A printed postcard bathed in the image of Liv Tyler would be more than enough. Filmed in black and white at Helena Christensen‘s garden in upstate New York, Vs. Magazine gives us 74 seconds of intimate screen time with the the Stealing Beauty star.
It opens with a twirling Tyler, spinning around. Dressed in a fitted tuxedo jacket and a perfectly billowed white skirt, her long brown hair flies back with every head thrust, playfully teasing the camera. Part tempting black swan, all modern day angel. She pouts to the camera with a kiss.
A montage of moving portraits follows; she’s submerged in water, her smoky eyes fixed on you like a hawk. Next she’s lying in the grass, basking in the sunlight, telling naughty secrets to wild flowers. Perched upon a log hanging over a river, she’s clutching her elbows, quiet as a mouse. This vixen, pixie beauty before you is a fluctuating dream and staring too long could see you self-combust. Donna Summer‘s acapella version of “I Feel Love” filters through every ghostly measure of each frame. Yet Tyler is happy, laughing even, posing in silly moves just as the song crescendos. Sometimes it’s like you’re watching a twee home video, other times the opening of a horror flick with a really, really hot chick.
Directed by Jakob F.S. with fashion from the likes of Celine, Gaultier, Galliano, Tsumori Chisato and other members of classic yet artistic tribes, its unimaginable that this is ‘merely’ a live moving introduction to mark her cover appearance on Vs. Magazine. We spoke to Jakob about his inspiration, spending the night at Helena Christensen’s and what it was like working with Liv Tyler…
Portable: It’s not everyday a man gets to spend the day with Liv, what was the concept behind presenting these various visual versions of her?
Jakob F.S.: There honestly wasnt much of a concept except from doing something that felt intimate and personal. We spent the night together at Helena Christensen’s house in upstate New York, having wine and dinner and listening to music. Donna Summers had just died a few days before so we were listening to old songs of hers. It’s a very different way to start a shoot and sets a whole different tone for both the photos (shot by Helena Christensen) and the video.
P: With Summers now deceased, this version sounded like she was almost channeling through, what made you choose this particular disco classic, especially this version?
Jakob F.S.: (answer above). Liv has an amazing voice and was singing the whole time. It created a special atmosphere and added to the dreamy vibe captured in photos and on film.
P: The scenes look natural and ‘undirected’, how did you interact with her to capture the scenes/images you wanted?
Jakob F.S.: It was pretty much undirected. This is Liv Tyler, this is how she is – a very special creature.
P: More and more magazines are creating live postcards to intro the print publications, why do you think this is happening?
Jakob F.S.: All magazines need to extend into the web. To me, video can do two things that print cannot: moving images and sound! So when creating content for the web, video is the way to go… Vs. was the first print magazine to really focus on video content that wasn’t just backstage or style guides or whatever. We wanted to do a live version of the magazine (which is why the website is called vsmagazinelive.com). Now every magazine is doing it, but it still makes sense for us as the experience is very different from photos and print.
P: Any unforgettable moments from the day you want to share?
Jakob F.S.: Liv Tyler in the water when we shot the cover! I don’t know anyone who can look so beautiful and sweet as Liv, yet so cool and powerful at the same time.