Anime-inspired film launched Beckman's international design collaboration

Beckmans visual communication, fashion collaboration

"We wanted to create worlds where fashion students' clothes serve as identity markers of protagonists in a blockbuster film," says the students in Visual Communication, which created the Trailblazer fashion campaign.

Ahead of the premiere of this year's collaborative project with six international fashion companies at Stockholm Fashion Week in February, the fashion campaign Trailblazer created by Almir Jasarevic, Astrid Askert, Elisabet Lindén, Saba Mehrabanfar and Sofia Hjortberg, all of which are in the final year of the Visual Communication programme, was launched. 

Comprehensive course on the Visual Communication programme

"We went into the project with an open attitude and didn't want to let "classic" images about what a fashion campaign should look like rule too much. We landed in something that is based on our interests, both in terms of the expression itself but also the underlying ideas, they tell us. 

The course is one of the most comprehensive on the Visual Communication programme. The students' task is to create concepts and communication for the Fashion Collaboration project, which is also a collaboration with the final-year students at Mode. It is an exercise in art direction, content and aesthetic expression but also in leading and running a project in collaboration with other students.

Film with protagonists in a universe but in different worlds 

The fashion brands in this year's project, Marimekko, Matty Bovan, Nomen Nescio, Palmer//Harding, Per Götesson and Zandra Rhodes, are all innovative brands that have paved the way for other designers. The same goes for fashion students' interpretations of the brands. Their collections belong to different worlds but are still part of the same universe characterized by creative courage, wanderlust and a willingness to portray a forward movement, characteristics that characterize a Trailblazer

"To create a world of different dimensions, it felt obvious to work with film. Our protagonists are in a universe, but in different worlds. We don't know exactly who they are and where they're going. It is open to interpretation, while the foundation is there through the journey between the inner, creative awakening > the journey, the hard work > reaching something, glimpse the vision.

"The tonality, aesthetics and expression reflect futuristic anime from the 80s and 90s such as Akira, Ghost in a Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion, as well as action films like Luc Besson's Fifth Element," he said. Something that is fun and distinguishes anime a little, is precisely the lack of explanations. Which, instead of being a flaw, can actually serve as an advantage. In many of the references we have looked at, the viewer is left to think about the characters' background, why the world is structured in a certain way, etc. 

Original illustrations created by the students  

The different worlds are a mix of digital illustration and 3D created by the students. Much of the work lay in developing these scenes, which would serve as an extension of the characters.  

"We just drew and animated the backgrounds, which are flat illustrations, because they are flat illustrations," he said. Then the very ground on which the models stand is trended in 3D. The biggest challenge was probably to "get" the models out of the green background we filmed and photographed everything in front, especially since we used a lot of wind that made hairs fly around.

Also a collaboration with professional actors

The project has also been a collaboration with professional actors in the industry. For example, a 3D scene with a sunrise is created by 3D designer Peter Holtze but based on the students' storyline. The film is a collaboration with cinematographer Malin Gutke and the concept images with photographer Paul Edwards.  

"We are pleased that we dared to get in touch with those we really wanted to work with in this project. Working together with Malin Gutke and Paul Edwards has been essential, they have contributed with their own look and finish in the project, a fantastic team overall!

In addition to the film, the students have created material for social media as well as a website that flirts with Japanese manga tradition,where the graphic black and white layout plays with the colorful images.

Technical challenges and coronavirus restrictions 

It is a big project to row ashore with both a short time frame and a small budget. This year, all restrictions were added due to the coronavirus, which placed high demands on minimising the number of people present during filming and photography respectively. In addition, all meetings were held digitally, which can sometimes make it more difficult to communicate over the programs.

"The project has been challenging in many ways, such as combining creative dynamics with efficiency when a lot of people are involved, putting time and energy into the right things. Technical was also a big challenge. We were a very small team for something that is often done by much larger working groups. We made it work, which we are incredibly proud of.

What is the most important lesson you take away from the project? 

-To go after the gut feeling and follow his vision. Do not compromise too much on the idea or concept, because in the end it will be something completely different after all the revisions and revisions. Try managing it with the idea that made you happy and tagged from the start and try not to compromise it away. 

Supervisors in the project have been Lisa Ehlin and Minna Sakaria.


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