments in human life; you give flowers for example, to someone you love, you also take flowers at a funeral. Flowers mark important life milestones.
So this is the symbolic part of the video but what did you intend the video to be?
I would say it is an art piece intended for a fashion audience, for the audience of Dazed, i-D or Tank and Modeconnect. It is purposefully ambiguous; the viewers are free to interpret it in their own way, to make it a personal experience.
Your film has a distinctly raw atmosphere; can you tell us about the process behind this?
I recorded the film on my MacBook as I wanted it to be low-fi and simple – it adds a sense of reality to the film. I was influenced by film makers and artists such as Daniel Swan and Viviane Sassen, who use a similar approach.
To what extent was your video a collaborative project?
Apart from co-editing in post-production the film was produced entirely by me. I stuck all the flowers to the wall, waved a big piece of card so the model’s hair would flow and made the soundtrack myself!
What kind of fashion films do you like?
‘Into The Clouds’ by Walter van Beirendonck and Erwin Wurm – shown below – is my favourite fashion film of all time. The low-fi quality and sense of humour in this video influenced my own work.
Tell us about your plans for the future?
My main aim is to continue making films and producing music. I would really like to be commissioned to make a fashion film or music video; I really want to get involved in that part of the industry. I’d also like to be a music editor for a fashion magazine.
What changes would you like to see within the fashion industry?
I believe fashion should always look and think forward. I do not understand nostalgia for bygone eras!
Into The Clouds by Walter van Beirendonck and Erwin Wurm