Georgia Chioni on how she directed “The mistress of Puppets”
In conversation with Georgia Chioni an award-winning screenwriter,director, producer, and fashion designer on how excited she was about working for “The Mistress of Puppets”. It is a campaign for a fashion brand (SKiN iT) based on a theatrical play directed by her.
Cult Critic: What made you pursue filmmaking?
Georgia – Since I remember myself from a very young age, I was writing stories and short theatrical plays that we were performing, at the beginning in front of our parents and later in the neighborhood. We had created a small theatrical girls’ team, we were all from the same class at junior high school, age 10-11 years old. I was writing the stories and directing the shows. It was at that time -few decades ago- great fun. I continued writing -novel writing and comic strips first- and then moved to screenplay writing for feature length movies and theatrical plays. It was, I think, six years ago that we wanted to film a short movie, I had written the script. Some days before the day of the shooting, the producer cancelled it. I really wanted to see the screenplay on the big screen, consequently at that time I decided that I had to do it. So, since then, with my production company, JnG Productions, we have made a lot of short movies and three feature ones, having obtained a lot of awards in international film festivals all around the world. I am very very happy about it, given that independent filmmaking is not easy at all. Making movies is simply magic.
Cult Critic: What was your reaction when you got the offer to write, direct and produce a short video promoting the forthcoming collection of SKiN iT Fashion Design of belts and harnesses called “X”?
Georgia – Fashion is my second big passion; my grandmother was an exceptionally skillful pattern and dressmaker. So, as I graduated from a fashion design course, which I attended in Athens Fashion Club Fashion School in Athens, I was getting ready to fulfill a dream, that is combine art and fashion. Having said this, I wrote, directed and produced the video promoting the forthcoming collection of SKiN iT, as member of the SKiN iT design and production team. Actually, these designs are mainly based on my portfolio collection, which combines elegance, eclecticism, fetish and neowitch elements. I was super happy and enthusiastic with the idea that I had for the video’s theme!! When the whole collection is ready, we will film more. Design is very important both in fashion as well as in film production. Without the proper design, it’s difficult to end up with a good result.
Cult Critic: What made you think of the film “The Mistress of Puppets” in Black and White?
Georgia – I love black and white combinations. Such a significant contrast, two colors for so many meanings: faith and struggle against faith, positive and negative, refuse to take responsibility for one’s actions and attachment, deception and honesty, presence and absence, both combining life’s continuum. It’s related to the theatrical play I wrote, called “X”.
Cult Critic: How was it working with Vicky Driva in the role of “Mistress”?
Georgia – Vicky Driva is an exceptional award winning actress. We have been working together for the past five years and she has been staring in most of our movies. She immediate understands the concept, she is a very hard worker, she knows exactly what I want and how I want it and she never complaints, and believe me, she has been through difficult times while shooting, as she had to go through tough tasks. As far as “The Mistress of Puppets” video is concerned, it was very easy. I phoned Vicky and told her “Vicky, do you want to shoot a short promo video for SKiN iT? You will play Mistress “Divine”, as in our theatrical play X”. She accepted immediately and she was very enthusiastic about it. She also liked the concept of puppets, and given her experience in the character of the play, it was fun and easy.
Cult Critic: The music in the film was equally stylized with the scenes. What did you come up with the music idea?
Georgia – I knew what I wanted and what I was looking for. I wanted something really dynamic. I am very fond of hard rock and heavy metal music, I like a lot the “Master of Puppets” of Metallica, so I wanted to find something similar, in terms of music dynamism, that could support the whole concept. Music is particularly important in any video.
Cult Critic: What, in your opinion, is the most important quality of a Film Director?
Georgia – As I said, making a movie is like creating life. It needs to be done 100% with love. As the director shows to people a part of oneself through the movie, the director needs to know exactly what one can do, as well as the strengths and weaknesses in all aspects, without illusions.
Cult Critic: How did the brand react to your idea of filming their products this way?
Georgia –They all liked it, it was something original, in line with our theatrical play, a concept that we could intrigue interest for our line collection, showing exactly what the line is about: dynamism, mystery and sexiness.
Cult Critic: The description goes thus “the Mistress lets everybody think that she’s their toy, but in the end, it’s her pulling the strings.” Can you please explain your thought on this?
Georgia – As writer, director and designer I have always been intrigued by human nature, that is what people show vs. what people hide inside them, and under pressure or under certain circumstances they reveal a behavior that no one could ever imagine. So, in the theatrical play “X” two strangers meet to play their own game, an erotic and fetish game, during which real characters are revealed. In the whole play the questions that troubles the heroine, a woman in her first session as Mistress Divine, is whether or not human relations are relations of power, if power erodes the existence of any form of relationship when one of the partners acquires it, and what happens with companionship. In the whole play characters interchange, like black and white, making audience wonder who is the dominant and who the submissive, who is the puppet and who pulls the strings. At the end, the two characters finish the session wiser, however denying to recognize the divine inside them.
Cult Critic: Can you tell us about the greatest moment in your film career?
Georgia – Well, I would say it’s not one moment that I could think of, but a lot of small moments full of joy and satisfaction. When we finished editing of my first short movie and watched it as a whole, I was so happy! Since then a lot of happy moments followed. Nice filmings, satisfactory results, official selections, nominations and of course awards. I am so happy and grateful about it.
Cult Critic: Lastly, can you please tell us about the projects you are presently working on?
Georgia – We have started working on the new full cloth collection of SKiN iT, which we would like to present it at the next Athens Exclusive Designers Week, hopefully to take place in Spring of 2021. We have decided on the style and the designs that we want, and now we will start working on the production, ie. pattern and sewing of the clothes. The collection will be promoted by a short video – making of- and a promo video that we will start filming, accompanied by the collection of belts and harnesses. We are very excited about it, it’s really a lot of work, but this combination of art and fashion is really something unique.In addition, well…I would really like to see our theatrical play “X” on the big screen, so I am really, very seriously thinking of giving a phone call to Vicky Driva and have a serious conversation with her about it. Lastly, I really wish that we, as humanity, overcome this pandemic, stronger, much stronger, and united. Thank you.