Marcus K. Jones, an NYU Film School Alumnus, began his career as a Fashion Cinematographer editing video for Christian Dior, Estee Lauder, Omega, RADO, and Bedat. Currently, Marcus creates Campaign Video and Branded Films exclusively for the Fashion industry. His tuned eye for beauty and clothing builds trust with most discriminating clientele.
Q1. What was the first record that you bought and how did it change your life?
A1. The first record that I bought was Wreckx-N-Effect's self-titled album. Other than worrying my parents, it had no effect on me. The first record that did change my life came later: System Upgrade by Dieselboy! It's get-stuff-done music. Then, for any complex visual pattern that exists, I'm pretty sure that I find an audio analog in that album. Not to mention the frantic, occasionally arrhythmic, always aggressive themes present throughout that album that paint a picture of my creative process. But what does this mean?
Q2. How did you begin your career?
A2. I began my career as a video editor for a boutique post-house, Manno Media, that catered to fashion and lifestyle brands such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Guerlain, Estée Lauder, MAC, Omega, Rado, Swatch and many others in those families. During the time spent, I acquired a thirst for creating such imagery. The transition from editor to Director/DP, which I actually studied at Tisch, was natural.
Q3. You are executive producer of the feature documentary ‘The Tents’. Can you tell me a little bit about the film and how it came together?
A3. The Tents grew out of relationship fostered thru old Dior connects with Harper's Bazaar. James Belzer, the director of the documentary, worked at Harper's during the time where I used every channel open to enter the fashion industry as a Director/DP. Belzer is the greatest strategist I've ever known. He convinced me to DP his first documentary called Coming of Age In Cherry Grove, in exchange for valuable introductions in his industry. He also insisted that I accept press credentials from Harper's to gain access to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park three seasons before it all ended. At the time, neither of us had any idea that we were going to create a documentary. James just thought it would be a good way for me to meet new people. I hated it. My RED Camera was way too heavy and it was impossible to start a casual conversation on the floor of the tents while babysitting a $30,000 camera. As history would have it, buzz about the tents leaving Bryant Park ran ramped. James and I had a very short conversation, and concluded together that we must turn the story into a documentary. But how could we get past the rehearsed soundbites that designers give to no-name documentarians like myself? Marie Griffin of Griffin PR managed television interviews for many of the top designers in the tents. She took pity on the obvious fact that I was a newbie backstage, and moved me to the front of the line. When James and I decided to co-executive produce the documentary, we made her our first subject, and she opened the doors to interviews with her clientele. James having the in-depth knowledge of the fashion industry said, there is no story unless we start with Fern Mallis and Stan Herman. They accepted, and the rest is history.
Q4. What's your favorite 'style' film and why?
A4. The movie Inception is my favorite hands down. It's what happens when an unique story, great actors, beautiful cinematography, amazing effects, fantastic styling of course, and engrossing sound come together. Draw me in and make me believe.
Q5. How do you think online information exchange is influencing fashion?
A5. Online information has influenced fashion in stages. With the late 90s popularization of the web and subsequent rise of youtube, there grew an opportunity for brands to show another side of themselves. Their audiences were able to access more information about the brand's heritage and/or process. Often that information was accompanied with behind the scenes videos. Smaller brands were also able to access consumers thru a web presence that was more affordable than having a number of brick and mortar stores. Finally the ability to shop online, trained the consumer to become more action oriented when exploring online fashion. This action oriented consumer in return gave brands incentive to further enrich their online presence and so on. This was the fashion ecosystem at the time of the social media explosion. Social media has thrown fashion into overdrive. There is no more effective way to date for a brand to reach their potential audience, than if a consumer recommends a brand or a brand experience to a peer whom they already know will be interested. Each social message made available by a brand for a consumer to pick up had a greater value than any previous form of one-directional advertising. At last, the question asked commonly by brands when considering new video content could be answered: Who is going to watch this video? Let's face the fact, Fashion Film is niche. It's a waste to pay for it and blast it out to an arbitrary audience via television or youtube. Fashion Film becomes valuable when it's viewed and shared socially to an organically consumer-selected audience whom there is a high probability of having high interest. In this scenario, Fashion Films spread like wildfire thru a targeted audience of brand lovers and enthusiasts. Fashion Films become a rewarding experience for a greater number of people whom otherwise may not have stumbled upon them without social media. Moreover, Fashion Films created by consumers or persons other than the brands close a feedback loop which may actually affect the minds of the designers themselves.