Fashion Popcorn meets Nicole Markhoff

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Meet Nicole Markhoff – Filmmaker, Editor, Digital Media Creative and all round fashion film talent currently studying MA Fashion Media Production at London College of Fashion.

Nicole’s resourceful approach to camera technology, mixed with digital wisdom and a keen eye for fashion has seen her creating fashion films for the likes of Tank, Bacchus PR, and 1883 Magazine, as well as covering backstage and creating the Canon Cinema ident for London Fashion Week.

Fashion Popcorn: How did you get involved with creating video content for LFW, including the Canon Cinema ident?

Nicole Markhoff: British Fashion Council’s production agency contacted me. I was working in Korea for week, but that didn’t stop them from hiring me for the fashion animation job. We somehow managed to transfer over 100 different video files, which I had to edit into animations. They even gave me the complete creative freedom, which was a dream!

On your website you say “I love to capture special moments – no matter the medium, because in the end the best camera is the one that’s with you.” Tell us a little about the camera technology that you use and why you think they work and perhaps some of the challenges too. 

During my gap year in South Korea, I took loads of photos with my analog camera, the Nikon FM2, but one night I didn’t have any 35 mm film left… Thats when I started to film with my iPhone.

Those are my very first 2 (embarrassing) videos:

I eventually started to update my equipment. I film with a Canon 7D, Nikon D800, Sony Nex 5N, flipcamera, Super 8, but sometimes I still use my iPhone.

I think that if you have a story, if you know how to work your camera and if you know how to edit your footage, then you really shouldn’t worry about your camera – at first.

Get out there, practice a lot, make videos, and then you will definitely get better and better. Hopefully you will eventually get paid to make videos, which means you can slowly update your equipment. By then you will also know so much about your camera and the equipment you need, that you can make reasonable shopping choices. I now want a Sony NEX-FS700EK due to falling deeply in love with slo-mo footages… Unfortunately, creating slow motion film is something the iPhone won’t let you do..

You shoot and edit – what do you find attractive about these particular aspects of creating films? 

I recently met a great DOP who said that editors make a much better director, than a director who doesn’t know how to edit. He meant that directors who know how to edit will already start to edit in their heads while they are shooting. I have to totally agree with him.

I have been animating since 7 years, and I have always been passionate about creating visuals, but I am only just beginning to learn how to operate a professional camera, use professional lighting, rigs, focus-pullers, or in general how a big production works. Nevertheless, when I am shooting, I am already thinking about how I am going to edit the film. I love having this control over my work – then I can focus much more on the creative side of creating film… But there is still so much to learn. Creating film is a never ending challenge. I guess, thats what I find so attractive about it.

Why fashion film above all other genres of film?

I was always looking for a way to get into the fashion industry. My parents were working in the fashion industry and strongly advised me to not choose this path.

Dad: “It is a tough road. Only the few lucky ones, will be able to do their creative thing in the fashion industry”. They stopped me from studying fashion design.

A few years later, I found a way back into the fashion industry…

What’s exciting you at the moment when it comes to the fusion of fashion, film and technology?

My parents wouldn’t let me study fashion design, therefore I studied Digital Media. I didn’t even know what Photoshop was when I started to study. I eventually turned into a total nerd about all the Adobe Creative Suite programs. I am loving that I have those digital media skills. Through fashion filmmaking, I finally get to work in the fashion industry!

Today’s technology allows anybody to get into fashion filming, for instance if you want to get into filming, then use your iPhone to film right now, and use iMovie to edit the footages, its available for anyone (with a mac)! Train yourself with one of the millions of YouTubers who teach you how to do things… I love YouTube!

What’s the most innovative project that you’ve worked on so far?

I don’t think that I have worked on something really innovative yet. Let me know if you have an idea, I am open for collaborations!

What have you been working on recently?

I’ve just finished working on a fashion film for Vina J. Lingerie. It was ready to go online in December, however I wasn’t entirely happy with it, so I reedited the entire thing. I didn’t have a deadline, it is a personal work piece, but it is now up online! –

I met Vina in South Korea while filming a fashion film for Plac Jeans. Back then I had no idea that I was going to be filming fashion films myself. “It’s 5am in Seoul, South Korea. A group of guys and girls are sleeping on a bench of a subway station, what ‘s happened in the last 7 hours?” –

Finally, what’s your dream project?

I had a dream project in mind when I started to do my MA in Fashion Media Production, and if everything works out accordingly, I will work on it by the end of this year!

You can find out more about Nicole and her work on her website: www.nicolemarkhoff.com

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