I see You, the video tribute to Virgil Abloh shot with the iPhone
The I SEE YOU video is a tribute to Virgil Abloh, the brilliant designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton, who passed away in 2021. The video was previewed during the ceremony of the first Black Carpet Awards, an event that celebrates the talents of culture Afro-Italian. The video comes from the direct experience of Michelle Ngon, model founder of AfroFashion, an association that promotes African fashion and art in Italy.
Ngonmo tells how Abloh changed her life with a simple message of encouragement: "I see you". “Virgil had sent him to me – she says, who, from that moment on, became a discreet mentor for me and always ready to support me”. These three words had a very powerful effect on her, who found the energy and motivation to carry on with the vision and work that the association is carrying out. Virgil Abloh was an inspiration to her and many other Bipoc creatives in Italy, believing in the ideas and vision they were trying to bring forward, even before the #MeToo and #BLM movements.
“Being seen, as an individual and as a community, is a feeling that many take for granted, but which continues to be a mission for us. Being seen and having the ability to see are concepts I will never stop thanking Virgil for. I wanted the tribute video to convey the value of what he represented for me and for us in Italy,” concludes Ngonmo.
For the making of the video, 70 creatives living in Italy got together to work on Michelle Ngonmo's original idea, each declining it according to their own understanding and sensitivity. The video involved artists from different disciplines: from the artistic direction of Jon Bronxl to the direction of Byron Rosero; from Thais Montessori Brandao's styling to Red Longo's art performance; from choreography by Nnamdi Nwagwu & Nagga to sound design by Ismael Pacheco Condoy & Omar Gabriel Delnevo. Many are Bipoc, an acronym that stands for "Black, Indigenous and People of Color". The term arose out of the Black Lives Matter protest movements following the killing of George Floyd, and includes blacks, indigenous peoples, and people of color.
The production of the Tribute to Virgil Abloh was made entirely with the iPhone 14 Pro Max: "We decided to shoot the video at night to give a solitary, poetic vibe that would isolate us from everything else," says director Byron Rosero. “With so many people present and an impressive lighting rig, the set presented itself as quite complicated to manage. At first we thought about using a combination of professional camera and iPhone, then we decided to focus only on the smartphone. This allowed us to move easily, to give a homogeneous texture to the images from start to finish and a tone of strong truth, even in complex lighting conditions”.
The handling and versatility of the device, according to Byron, were essential to complete the production in record time, as well as to follow the collective's creative flow and instinct, allowing a quick and frequent change of shots, preserving the creative tension of the talent involved without long breaks for footage review.
"Some of these shots were made entirely by hand," adds Byron, taking advantage of the stabilization capacity of the iPhone 14 Pro, which made it possible "to film in an ultra-fluid way, even in movement, preserving all the textures of the materials, faces, of the movements". Byron chose to shoot everything with Filmic Pro, to obtain shots in S-Log, in order to have the greatest possible amount of information recorded by the camera sensors and then to also act in post-production in the color correction, done without rendering, with maximum quality and smoothly on MacBook Pro M1 and MacBook Air M1.