Today, filmmaker Matthew Frost drops a new short film, "Aspirational" starring Kirsten Dunst for Vs. Magazine. His previous jocular shorts featured beauties Jessica Chastain, Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet - all showcased on Vogue.com - explore the topic of celebrities confronting their public image, with both anxiety and humor.
For this particular film, Kirsten is 'selfied' by two hysterical groupies, who are essentially trying "suck the fame out of her". We had a chance to grab a coffee and chat with Matthew about the making of and insiration behind this highly anticipated project.
Tell us about your new short that’s coming up today.
Matthew: The latest little piece that I’ve done is called “Aspirational” and it stars Kirsten Dunst. It’s 2 minutes and 30 seconds, shot on super 16mm film in color. “Aspirational” is when you reach out towards something not attainable quiet yet but that could be maybe in the near future… It’s the single most used term I hear in the advertising world. It’s not really related to the actual film necessarily but you could say that the two girls are aspiring to be the most popular they can be through social media. It’s more about what they can take from her that interests them the most: her celebrity and documenting themselves next to it gets them closer to their goal.
How was working with her?
Working with her is amazing because she’s a really good actress... On a personal level, I happen to know her for several years, but knowing someone and being friends with someone, having a laugh with them, then actually working, entering their world in that way is completely different. This is what they do best. Knowing them is not always the best thing. In this case, she’s really down to earth and really cool. She should do more comedy, she’s really funny. Her timing is great… She looks great too. She’s super easy to work wit, I couldn’t have been happier with that. I feel like I’m kissing ass but yeah, who wouldn’t!
Were they any coincidences or surprises during the shoot?
A lot of the times fashion films feel a little overridden and contrived, you’re trying to say too much in the little bit of time that you have. What I like to do is to have an element that you didn’t plan, to make it feel like you’re in the moment, as opposed to something that feels scripted and too rigid. Here we just are trying to roll with the things that were given to us on the day. In this case, when someone walks by with a funny dog, or with an old timey car… We asked them to drive by again. The goal is to feel like you’re just relating a random actual moment and that we happened to be there. Also allowing Kirsten to just occupy the space in her own way, making it more of an intimate portrait than a short film with an epic storyline.
At the beginning we are shadowing Kirsten in the villa which makes us feel like a friend of hers. When the gate opens, its the outside world, the public world. She’s confronted with her public image. And the outside world reacts like crazy.
Yes, even on a pretty day, a normal day, when the birds are chirping out and the sun is setting around us her public image is always around the corner somewhere. She’s just calling an Uber and waiting outside, but there is that idea that beyond the gates, there’s the real world which is perfectly normal except when you’re a celebrity in America - especially in Los Angeles or New York - random stuff will happens to you. The film is just a speculation of what some of those things could be.
In all your shorts you have always a moment where there is an inner voice coming as a voice over. As if you like to sneak into these actresses’ mind.
This one has no V.O. but I do like it when actors in movies are able to talk to themselves out loud and still be convincing and believable. It has to feel like the rest of the conversation is ongoing inside the head and we’re just hearing a couple blurbs here and there. I think it’s one of the signs of a good actor! People talk to themselves out loud all the time but most of the time it feel super contrived on screen. I did that with Kate Winslet in another little piece but had her inner thoughts as a V.O. Here Kirsten says a couple things as her intro as well. She’s so good at it and wish I could have more in there. She has a great sense of timing and is such a pro. Now I wish I’d done more of it.. My next short will have to be three minutes!