Sean Baker Casts Abbey Lee In A Short Film For Kenzo S/S '16

Sean Baker Casts Abbey Lee In A Short Film For Kenzo S/S '16

THE DIRECTOR BEHIND A 2015 SUNDANCE STANDOUT, SEAN BAKER, TAKES ON KENZO'S S/S '16 COLLECTION WITH A SHORT FILM MADE WITH AN IPHONE AND ABBEY LEE

THE DIRECTOR BEHIND A 2015 SUNDANCE STANDOUT, SEAN BAKER, TAKES ON KENZO'S S/S '16 COLLECTION WITH A SHORT FILM MADE WITH AN IPHONE AND ABBEY LEE

Text: ALEXANDER HAKIMI

Kenzo has taken another foray into fashion film, recruiting Sean Baker, director of Spirit Award nominee Tangerine, and Abbey Lee of Oscar Best Picture nominee Mad Max: Fury Road. Titled Snowbird, the short film follows the interactions, some improved some planned, of Lee’ s character Theo with the residents of Slab City, a remote desert community. The filming all took place in a day and was captured on Baker’ s iPhone, just like Tangerine, albeit this time with an iPhone 6S plus in lieu of a iPhone 5s.

In a conversation with Kenzo designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Baker discusses focusing on Slab City: “Of course, I was just intrigued from a sociological point of view, but then also just the physicality of the terrain. It’ s mind- blowing. The fact that people are living off the grid is something that I think we all have somewhere. That deep inside, we want to just live totally independently.”

As young Theo meets different members of the community, offering them cake, the viewer realizes that regardless of someone’ s appearance, attitude, or background, there is a certain universality to enjoying a slice of cake.

Explaining the film’ s title, Baker attributes the name to what some residents of Slab City are called: “Some of them live there in winter and travel north in summer. The individuals who just live in Slab City in that part of the year are called Snowbirds.”

Another commonality between Snowbird and Baker’ s Tangerine is that they both feature non-professional actors, lending to the director’ s decision to film with an iPhone. “It’ s even more appropriate here because I need to use the iPhone to lower inhibitions, to have the actor be not professional and gain confidence in front of the camera, and that’ s what the iPhone does. The iPhone takes away that intimidation factor.”

Watch the the full movie, and see some exclusive behind the scenes photos above.

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