Q&A with Lady Gaga Director Kathryn Ferguson by Calum Ross
Self taught film-maker Kathryn Ferguson has created short films for fashion designers Richard Nicoll, David David and has even collaborated with pop phenomenon Lady Gaga. Her films have been showcased on Dazed Digital, SHOWstudio and Vogue.com. Kathryn is currently showing four new videos at theWork in Progress Show at the Royal College of Art. The show opens on the 26th and runs through to the 3rd of December.
How did you make the transition from stylist to film-maker? I began experimenting with film in the final year of my BA degree at St Martins. I had spent months slaving over a magazine that I'd written, styled etc while at the same time I made my first video as an accompaniment to the magazine. At the final show I got a bit of a shock as while the magazine seemed to interest people up to a point, it was the film which really seemed to grab people's attention. I think I realised then I had to seriously consider which way to progress from there. After leaving St. Martins I tried a lot of different things, styling, art direction etc and began making more videos initially as a hobby. However, the major breakthrough I had with my video work was when my college film 'Tingel Tangel' was chosen for the Birds Eye View Film festival at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 2007. Following that screening, BEV asked me to come on board and curate a fashion film strand of the festival the following year. It was this vote of confidence that pushed me into making more films and I owe them a lot for having given me this opportunity! What's the driving influence behind your work?
Right now I'm being driven by a need to express myself visually. I felt quite stiffled for a few years after graduating and I'm just over the moon to be able to work in a medium that allows me to express myself fully so I am churning out a lot of ideas whilst they are still coming!
What was it like working with Lady Gaga and how did that collaboration come about?
The Gaga video was a great experience. I was commissioned the day before the shoot by Dazed Digital to make a video with her whilst she was rehearsing for Glastonbury wearing outfits by some of London's most progressive young designers. She was super friendly and my only gripe was that we had forty minutes or so to shoot her so we kind of had to grab what we could and hope for the best.
Do you plan on diversifying beyond fashion films?
Yes definitely. I am currently studying experimental film on the Communication Art & Design MA course at the Royal College of Art. My work is already moving in a different direction. I do love working with fashion designers but I'm also very keen to branch out into other genres of film.
Who would you love to make a film with/for?
I'd love to make videos for Psych bands Bo Ningen or White Magic.
How did you get your films noticed and what advice would you give to budding film-makers?
The Birds Eye View and other festivals have helped me get my films noticed but I think the best thing is believe in your work, create as much as possible with confidence and put it out there. I began with posting on Youtube a few years ago and I have constantly used the internet since to get my work noticed.