Local filmmaker Sebastien Scandiuzzi grew up watching his mother shop in Baby and Company's corner storefront, absorbing the experience of her greeting the shop girls like old friends and palming through each special piece. To capture the magic of what it means to be part of our tribe, Scandiuzzi created a short film featuring a Baby and Company dinner party. Watch the video above, and read through our interview with the up-and-coming artist.
How did you get started working in video? What most inspires you about the medium?
I started as an actor in low-budget movies in Los Angeles when I was 14. When I wasn’t acting, I was working in different departments but I always gravitated towards the camera department. I loved the mechanics, the technology, the precision, the pressure. I would also say that cinema inspired me because I’ve always been an introvert: watching, observing, guessing peoples histories and intentions, making up stories. But instead of imagining whole worlds, my imagination would picture parts specific scenes, like an elderly woman loosing her last quarter to get on the bus or a kid kicking his legs against the chair in front of him while his mother ignores him. The only way to get these images out of my head was through film, moving film.
What about Baby and Company feeds into your personal style and the style of your work?
My mother shopped at the store for years and I remember feeling it was a special occasion while, at the same time, she was seeing old friends. It wasn’t about the clothes it was about the experience. I’ve dreamed of doing a project like this for years and Baby and Company was always the muse. Baby was confident, alluring, and magnetic—and the clothes were unlike anything I’d seen. I felt my style of cinematography, the story I wanted to tell, matched perfectly. It's a bold idea and I needed a bold company.
How did you imagine the dinner party with the clothing and the environment?
I wanted truth, I wanted reality. I didn’t want a dinner party at a private restaurant with beautiful models. I needed to see people who actually shop at Baby and Company looking gorgeous, beautiful, confident, and authentic. I wanted the clothing to move, the guests engaged in real conversations. I wanted an atmosphere of good friends getting together as hours fly by dining under an Italian trellis. As much as we see the world of young, sexy, and cool forced on us, thisworld exists too. It may not be young but it's also cool and sexy, if not more so.
What most inspires your current work?
I gather inspiration from a wide range of influences. I’d say that most of my visual work stems from what is going on internally. There are stories inside of me and I’m not sure how much longer I can keep them just to myself. My influences are my family, music, architecture, people, a look, a light, photography, painters. Even graveyard shift workers, a man walking 20 miles each day to work and back…that inspires me.
Looking forward, what kind of projects do you aspire to work on?
I just want to film, to create. I love being behind the camera. I love capturing light on someone’s face or creating a mood or feeling. I think fashion is intriguing and a good fit because there isn’t a set of rules. It's possible to do almost anything and still be within fashion's framework. My heart, though, lies in independent narrative filmmaking (I just wish my bank would sympathize the same way). There’s just not enough money in independent film, but I haven’t stopped yet and don’t plan to.