2013 Emerging Pro Maria Burns

Maria BurnsMaria Burns
Location: Brooklyn

Maria BurnsBorn and raised in Switzerland, Maria Burns completed her sensible study of psychology at the University of Bern before moving to Brooklyn to pursue photography. While studying at the International Center of Photography in New York City, Burns began exploring human nature through images. She found her niche combining her newfound art with her love of psychology, creating work that attempts to understand how social interactions are defined by physical spaces. With her first short film, entitledTendance Brute, Burns brings her defined aesthetic sense into the motion world. Tendance Brute began as a personal project, but culminated in a featured placement on the front page of Interview Magazine. Burns describes how the film came together: “Tendance Brute gears toward the interrogation of beauty as a cultural commodity. How can we capture timeless beauty to the point of its absolute conformity within our time and space? The video takes place in a devoid environment where the visual identity of a bare being moves out of a basic habitat and transforms into a determined and elegant woman.” The film was shot with RED EPIC and RED SCARLET cameras.

Maria Burns’ Tendance Bruteis a film of simplicity. Her visual style brings forth a motion project where every frame can be a still image that stands on its own.

We caught up with Burns to discuss her thoughts on filmmaking and the collision of the differences and similarities of working in still photography and in motion.

How are the worlds of still and motion similar or different to you?
Stills represent a fragment of a world, stimulating the viewer’s imagination. With motion, however, you can carry the audience through your story by fleshing out the piece with movement and sound. Strangely enough, I would say, in stills, I aim to find motion, and in motion, I try to find the perfect stills.

What gear do you use?
For my first short film, Tendance Brute, I used the RED EPIC and RED SCARLET cameras and the B2Pro Lighting System.

What would you say to an independent filmmaker looking to create the look and image quality of bigger-budget productions?
The key to success revolves around the team you work with. Each person should be the master of their craft. The whole is only as good as the sum of its parts. In New York City, I’m surrounded by these hyper-talented individuals, and I try to incorporate them into my work as often as possible. Also, I would suggest bringing in people you care about and keeping your set as simple and humble as possible. This way, there’s no energy lost on drama, and you can focus on creating high-quality work.

You can see more of Maria Burns’ work at www.maria-burns.com.

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