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Exclusive One On One Interview with Mademoiselle C Director Fabien Constant

Fabien Constant The only thing that could be better than interviewing the Mademoiselle C herself ( Carine Roitfeld ) is having a on...


Fabien Constant

The only thing that could be better than interviewing the Mademoiselle C herself (Carine Roitfeld) is having a one on one interview with the man who made the documentary happy!  OJ&B got to have a private sit down interview with Mademoiselle C director and creator, Fabien Constant.  With this fashionable documentary's New York City premiere tonight and the official US release on September 11th, this interview is the perfect thing to read to get you ready to watch the film. 

In the interview Fabien opens up to OJ&B about how he came up with the idea for this film, his relationship with Carine, how she felt with the camera being on her constantly and what he wants people who compare this film with The September Issue to know.


Jonathan Valdez: Tell Me how this idea came into your head for this movie.

Fabien Constant: I knew Carine for a few years now and I was really looking for a story to tell about her amazing and glamorous life, but I wanted the real story.  I didn’t want to have access just to have access where I am following her and nothing happens; it’s just cameras shooting and a bunch of pretty people.  I don’t like this.  I like to bring people into a story.  The creation of the magazine (CR Fashion Book) was the obvious plot, obvious thing to do, but she mixes everything in her own life.  There are no boundaries between Carine’s private life and her personal life.  It was much more than the creation of the magazine.  It was all the other projects she is going through.  She was moving from Paris to New York, her own magazine is all on her shoulders and there is a tiny crew.  It’s her name; it’s CR on the magazine as a title.  It was about her becoming a grandma, it was about her being obsessed with babies, so many things were happening while I was shooting the story of the creation of the magazine.

JV: When I spoke with Carine, I asked her when she got used to being followed with cameras and she said that she never did.  I was wondering, since you were friends with her, if you think that that helped.

FC:  I would not say that we were friends.  We are becoming friends right now I would say because we are spending so much time together.  We were not friends, we were used to each other, meaning that I used to be the cameraman when she was at French Vogue and she had to say a few things.  I was the one behind the camera most of the time so she started to trust me because of this.  I have done a few movies for her about her parties and she liked them.  She liked the spirit of it, she liked the editing of it and she said yes to me.  To be honest she never said yes to the camera but she said yes to me.   As it happened, because I was behind the camera, it was ok.  She quite was quite shocked discovering the movie realizing she has gave me so much.  It’s true, she gave me a lot.  There was a camera in the room for sure and she never forgot it but there was also Fabien in the room.  This she was pretty O.K. or happy about so we were talking and having everyday conversations.  I just happened to have a camera on my shoulders. 

JV: Do you feel that even though she said that she never got used to it that there was an ease in the middle of the process that she maybe did not realize?

FC:  She never forgot the camera.  She is really into image.  That’s her work, that’s her obsession. I think she was always thinking, “Oh my God, is he really shooting right now? Am I doing all of those things?” But it is Fabien, so I think he will do something nice with all this and I think he will maybe be kind.”  She was not involved in the editing process and she did not have the final cut.  I was the one doing the movie by myself, totally independently.  It was just a story of trust. 

JV: What was your favorite and least favorite part or challenge of making the movie?

FC:  To be honest it is very comfortable to be in Carine Roitfeld’s suitcase for nine months.  It is like being in a washing machine because there are a lot of things going on, but it’s a very glamorous and comfortable washing machine.  That was a nice part for sure and meeting all of those amazing people even if I knew a few of them already.  That was fascinating.

The hard part, I would say, you know documentaries are tiny economies and it is difficult to find the money for them.  All the production part, because I am also a co producer on the movie.  It was fighting for money and fighting with my camera.  When you carry, I don’t know about pounds, but it's 14 or 15 kilos of camera on your shoulder all day long and you have to deal with batteries and cards and hard drives.   That is a kind of pain in the ass but it is worth it. 

JV:  What would you say to the people who compare this to The September Issue?  How is it different?

FC: I would say to the people who compare it to The September Issue that I am glad because I love the September Issue.  I’m kind of proud if they think there is any comparison.  I will also say that this is yes, the same plot.  The same arch, telling the story of a magazine, but it is about the birth of a magazine.  It is issue zero, literally.  It is not a huge machine that the U.S. Vogue is.  It is also much more the portrayal of a woman at the end of the day than the story of the creation of a magazine.  I will say that I was lucky enough to have Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington in one character. 

JV: You must be excited to bring Carine to the U.S. for the many people who don’t know her.

FC: Exactly.  I hope that the audience will see that she is yes, this very fashionable lady, but she is also a very hard working lady and a very creative lady.  She keeps saying that she is not an artist but she is at ease with artists.  I would say the opposite.  She is an artist at the end of the day.  She brings out of those photographers so many things.  When you look at a fashion picture done by a very famous photographer, you will know that it is a Carine picture; Even if it’s Bruce Weber, even if it’s Tom Ford, even if it’s Karl Lagerfeld.  They are different when Carine is around.  She brings something on set for sure and that is what the movie is trying to find out.

Thanks so much to Fabien for taking time to speak wth OJ&B about Mademoiselle C.  Stay tuned for official coverage of the Mademoiselle C premiere and after party that is taking place tonight in New York City.  OJ&B will have all of the fabulous instagrams, deets and tweets from the middle of all of the fashionable action!

Fabien Constant and Jonathan Valdez of OJ&B via Instagram
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