Berlin based filmmaker and director Simon Ruschmeyer was inspired by a visit to an old disused sanatorium while scouting potential locations for his next project. Exploring the long, dark, rotting corridors, the decaying rooms, he found himself pondering on the contrasts of tragedy and hope which must inevitably have coexisted in such a place. “I could sense the history of the place as I walked around. So many stories of disease, death, but also of hope and recovery. I started to imagine different mental states of a person, who might have lived here. I’m always inspired by contradictions, the tension between beauty and decay that the location offered felt just perfect for my first fashion film,” Simon tells us.
The inspiration accumulated into a fashion film entitled Alter Ego, a journey between the subconscious and the superego. The two characters of the film represent psychological states of beauty and beast, inner disruptions of self-reception and outside expectations. “As those two alter egos fight against each other, the ephemerality and sublimity of the female beauty is explored,” Simon explains.
He has always been focused on strong visuals in his work, but this is the first time he explores the fashion genre. “I enjoy creating intense pictures which form an unique atmosphere. In fashion film you can focus more on styling and make up, departments which normally don’t get so much attention but have a huge impact on the visual qualities of the film. That’s why I’m totally excited about the genre and hope that I get the opportunity to do fashion films more often.”
Simon tells us working with actress Jördis Richter represented by Lucky Punch was a true joy, and gave the project the extra dimension it needed. She's modeled everything from ankle high socks to full length ball gowns. “Jördis gave so many unique qualities to the characters, especially her interpretation of the brute white Alter Ego is so rich and differentiated. As ‘The Atlantic’ has put it, ‘her performance is both graceful and freakishly reptilian’ at the same time. Her talent and professionality are very special, I hope we can work together in the near future.”
The rest of the team consisted of a mix of individual artists who each brought in some of their own artistry creating a result Simon never had expected.
“I’m truly thankful to all the team members, they’ve put so much talent and passion into the project, the outcome has totally exceeded my expectations!”
Actress: Jördis Richter (Lucky Punch)
Direction & Edting: RUSCH MEYER
DoP: Robert Staffl
Production: Robert Staffl & Simon Ruschmeyer CG/VFX Artist: Nando Stille
Music & Sound Design: Radium Audio
Makeup: Mel Willmann
Costumes: Laura Büchel